"Especially clothing they created..."
(Clothing and ornaments of ancient Russian women.)

Translation of chapter IV
of Pushkareva's "Zhenshiny Drevnej Rusy"

translated by Sofya la Rus, Mka Lisa Kies
Updated 12 December 2006

[Translator's Notes: This is a rough, rather literal translation meant to be useful, not pretty. As you may note, many words are transliterated (military style) because I have not yet found a translation. Most are old Russian and were apparently being quoted from period sources. Most are explained in the text. Parentheses and quotation marks are in the original text. The footnotes in brackets are also in the original. All other items in brackets are my own comments.]

The external appearance of Russian women in the 10-15th centuries is presented most in cannonization images of princely families, by this it is difficult to judge about the evolution of women's costume.  If one only reconstructed one's representation of it on the basis of the fragmentary information of the sources, then one would never see how the centuries were perfecting the original distinctive style in Russian women's clothing, expanding diverse footwear and ornaments.
Already in the most ancient period (10-13th centuries) in the costume of Russian women there was a division between lower (next-to-skin) garments and upper clothes.  The undergarment - "srachitsa" ("sorotsitsa", sorochka) [ shirt/chemise] - was mentioned in many written memorials.  [footnote 1]  Since time immemorial it was made from fine linen fabric:  "Bzem linen to mend mi srachitsu, pants and towel..."  In the ancient Russian language there existed two sets of terms for indicating linen fabric:  "xlast", "xolst", "t"lstiny", denoting unbleached fabric; and "bel'", "platno", denoting bleached linen.  Characteristically, during excavations not infrequently are met the remains of the materials, most often of all bleached linen ("platno").  Linen underwear remains in use even later, in 14-15th centuries.  Chroniclers, describing the destruction of Torzhka in 1373, testify: " ...while women and girls odiraxu even until lowest nakedness... even until srachitsy..."  [footnote 2]
The woman's undergarment was cut long and had sleeves much exceeding the length of the hand.  At the wrists, they were held up by "naruchami" - hoops, bracelets, [обручами, браслетами] which frequently are found in women's burials.  They are also noticeable in several fresco portrayals and book miniatures.  [footnote 3]   Dancing women with let-down sleeves without the usual "naruchej" can be seen on ritual rusal'skix bracelets of 12th cent., described by A. V. Rybakov.  The portrayal of such dancers with let-down sleeves is especially characteristic on "naruche" from Old Ryazan (treasure hoard from first half of 13th cent.).  A. V. Artsixovskij believed that the lower women's shirt was not belted.  [footnote 4]  There is an alternative opinion that separates now the majority of researchers.  [footnote 5].  Varied belts were one of the most ancient elements of costume, ornaments even in some times for protection, blocking the path of unclean forces.  Parts of belts are located among kurgan's antiquities, and they are portrayed also on miniatures, for example in the scene of dancers from the Radzivilovski chronicles.  [footnote 6]
Those parts of the undershirt which could be seen were decorated:  in 14th cent. for the more noble "ladies" - with pearls and drobnitsami (small metal plates in form of sequins, paws or leaves [блесток, лапок, листочков]); for representatives of lower social strata - linen woven [плетеным] openwork.  [footnote 7].  The linen for the sorochka was made by the women themselves:  for this it is sufficient to recall the description of the "good women" in "Tales of Bygone Years".  In Sophia's Cathedral of Kiev there are fresco portrayals of princesses spinning thread; and there is an analogous drawing in the Veleslavskoj Bible (12th cent.)  "Uoztainku (xolst. - N. P.) wove, and you for yourself izbeli", - asks one Novgorodian to another in Document Number 21 (15th cent.).  In 14-15th cent. the sorochka of noble women was made of silk, and became "shidennoj"' (from the German Seide - silk) and at times was not white, but, for example, red, but such "srachitsi" were evidently for holidays, and were worn rarely.  [footnote 8]
Sources from the 10-13th cent. give information for the characteristics of the upper garmets of the more or less prosperous women of ancient Russian society.  Probably, the costume of ancient Russian women of the different classes was identical in cut, but different in the use of fabric.  [footnote 9]  Evidently, the clothing of the representatives of the feudal nobility had more items and details in each of the types of clothing, and the complex was built of a greater number of components.
