Oh, you may not think I'm pretty/
but don't judge by what you see/
I'll eat myself if you can find/
A smarter hat than me./
So you can keep your bowlers black/
Your top hats straight and tall/
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat/
And I can top them all!
-From Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The Sorting Hat was originally a normal hat belonging to Godric Gryffindor one thousand years ago, give or take. In the first days of Hogwarts students were chosen for the separate Houses by the four founders themselves. However, knowing themselves to be mortal, they decided to use the Sorting Hat as a way to divide students when they could no longer do so. Endowed with magical powers and part of the minds of each founder, it looks into the soul of the incoming student and decides the dominant trait which will define his or her career as a mage. Courage is the mark of a Gryffindor, Diligence of a Hufflepuff, Cunning of a Ravenclaw, and Pride of a Slytherin.