Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection (OOH&P)

In the early Twentieth Century the Odd fellows had no fewer than five Shriner-like side orders, one of which was Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection.  The Supreme Grand Lodge of the Odd Fellows didn’t have good control of any of these groups. By the early 20th Century they decided that they needed to intervene. The groups were then collapsed into Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. The OOH&P based its ritual on the legend of Xerxes I, son of Darius I who assumed the Persian throne in 485 BC. The group met in “Sanctorums” before their demise.

While most fezzes from the Oriental Order are embroided with gold bullion thread (as you’ll see down the page), this hat actually utilizes basic yellow thread, that has been tightly stitched, to create the design, making it somewhat unique. The font is also different from most found on other examples. The tassel is yellow, incdicating a basic members fez. The construction remains strong, with little to no signs of wear or use. Taurus Sanctorum No. 185 was located in Chicago, Illinois.

As you can see, the fez is red with a yellow tassel. The logo of the group, a pyramid within a crescent and scimitar, surmounted by an owl, is attached. The motto of the group, “We Never Sleep” is also present. Research has shown that the OOHP ceased to exist in 1924, when it merged into the United Order of Splendor and Perfection, which later became the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. This enables us to place the making of this piece as being prior to 1924. This fez is from Tao Sanctorum No. 241, meeting place unknown.

While this fez is very similar to the other one in the collection, it was added because of its age. Just like our other OOHP fez, we know this piece had to have been made prior to 1924, making it one very old fez! The name of the Sanctorum, Fatima No. 146, and the letters OOHP are rendered in bullion, which is fairly tarnished. However, the emblem and fez are still in great shape. The tassel shows a little wear at the knot, with a few broken strands, but is otherwise intact as well. Just another example of a great old piece!

Hailing from Jeddah Sanctorum, this fez offers quite a few tidbits. First, the construction of the fez is much more modern, with ventilation holes, a leather sweat band, and thread in place of bullion. The embroidery is is in an odd font and the name Jeddah appears without a number to designate the Sanctorum. Our guess is this fez came from later in the life of the Order, probably from the 20’s.

This piece represents a rarity in Odd Fellows pieces – a red tassel! This fez, again dating from prior to 1924, is done in bullion with an embroidered logo. It comes from Jebel Sanctorum No. 89, which was located in Albany, New York. The red tassel means that the owner of the fez was a more advanced member. When a man viewed the “Sheik” degree, his tassel was upgraded to red. Not many members viewed this degree (as it was only presented at regional meetings), making red tassels a bit rarer. This fez has some flaws, however; there are some small moth holes in the side and back and a bit of pitting. But, considering it’s age, it has held up quite well!

Hailing from Azda Sanctorum No. 209, of Omaha, NB, this fez is incredible shape for being roughly a century old. The felt is in amazing shape and the tasell is holding up well. What drew us to this piece was the condition and the font on the fez. It uses a chunkier style of block lettering, similar to our Taurus piece, but bigger. The embroidery on the logo is also in great shape. It is almost as if this fez just came off of the assembly line!

Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor

The Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor were formed some time during the nineteen-teens in the deep South. Membership was limited to Odd Fellows of the third degree. Newspaper evidence shows them organizing in the area of Georgia and Alabama, with at least one Supreme Palace meeting occurring in Atlanta. Other ephemeral artifacts show them having expanded to Tennessee as well. The organization officially ceased to exist during the merger of 1924, which created the United Order of Splendor and Perfection. This name leads us to believe the the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection blended their name with the Pilgrim Knights to form the new group.

The fez itself is purple with a yellow tassel. The emblem is constructed with silver and gold bullion thread with a metallic sphinx head being placed on top. The word “Fashoda” is embroidered across the front, leading us to believe to the fez is from Fashoda Palace No. 11, Jacksonville, Alabama.

Since we published our original PKOS fez, we’ve continued to research the group. They were much more prominent than originally thought, with at least a dozen Palaces around the deep South.