In the main, for ancient Russian women the lower shirt (sorochitsa) was supplemented by a "loin" garment - the "ponyavoj" or "ponyovoj".  This term often is met in copies of church anthologies of the most early times.  I. I. Sreznevskij explained it as a width of cloth, piece of fabric.  V. I. Dal' presumed that the word "ponyova" came from the verb "ponyat, obnyat;'" (to understand, to embrace), since the ponyova presented itself as a piece of fabric which wrapped around the body.  [footnote 10]  About this, that this was just loin [набедренное] clothing there is no direct evidence, although, for example, on a bracelet found in Old Ryazan, a female dancer is portrayed in a ponyova and apron [фартуке].  The undulating pattern of the fabric or embroidery of the poneva is repeated on the sleeves.  M. G. Rabinovich believes that the poneva, up until the 16th cent. was simply called "linen fabric or shirt" [полотняная ткань или рубашка].  However mention of ponyova in the statute of Prince Yaroslav (12th cent.) as a garment different from "belyx port" [white pants/garment] and "polotna" [linen? towel?], allows one to propose that the speech was about a garment worn apart from the sorochka.  In the 10-13th cent. this garment actually could be linen and not different in color from the shirt [рубашка] itself.  Over the ponyova at the waist could be tied a woolen knitted [вязаные, probably naalbinding] belt, analogous to one found near excavations in the village of Gorki.  [footnote 11]  Ponyovy could be cloth [суконными] or wool [шерстяными] - from "volni" i.e. wool yarn.  Archeological excavations of burials allow one to make the conclusion that, in 12-13th cent., multi-colored checked wool fabric "pestryad" already was known.  "Pestryad'" was used as the material for ponyovas of rural village women, since in the cities in the 14-15th cent. the ponyova was worn more and more rarely.
Coarse wool fabric was called "vlacyanitsy" [hairshirt]; monks wore it directly on the bare body - it was a form of self-torture.  Thus, Princess Vasilisa, shorn in monastery in 1365, "in srachitse  not xozhashe, but hairshirt on body svoem noshashe".  [footnote 13]  From vlasyanitsy was sewn the kaftan, which was in that time both a men's and women's garment.  Clothes of wool fabric became predominent in cities approximately from 13th cent.  Part of wool cloth was imported (in Novgord, Dutch, English and Flemish smooth wool cloth [сукно, broadcloth] was known), but unique in color wool openwork was produced by the hands of Russian craftswomen, in particular, Novgorodian.  The upper garment of well-to-do city dwellers could even be sewn from imported cotton fabrics.  "Buy mi zendyantsu good", - asks Novgorodian Marina of her husband Grigori in a letter dating from the 14-15th cent.  "Zendyanitsa" - cotton fabric widely known in Novgorod, was produced in the village Zandana not far from Bukhara.  [footnote 14]
The over garment of noble princesses and boyarinas in 10-13th cent. was sewn of eastern embroidered silk ("pavolok" [footnote 15]) or tightly woven vorsistoj [napped] fabric with gold or silver threads, similar to velvet ("aksamita" [footnote 16]).  The Arab travelor of the 10th cent., Ibn-Fadlan, noted that noble women of the Slavs wore "xilu" (халат [oriental robe]) - a upper silk garment.  [footnote 17]  Such a garment is mentioned in the chronicles under description of holiday clothes of women and is called "rizy" (cnhasuble?).  The cloak-cape [плащ-накидка] was long preserved in the costume of ancient Russian women in celebratory clothing.  Comparing the miniatures of the Radzivillovski Chronicle, depicting Grand Princess Olga, with the frescos of Sophia Cathedral of Kiev, among which are, for example, picturesque portrayals of princesses with servants [footnote 19], one can make the conclusion that the over garment was loose and long, consisting of a straight, usually belted, dress, supplemented with open-all-down-the-front [распашным] clothing (a type of cape or cloak), a collar [], a podol [lap, hem, skirt] and a styk [joint, junction, seam] of fabric which was edged with a border [каймой].  On frescoes of St. Sophia's in Kiev, portraying daughters of Yaroslav the Wise, the women were dressed in just such dresses and edged cloaks [плащи].  Not exclusively, that border was sewn on and represented itself as a wide silk braid [тесьма], embroidered with gold.  Galloon/braids [позументы] of such type were found also in burials.  [footnote 20]  "Podvoloki" in/on "golden kamke" (fine silk) - white, yellow, "chervchatoj"(малиновой [raspberry/crimson]) - are mentioned in the will of Verejski and Beloozero Prince Mikhail Andreevich (15th cent.) in the inventory of property bequeathed to daughter Anastasiya.  [footnote 21].
