November 14, 2016

1041, 2867 RUSSIA - Russian traditional clothes

1041 A Russian family in traditional clothes

Posted on 02.04.2014, 14.11.2016
The area now called Russia has always been multicultural. Russian culture started from that of the East Slavs, with their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded areas of Eastern Europe. It was influenced first by neighbouring Finno-Ugric tribes and by nomadic, mainly Turkic, peoples of the Pontic steppe, then by the Varangians. Kievan Rus' had accepted Orthodox Christianity in 988, and this largely defined the Russian culture of next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures.

2867 A Russian girl wearing clothes
inspired by the traditional costume

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Russia remained the largest Orthodox nation in the world and claimed succession to the Byzantine legacy in the form of the Third Rome idea. A process of the melding of pre-Christian practices with those of Orthodoxy consolidated the population which occupied present-day Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus under one political and cultural system. Even today, the Russian language retains a large degree of mutual intelligibility with Belarusian and Ukrainian.

The traditional Russian costume started taking its shape in the 12th-13th centuries. Up to the 18th century it fitted well all layers of Russian society. The costume that was common among peasants from the last third of the 18th century to the first quarter of the 20th century is what is considered to be the authentic Russian national costume. By the early 20th century the most widespread women's costumes were of two types: the South Russian one with poneva, and the Mid-Russian one with a sarafan.

The woman in the postcard 1041 wears a sarafan, a trapeze-shaped jumper dress (pinafore), sleeveless, mentioned for the first time under the year 1376. It was the dress worn by peasant girls and women in the central and northern part of Russia until the 20th century. Russian women from the upper and middle classes stopped wearing traditional Russian costume in the 18th century, during Peter the Great's modernization of Russia, apart from the kokoshniks as part a court dress.

On the head she wears a povoinik, a headdress of married women, actually a kerchief tied around another headwear. Sometimes the povoinik was a soft textile cap, varied in shape, but mainly with a round or oval bottom, a cap band and laces behind. As a rule the povoinik was worn on working days, whereas on holidays it was replaced by the kokoshnik. By the early 20th century the povoinik supplanted the more complex women's headgears, such as the soroka and kichka.

Kokoshnik looks like a roundish shield around the head, with a sort of a crest rising above the forehead. It is widely known thanks to Russian folk tales, but its history is full of mysteries, and nobody knows when exactly it came to existence. It is only known that orders of Peter the Great put an interdict on wearing kokoshnik by boyar ladies. Yet, the headgear survived in peasant and merchant milieu (mainly in the Northern provinces) as an attribute of festive or wedding dress.

The man in the postcard 1041 wears a shirt (rubakha) which has a vent at the neckband in the middle of the chest. It has no collar, but a narrow round cloth necklet, and the sleeves are fastened by bracelets at the wrists. The necklet and the bracelets are made of fine fabric and embroidered. The man wears the shirt outside trousers, and has a narrow girdle, tight below the waist. His trousers, striped and wide, are shoved in boots. The boy wears a kosovorotka, a shirt that has the buttons positioned off to one side.

There is a distinct difference in the color and theme preference of the Russian men and women; while the men don't usually like flaunting bright colors in clothing, the women do. The men prefer sober, earthy tones and prefer to keep the look "calm". Many Russians find black and white being very elegant. On the other hand, Red fabric cloth was considered to be the nattiest one, and, by the way, the Russian word "beautiful" comes from the word "krasny", the Russian for "red".

About the stamps
On the postcard 1041
The two stamps are part of the series XXII Olympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi: Legends of sport (all with the same face value, 15 RUB):

2013.11.15
1751 - Yevgeny Romanovich Grishin (1931-2005) - speed skater
1752 - Lyudmila Alekseyevna Pakhomova (1946-1986) - ice dancer
1753 - Vladimir Mikhailovich Melanin (1933-1994) - biathlete
1754 - Alexander Pavlovich Ragulin (1941-2004) - hockey player
1755 - Anatoli Vasilievich Firsov (1941-2000) - hockey player


2013.12.14
1773 - Klavdiya Sergeyevna Boyarskikh (1939-2009) - cross country skier
1774 - Vsevolod Mikhailovich Bobrov (1922-1979) - hockey player
1775 - Tatyana Borisovna Averina (1950-2001) - speed skater - It's on the postcard 1041
1776 - Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) - founder of the International Olympic Committee
1777 - Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980) - organizer of the first Paralympic Games - It's on the postcard 1041

On the postcard 2867


The first stamp (No. 1927), designed by A. Moscovets, was issued in March 26, 2015 to mark the 150th Anniversary of the District Council Post. Zemstvo (local) Post was a special service introduced for mailing purposes in areas with no state post offices. The first Zemstvo Post was established in Vetluga uyezd (district) of Kostroma Governorate in spring 1865.

The second stamps is part of the series Culture of peoples of Russia. Headdresses of the Republic of Tatarstan, about which I wrote here.

References 
Russian culture - Wikipedia
National Russian Dress - IC Russia
Traditional dress - Best of Russia
Russian Clothing - Buzzle

Sender 1041: 
Sent from Moscow (Moscow / Russia), on 04.03.2014
Photo: Vyacheslas Andreev
Sender 2867: Svetlana / LanaLina (postcrossing) RU-5164547
Sent from Rybinsk (Yaroslavl Oblast / Russia), on 30.10.2016

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