A skouphos (also skufiya, skufia, or skoufos) is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian monastics (in which case it is black) or clergy, sometimes specifically awarded as a mark of honor (in which case it is usually red or purple). It is a soft-sided brimless cap whose top may be pointed (Russian style), flat and pleated (Greek style), or flat with raised edges (Romanian style). Typically, monastics receive their skufia either when they first become novices or when they are tonsured. A monk or nun who has been tonsured to the Great Schema will wear a skoufia that has been embroidered with prayers, crosses, and figures of seraphim.
High-ranking bishops (such as archbishops and metropolitans) will sometimes wear a black or purple skufia with a small jewelled cross on informal occasions. A nun will sometimes wear a skufia over her monastic veil, while monks often wear the skufia (without a veil) when the klobuk or epanokamelavkion might get in the way of work.
- ↑ The Russian-style skufia is traditionally pulled down so that it covers the top of the ears. This is practical, to keep out the cold, but it also has a symbolic practice, reminding the monk not to listen to gossip.
- ↑ Example of a monk receiving his skouphos
- ↑ Example of a Great Schema skouphos
- ↑ Example of two hierarchs wearing skufias