The garments of representatives of the priviledged class, even those not intended for celebratory situations and holiday appearances, were also richly decorated.  Several examples of them are given a miniature from the Izbornik of Svyatoslav of 1073, repeatedly attracting the attention of researchers.  [footnote 22]  In this miniature, on the princess,the wife of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich (according to the Lyubechski sinodik, her name is Kilikiya), is a loose straight dress with wide long sleeves, supplied with "naruchami" [fancy cuffs].  [footnote 23]  The dress is belted; the conformity in color of the naruchej and the belt allows one to think that the belt was woven with gold embroidery.  The bottom of the dress is decorated with a border [каймой], and the top - with a round turned -down collar.  A dress with a collar and shoulders of such mode of decoration can be noticed also in other miniature portrayals, and also in the ornamented letter "K" of a 1270 Gospel.  [footnote 24]
Pre-revolutionary researchers of ancient Russian miniatures and frescoes usually drew direct analogues between princely garments of the examined time and Byzantine fashion of the 10-11th cent.  They named the loose clothes of ancient Russian noble women khitonami [chitons], the belted dresses - dalmatikami [dalmaticas], and the open-front garments [распашные ризы] - mantiyami [mantles].  [footnote 25]  Of course, the acceptance of the orthodox form of Christianity by the Rus could have substantially influenced the widened cultural contacts of Rus and Byzantium and, consequently, contributed to the imitation of several elements of costume.  But ancient Russian costume, including even representatives from the ruling class, was not borrowed.  Fresco painting, princely miniatures and ornaments were notable for well-known canons.  Even N. P. Kondakov noted that the portrayal of the garments of the mother of Yaropolk Izyaslavich in the Trirskoj Psalter corresponds to portrayals of high-ranking clothes of Byzantine courts.  [footnote 26]  Archeological materials, permitting to judge not about elements of costume, but about the costume in whole, were preserved extremely little.  But what has lasted until us, convinces that in the costume of ancient Russian women in the 10-11th centuries was shown not so much a bringing together of Rus with Byzantium, as modifications of several traditional forms existing among eastern slavs in first century of the new [Christian] era:  pull-over garments (sorocheki and so forth), open-front (khalatov [oriental robe], kurtok [jacket], and so forth) and draped (cloaks [плащей]).  [footnote 27]  And besides, existing until our time are examples of the embroidery, which richly decorated the garments of women of all levels of ancient Russian society,  and that allow us to pay attention to traditions of certain designs.  (According to superstition, unclean forces could not go in or go out across openings protected with embroidery.  Therefore in women's garment great meaning was given to the decorated edge - cuffs, forepart [front opening?], hem of skirt and, of course, collar.)  Expecially the circles ("diski") and moon-images "lunnitsy", motifs of "nets" [плетенки], and heart-shaped figures under semi-circular arches are noticeably different from the usual Byzantine ornament.
In frescos, cannonized (kanonizirobannaya) garments of princesses [княгинь, wives] and princesses [княжон, daughters] have only turned down collars (influence of Byzantine tradition).  [footnote 28]  Like the round collars portrayed on frescos - "ozherelki" were not sewn on, but were laid on women's robes.  Among the material remains of women's clothing of the 12th cent. frequently are found a different type of ancient Russian collar - standing, executed on stiff base (birchbark or leather) and covered with silk or other fabric with embroidery of colored or gold thread.  The bottom of collars preserve traces of fastening to garment (the so-called pristyazhnyye [пристяжные]).  [footnote 29]  Embroidered with gold, "seeded with pearls", collars were preserved in the costume of the nobility in the course of several centuries.  In the 13-15 cent. embroidered collars were part of the garments even of women not of the priviledged class.  Such things were transmitted with love from generation to generation.  "Ozherel'ye prestyazhnoe, s peredtsy nizano..." - noted Verejskij and Beloozera Prince Mikhail Andreevich among the treasure inherited by the children.  Volotskaya Princess Ul'yana left to her children a precious ozherel'ye  embroidered with pearls (3,190 pearl grains!).  [footnote 30]
In cold winter time the women of ancient Rus wore a fur garment:  the more well-to-do - from expensive furs, the less noble - from cheap furs.  Furs ("skora") are mentioned in "Tales of Bygone Years".  Expensive furs (ermine, sable and pr.) are mentioned in chronicles only with reference to women's princely clothing.  [footnote 31]  It is well-known that in the 13th cent., noble Russian women gladly adorned the fur trimming of dresses with little ermine skins, and the most well-to-do made from them nakladki [cover pieces] along the hem of garments, reaching in width to the knee, which couldn't help astonishing foreign travelors.  Lynx/bobcat furs were favorites in the clothing of noble women.  Yaroslavna - heroine of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign" - had a shubka of beaver ("...omochu bebryan sleeves v Kayale retse..." - she wails).  Women of middle means wore squirrel shuby.  For example, one of Novgorod birchbark letters mentions the furs of squirrel and wolverine - they often were received in the form of tribute, bought up from neighbors to resell in other countries.  Now and then, among archeological finds are come across pieces of bear or wolf fur.