This fez hails from Osiris Palace, location unknown. It is in marvelous condition, with little signs of wear or age. The tassel is completely intact and the bullion remains brilliant.

Finding additional Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor fezzes remains challenging. This fez was purchased at auction. As noted on the piece, it hails from Zorah Palace No. 12 of Cleveland, TN. This Palace is one of the last known instituted, as references to a number higher than 12 are sparse. It is thought that Tennessee was about as far North as the group ever got.

The fez itself is of purple felt with a yellow tassel, which remains intact. The emblem is made of gold and silver bullion thread, with the centerpiece being of cast metal. Of interest is the design in the name Zorah, which has silver thread interwoven with the gold. Like all Pilgrim Knights fezzes, this hat dates from before 1924.

Imperial Order of Muscovites (IOM)

The museum is proud to offer a history of the Imperial Order of Muscovites, entitled “The Imperial Order of Muscovites – the Rise and Fall of a Fraternity,” free for download.

This exhibit represents a labor of love for the museum. Since the collection was started, the Imperial Order of the Muscovites has captivated the curator’s imagination. The Imperial Order of Muscovites was an unofficial, appendant body to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the United States. The IOM was founded in 1894 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lasted until the mid-1930s. The basic body or unit of the order was called a Kremlin, with officers styled as Czar, Patriarch, Regent, Commander, and so forth. The relationship between the IOM and the IOOF was indirect, with the Muscovites being created and styled by and for Odd Fellows, but with no direct or jurisdictional link. The membership regalia of the order was a charcoal grey fez with a black woolen band, emblazoned with an emblem representing two bear heads flanking a banner of red and yellow, divided diagonally, with the legend “IOM” arranged vertically.

These fezzes comes from the largest of the Kremlins – Sodak, which was stationed in South Dakota.  The fezzes themselves are grey, with a “wooly” black band around the brim. The word “Sodak” is embroidered in metallic gold bullion thread, which is still shiney. The tassel is red, with just a touch of fading over time. The emblem is an embroidered patch. They are both in nearly mint condition and they are truly the crown jewel of the collection.

Muscovites pieces remain some of the rarest fezzes around. This fez, acquired at auction, represents a large leap forward in the knowledge of the organization itself. Much like the other Muscovites fez, this one is also of charcoal grey color, with a black wolly band and red tassel. However, the difference in this item comes on the embroidery and the logo. The IOM logo is embroidered on a patch and attached to the fez. Notice that the logo is different than the preceding example, having two bears flanking the red and yellow banner, bearing the letters IOM. The name of the Kremlin is now above the logo and is created using a paint like substance, stamped onto the fez. Sota, a previously unknown Kremlin, has been tracked to Minnesota, where the owner of this fez resided. We know this, thanks to the fez coming in the original packaging from the manufacturer, addressed to the recipient, in Minnesota. Based on the stamp on the package, this fez dates from 1923.

This fez represents another variation on the Muscovites design. While it the patch and colors remain the same, this piece lacks the name of the Kremlin on the wooly brim. It is though that the fez could be from later in the organization, when Kremlins weren’t as well defined. It could also be from an earlier time, when Kremlins were being established and names not yer finalized.

One of the rarest known variations of Muscovites fezzes are the white ones. We only know of a few in existence. The fez itself is relatively plain, being made of white felt, with a small red tassel. The Muscovites emblem appears on the front, made from a patch. Around the brim of the hat is a brightly yellow colored band. While we are not entirely sure what the white fez represented, it is believed to have belonged to either a past presiding officer (Past Czar) or an Imperial (national) officer within the group.

