The Salacot refers to the peculiar broad-brimmed headgear, mostly conical in shape, worn by Filipinos as they work in the fields.<ref>The Filipino and the Salacot. Tagalog Dictionary. (Accessed on 20 June 2009).</ref> It is usually made of either rattan or reeds. An ancient tradition recounts that the first Malay settlers in the archipelago purchased the valleys and plains of the Island of Panay in the Philippines from the native Aetas in exchange of a golden salakot and a very long pearl necklace called manangyad, which touched the ground when worn by the wife of the Aeta chieftain.
The salakot is a common symbol for Filipino identity. It is often portrayed as the hat worn by Juan de la Cruz, the symbol of the collective Filipino psyche equivalent to Uncle Sam of the Americans. The custom of embellishing this Filipino headgear developed as a practice during the Spanish Regime. Though normally worn by farmers, the wealthy and landed Christian Filipinos and mestizos, especially the members of the Principalía, would also use the salakot, emboss this hat with silver, and sometimes hang silver coins and pendants around the headgear's brim. Many depictions of gobernadorcillos and cabezas de barangay would portray these public functionaries during the colonial period wearing ornate salakots. It was not uncommon for this class to wear salakot made of more precious materials like tortoise shell and precious metals.<ref>Alfredo R. Roces, et. al., eds., Ethnic Headgear in Filipino Heritage: the Making of a Nation, Philippines: Lahing Pilipino Publishing, Inc., 1977, Vol. VI, pp. 1106-1107.</ref>