Shuby in that time were worn by women only with the fur inside and originally the top was not covered up by anything (from here came the name - kozhux).  But with time nagol'naya (not covered up) fur garments became considered crude, and shuby became covered by fabric and the cover was made from the most expensive and striking pieces.  A 15th cent. princess could have up to ten shuby, and even more:  crimson [багряная], and raspberry/scarlet [червчатая], and tsini (blue-gray [сизая]), and white-sky blue [бело-голубая], and green, as testifies the will of Ulyana Mickailovna Kholmskoj.  Apart from "kozhuxa on squirrel chrevax" (from chrevo - belly) she had two shuby of sable, and a blue-gray shubka was sewn of "dikogo" (gray-sky blue) velvet with golden embroidery and "veneditskoj" (venetian) kamki (silk).  [footnote 32]  Shuby were worn with great care and passed on from mothers to daughters.
Ancient frescoes tell that the clothing of noble women was many-colored and assumed striking combinations, fresh, rich tones.  In Novgorod birchbark letter No. 262 is mentioned "portishche zeleni", in the next - "portishche golubine" (i.e. green and sky blue clothing), in letter No. 288 - "zolotnik zelenogo sholku" ["old measure of weight" of green silk].  And examples of such type can be found quite a lot.  "Tserleniyj" (chervleniyj), i.e. scarlet-red, blue, brown, green-yellow, and green colors were supplemented by gold and silver embroidery in clothing.  Embroidery with metal thread distinguished the costume not only of women of princely origin, but also representative of the affluent village population.  Domestic workshops plaited, and spun fine gold thread with linen.  In the 11-12th cent. most often of all sewed "v proem" (pierce/punctured fabric), with the long stitches on face, while short were on reverse side.  In 12-13th cent. gold thread was arranged/laid on fabric and fastened with silk [i.e. couched].  [footnote 33]  The design of embroidery was various; most often of all were found intricate/whimsical curved stems, stylized flowers, circles, geometric figures.
The favorite color in the costume of women of all classes was red.  In the parable of the good wife in "Tales of Bygone Years" is mentioned "chervleny [scarlet-red] and bagryany [crimson] clothing".  About this speaks archeological finds, among which more than half are fabric of reddish-brown tones, however one comes across also black, and bluish, and green, and light-brown.  They dyed fabrics mainly with vegetable, more rarely with animal dyes.  Blue dye was made from son-travy (literally "dream/sleep-herb, actually pasque flower? maybe?), cornflower, blueberry/huckleberry [черники]; yellow - from droka [dyer's greenweed], leaves of birch; golden-brown - from onion peels, oak and pear bark.  The abundance of red tints in the costumes of ancient Russian women is made clear by the fact that red color was a color of "protection" and that there existed numerous natural dyes, coloring fabric in red-brown colors:  buckwheat, St. Johns wort, bark of wild apple tree, alder, buckthorn.  [footnote 34]
The wills of princes give an idea of the multi-colored ancient Russian women's costume.  Such, Ivan Danilovich Kalita to his daughters Marya and Feodosya "nynecha dressed up" "kozhyukh", lined with fur, decorated with "alamami" and pearls.  ("Kozhyux" (koshux) - buttoned in front appear as an upper garment, men's or women's, for the rich covered with satin, aksamite, moire [объярь], kamka [silk] or smooth wool cloth [сукно].  Ob"yar' and kamka - silk imported fabric.)  Decoration with "alamami" - with silver and gold engraved/embossed plaques - gave clothing special splendor and festiveness.  Mentions of "szhenchushnyx alamax" [pearled plaques] are met also in other documents.  Such ornaments of clothes were very expensive and, of course, passed down in inheritance by princes to their wives among other moveable property:  "...but that remains gold or silver or other that there is, all to my princess..." [footnote 35]  Judging by documents of the Verejski and Beloozero Prince Mikhail Andreevich, the majority of objects from his will belonged to dresses of his wife and were left to his daughter Anastasiya.  In her wardrobe were letniki - a light women's garment with long, wide sleeves ("nakapkami") - sewn of striped moire, and green and yellow kamka.  The sleeves of letniki frequently were embroidered with"voshvi" - with stripes of aksamite, black and crimson.  The women's winter "korteli" (garment analogus to the letnik, but lined with fur) in the property of a Verejski prince were warmed with marten, squirrel, sable, and ermine; they were decorated with various-colored "voshvy" - green, blue, black, "chervchatye" [raspberry/crimson].  The best, judging by the description, were shubki:  white, "ore"-yellow, crimson, green, "chervchataya", one of which was lined with fox.  In the middle of the 12th cent. one fox cost more than a ruble of silver.  [footnote 36]