Noble Order of Muscovites (NOM)

In 2015, it was discovered that a branch of the Muscovites had continued to operate in Oregon well into the 1960’s. This group, known as the Royal Order of Muscovites, stopped meeting in the 1960’s or 70’s. However, one member of the Order was found to still be alive. Under his direction, the Odd Fellows of Peninsula Lodge No. 128, of Portland, Oregon, re-organized the Order under the name “Noble Order of Muscovites.” Membership is open to anyone who is a member of any fraternal body and to both sexes. On April 16, 2016, the degree was performed, as adapted from the original work of the Imperial Order of Muscovites. This fez, created by Fez-o-Rama, is the official fez of the Noble Order. It is maroon, retaining the black “wooly” band, with a black tassel. Embroidered upon it is the traditional Muscovties emblem.

United Order of Splendor and Perfection (UOSP)

The United Order of Splendor and Perfection was a short lived amalgamation of several of the Odd Fellows social organizations. Beginning in 1917, discussion was had between the Imperial Order of Muscovites and the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection in regards to merging the two groups. Later, several other bodies, such as the Order of Cabiri, the Knights of Oriental Splendor, and other lesser known groups became interested in joining in the merger. By 1923 plans were drawn up to as to how the groups would form together and in August of 1924 they all officially merged into one body, named the United Order of Splendor and Perfection. The group operated for just a few years and was plagued by much internal strife. In 1925, the group was once again reorganized, this time taking on the name Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans, which still exists today.

The fez presented here is a rare example of a UOSP fez. As the group only existed for a few short years, not many fezzes were created. The design bears resemblance to the older fezzes of the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection as well as the fezzes of AMOS, which would come later. This fez is in poor condition. It’s missing its tassel as well has having holes and pitting. However, due to the rarity of the piece, it is an important addition to the collection.

Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS)

The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS) is the Order of the Odd Fellow’s equivalent of Freemasonry’s Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (or Shriners). It is not an officially recognized body within Odd Fellowship; it is a private club to which only those who are Odd Fellows may belong. A brother who holds the third degree and is in good standing within his subordinate Lodge (i.e. he has not been expelled or in arrears of dues, etc.) is eligible to make an application to join.

In the mid Twentieth Century the United Order of Splendor and Perfection was reorganized and combined with other groups to form the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. AMOS still exists in today, albeit in a much smaller capacity.

Our first Fez comes from Murad Sanctorum No. 202, located in Youngstown, Ohio. This fez is from the earliest formation of the group, as it uses the UOSP symbol on an AMOS designated fez. The name is embroidered in bullion as well, which is typical of early 20th century pieces. It probably dates back to the late 20’s or 30’s.

At first glance, this fez doesn’t look much different than the one previously shown. It retains the older UOSP design, but with the AMOS designation. The value of this piece comes from the Sanctorum name. Kolo Sanctorum wasn’t originally a Sanctorum at all. Rather, it was Kremlin of the Imperial Order of Muscovites. When the organizations merged, Kremlin Kolo decided to forego the Russian theme and adopted the Middle Eastern theme of the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. Judging from the logo and construction, this fez dates from between 1925 and 1935.

This fez is much like that of the Kolo No. 32 fez. Hailing from Ufa Sanctorum No. 37, of Idaho, this piece once again shows the UOSP design with AMOS initials. Ufa Sanctorum had a very similar story to Kolo, in that it had been a Kremlin of the Imperial Order of Muscovites before joining with the other Odd Fellows social bodies in the merger. The construction of this fez is very similar to that of the Kolo piece, putting it in the same age range from the late 20’s to early 30’s.

Sometimes we run across a piece that isn’t particularly different from the collection we have, but is in remarkable shape. That was the reason for the purchase of this fez at auction. Belonging to Cahokia Sanctorum (detailed further below), this piece dates from the late 1920’s. But, by the look of it, you’d have no idea. It is in incredible shape and obviously was not folded during its life. The yellow tassel and embroidery are still brilliant, provide an excellent example of a post-merger AMOS fez, before the adoption of a new logo. Uniquely, this is the only fez in the collection from this generation / organization that has the name of the group rendered in thread rather than bullion.

