A collection of 19th century Russian peasant women's costumes
Russian Folk Costume.
A Short History.
clothing varied according to time of year and the church calendar. There
were clothes for holidays and to wear every day, for the well-to-do and
for the peasantry.
Like ethnic groups
throughout the world, Russian clothing is unique and special to its
history and geography. Holiday headwear would consist of the kokoshnik (a
head-dress) which would be embroidered with river pearls, golden
threads, and a hanging meshwork of pearl or mother-of-pearl. The forms
would vary from locality to locality with a distinct separation of
married women and maidens. The main distinction was married women,
according to the ancient eastern Slav customs, could not uncover her
hair while in public or when doing housework. A maiden could plait her
hair or go about bareheaded.
A typical costume
consisted of a shirt or blouse, a sarafan (light frock), a belt and an
apron. Shirts were made of linen with flaxen embroiderey, silk. lace,
golden threads and spangles. Collars and sleeves were decorated
extensively. the typical color of the sarafan, skirts and blouses was
red, as this color literally translates to "beautiful". The most
prominent part of the women's costumes was the apron, which was
Mens' clothing was
simpler and more uniform over women's. Kosovorotkas (shirts fastened
from the side) worn with narrow trousers were commonly in use. Shirts
were cotton, silken or woollen. Footwear consisted of semi-highboots,
highboots and bast shoes. The visored cap came into being in the late 19th century.
Russian clothing |
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