Befitting this toilet is the collection of clothing of the Volotskoj princess-wife Ul'yana Mikhailovna.  Raspberry/crimson gold velvet and burskaya [бурская, Boer?] gold kamka, lined with sable and marten fur, served as materials for sewing seven shuby and "kortely".  From French scarlet broadcloth ("skorlat") was sewn the "opashna" - an unusual garment for contemporary person with very long sleeves narrowing to the wrist, and the back cut longer than the front.  They wore "opashni" over the shoulders.  Curiously, that princess Xolmskaya bequeathed to her daughter even worn/removed/ripped off covers [спорки] of clothing - also sufficiently valuable:  "...nakapki sazhony (with pearls. - N.P.), and voshva  on one nakapku sewn with gold da sazhena [seeded?] was with pearls, da  pearls from it cut, but remained it a little..."  Besides that, were enumerated silver gilded buttons from women's shuby, lace [кружево] on "portishche" [a garment, or a piece of fabric cut for a garment, or garment cover or...], sewn with gold and silver.  The princess also bequeathed something "to [his] liking" to Egorevsky abbot Misail:  a "kortel'  " of light blue taffeta on squirrel and a fox dushegreya.  [footnote 37]
A distinctive and bright part of the most ancient women's garment was the head dress - an obligatory addition to any costume of Russian women.  It had in ancient Russian costume not only aesthetic meaning as it completed the costume, but also social meaning as it showed the means of the family, and also ethical - for a married woman to go bare headed was disgraceful.  The tradition came from the time of paganism when the covering of the head signified protection of the woman herself and her relatives from evil forces.  Women's hair was considered dangerous, harmful for those around, (probably in the first turn for men).  [footnote 38]  From this - the characteristic for orthodox tradition not to go in with uncovered head to church or, for example, the unwritten rule of contemporary ladies to sit inside with hat on.
The headdress corresponded to the family and social position of ancient Russian women.  The distinguishing feature of the headdress of married women was that it wholly covered the hair.  Maidens were free from this strict order.  They often wore hair loose or else braided in one braid; the crown of the head was always open.  [footnote 39]  In the wedding ritual from time immemorial the rite of the change of hairdo and headdress [footnote 40] was one of most important:  a girl became a woman in the eyes of those around her not after the first night with the groom but already when on her was placed the woman's kika - the dress of the married woman.
Finds at excavations of koruny, venky, ventsy, and venchiki, i.e. maiden's headdresses of 10-13 cent., although rare, allow one to form an idea of them.  A narrow strip of metal or material surrounded the brow and fastened at the back of the head.  A more complicated, richly adorned venchik was called a "koruna".  A representation of a koruna can be found in the Izbornik of Svyatoslav 1073 ("Deva" [virgo] from the signs of the Zodiak).  [footnote 41]  The koruna was formed with a rigid base, covered with fabric (sometimes under the fabric was laid a bolster), and distinctively decorated.  Koruny most often of all served as holiday dress of unmarried women-city dwellers, while village inhabitants until marriage wore more often maidenly ventsy.  There are discernable three main variants of ventsy:  1) flexible metal (silver, more rarely bronze); 2) nalobnyj [on brow] venets-povyazka  [venets-band] of brocade and sometimes even wool or linen fabric, embroidered and richly ornamented; 3) venets from metal plates, strung on threads or cords.  The maidenly venets was a distinctly decorated maidenly headdress:  not infrequently from the venets at the temple were braided two pigtails, which were passed then through temple rings; another variant - the venets supported hair, lying in loops, let down in front of ears from temple (in this case the hair seems to "podstilali" [spread under] the temple ornaments).  The nalobnyj maiden venets, made of ribbon, was frequently ornamented with wool fringe (evidently in compliment of clothing - the wool skirt-ponyova), as a woman's burial from a 13th cent. kurgan of Vyatiche confirms.  [footnote 42]