We always love snagging these early AMOS pieces, depicting the volcano logo and the hold over black band around the brim. This fez comes from Luna Sanctorum No. 243, of Coney Island, NY. The location is of particular interest, as most fraternal bodies in the city aligned to one of the five boroughs. To have had a Sanctorum dedicated to Coney Island itself speaks to the robust number of Odd Fellows in the area at its height.

This fez shows the updated symbol, using the OOHP design of scimitar, pyramid, and owl and is done all in thread – the symbol is a patch. This fez was added to the collection to provide an example of the current style of AMOS fezzes, as well as displaying the style of a Sheik fez. The color of the tassel is very important in AMOS, with yellow being for all members (who have received the Degree of Humility.) The red tassel, as shown on this fez, is reserved for those who have received the “Sheik” Degree, which is only conferred upon those who have attended a regional meeting. This fez comes from Tandag Sanctorum No. 55, of Slater, Missouri, and probably dates between the 40’s to 60’s. (Thanks to Matt Cordoves for the location information!)

Next, we have the most modern example of an AMOS fez in the collection. As you can see, the patch, letters, and other embroidery on this fez are all very sharp. This shows the accuracy and precision of the newer sewing machines. These facts place this fez as being created in the80’s or 90’s. The tassel appears to have once been sewn to the fez at one time, but now it is loose. The tassel holder is a basic design, being a chain anchored by camels. As above, this fez has a red tassel, designating that the previous owner had achieved the degree of Sheik. Cahokia Sanctorum No. 262 was located in East St. Louis, Missouri.

Among collectors, AMOS has become known for its complicated system of fez and tassel colors. While we have shown examples of red and yellow tassels above, we also have some more advanced colors. This piece has a blue and red tassel, designating it as belonging to a Past Grand Monarchos, which is the title of the president of the local Sanctorum. Tajak Sanctorum No. 151 is believed to still exist, being located in Massachusetts.

At first glance, this piece doesn’t seem to be all that much different from the other AMOS fezzes already in the collection. However, the real story of this fez lies in the name and design of the Sanctorum embroidery, Kismet No. 157. The embroidery of this part is actually on a separate piece of cloth that is then stitched on to the fez itself, albeit with a fancy pattern. The fez is quite old, leading us to believe it is from the early days of AMOS. With the name being stitched on, we theorize that the Kismet 157 piece was originally on an OOH & P fez, but was cut off and reapplied to an AMOS fez after the merger. We do know that Kismet No. 157 existed as a Sanctorum of the OOH & P prior to the formation of AMOS, which also lends credence to this theory.

This fez continues our display by showing the different tassel colors that have been used by AMOS. It also shows an oddity – the tassel is blue, yellow, and white. While a blue and yellow tassel would distinguish the wearer as a member who was a Samaritan and a Past Grand Monarchos, we don’t know why the white would be included. Our only indication is that a Past District Deputy would wear a “Red, White, and Blue” tassel. Perhaps the owner never received the Degree of Perfection, and therefore wasn’t entitled to the red tassel. As with our first fez in the collection, this piece comes from Murad Sanctorum No. 202 in Youngstown, Ohio. We date it to the 30’s or 40’s.

This piece was purchased at auction as it came with several documents and medallions relating to the Order. The fez is red with a red and blue tassel, designating a Past Monarchos. Bethaddon Sanctorum No. 246 is still operating in Illinois. This fez probably dates from the 1970’s or 80’s.

Illustrating the next step up the ladder is this blue AMOS Past Divisional Monarchos fez. It comes from the Mid-Atlantic region and would have been owned by a past presiding officer who oversaw several local bodies. The white tassel denotes the status as past. It is constructed of blue fabric with the AMOS design embroided thereon. There is some soiling to both the cloth and the tassel. The fez dates from the the 1960’s or before.

Here we have a more modern take on the Past Divisional Monarchos fez. You can see it retains the same basic design, but replaced the embroidery for a patch. It also uses rhinestones extensively. Hailing from the same Mid-Atlantic Division, and having the same white tassel, it probably belonged to an officer who served in the 80’s or 90’s.