I have long wondered about the origins of the high pointed hat that is ascribed to witches and the similar ‘dunce’ cap that seems to be in our memory with no historic association.
There appears to have been a large population that lived in what is now Kazakhstan around the great Lake Balkhash. These people wore hats that were tall and pointed. Men and women. Also a very horny bunch like the modern day Mongolians. One group of mummified remains were found in Tarim Basin in far Western China. The people in the original find seem to have been there more than 4,000 years ago. DNA and visual identification indicate that these people were from Europe, looked and dressed like Vikings. They even buried themselves under long wooden boats with beautiful oars. In a desert.
Other evidence of a related group are referenced in historic literature from the Persian period of Darius I 2,500 years ago. Darius’s army conquered a group of Saka people including their king pictured here.
The people in this area hypothetically spoke Tocharian. The source of our modern European languages and the physical source of the Finns, Hungarians and Turks. The Saka people could also be related to King Shakha the father of Buddhism.
Humans carry the strangest luggage in our minds. We have witches hats and dunce caps from a people we never heard of. I know a meaningless rhyme I learned from children in Israel that is also sung by children in Northwestern Japan.