The decoration of the ancient Russian maiden koruna and nalobnye venchiky attest that this form of headdress arose from floral venky.  A garland of flowers on the head of a maiden was also a symbol of coming-of-age and purity.  The artistic decorations of the bolster of a koruny were called on to create the impression of a wreath of living flowers:  separate elements were arched, made in relief, decorated with colored glass beads, and, according to the sufficiency of the wealth of the family - with jewels.  [footnote 43]  Flanders knight Gilbert of Lanua, visiting Novgorod in 1413, noticed that here "girls have diadems on the crown of the head, like saints have..."  Interesting description of such "diadems", i.e. of maidens ventsy "z gorody" (with teeth), is kept in the will of Verjski Prince Mikhail Andreevich:  "...venets z gorody, with ruby/sapphires, with laly (rubies - N. P.), da z  grains [pearl grains] s veliki[mi] (pearls - N.P.); another venok hung with great pearls, ryasy [temple chains/strings] with ruby/sapphire da s laly, koltki  of gold with ruby/sapphire..."  [footnote 44]
The headdress of married women was embellished even more richly.  Developed in 12-15th cent. and acquiring the name kika (kichka), it absorved elements of the traditional women's headdresses of the eastern Slavs - the koruna and also the polotenchaty [towel-like] headdress - the ubrusa or povoya [kerchief], which is one of the most ancient.  The ubrus and povoj completely covered the air of women, their ends hung down on the back, shoulders and chest.  The povoj was known already in the 10th cent.; similar head cloth covers were worn then also by Byzantine women, and as a result Russian bourgeoisie historians named the Russian povoj "maforiej" or "fatoj", although there is no basis to speak about borrowing the povoj from Byzantium.  The princess on a miniature of the Izbornika of Svyatoslav 1073, the women on frescos of the Novgorod church Spasa Nereditsy, Grand Princess Olga on one of miniatures of Madridski manuscript, and also in the pictures of the Radzivillovski chronicle, and on the frescoes of the church Fedora Stratilata - all of these appear before us in fine cloth head coverings, and judging by the soft folds of fabric, "pavolochityx", i.e. silk.  [footnote 45]  Later over povoj was worn thekorona-kokoshnik, or the kika (toothed/jagged, radial or tower-formed) [зубчатая, лучевая или башеннообразная], and in winter - a hat with fur hat band and rounded crown.  In all situations the part of the head dress over the forehead was decorated more richly.  [footnote 46]  In the future, the front part of the kiki (chelo or ochel'e), decorated with pearls, embroidery or precious stones, was made detachable.  [footnote 47]  However, the ochel'e could be placed also on the povoj:  the edge of the cloth of the headdress embroidered with fine glass beads, covering the forehead of women, was found in peasant graves of 12th cent in Podmoskove.  Temple and other adornments of married women were held up already not by hair, but by the kika.  [footnote 48]
One of ornaments of kika and povoya was ryasy, mentioned already by Daniil Zatochnik.  [footnote 49]  They presented themselves as a fringe of beads or pearls strung on threads.  "Ryasy with ruby/sapphire" are known from will of Verijski prince Mikhail Alexandrovich.  In the 14-15th cent. ryasy solidly went into everyday life and in prosperous families were passed on from generation to generation, becoming in 16-17th cent. the basis for diverse modifications.  [footnote 50]
The changes in headdresses are connected with development of decoration of the entire costume of ancient Russian women.  Women's adornments in 10-13th cent. are one of the most frequent finds in excavations of kurgans of that time.  In kurgans of antiquity can be set apart two main groups, distinguished by starting material:  those made from metal and those made from glass.  In 10-15th cent were used also bone and wood ornaments, while in the costumes of city-dwellers of North-West Rus - amber.
In 10-13th cent., one of the most widespread women's ornaments in Rus, which gladdened representatives of all classes of ancient Russian society, was the temple ring.  Archeologists consider them ethnic-defining signs.  For example, the Novgorod Slovenes wore romboshchitkovye [romboid panel] temple rings; the women of Polotskoj land - bracelet-shaped; the ancestors of modern Muscovites, the Vyatichi - seven-bladed, etc.  The most widespread were wire temple rings, but are met also beaded and shield [щитковый], and radial/rayed [лучевые].  [footnote 51]  The methods of mounting the ring to the headdress or hair were various.  Rings could be hung on ribbons, small straps or little braids, could be pinned to ribbon, as if forming small row.  Sometimes the temple rings passed through the lobe of the ear, like earrings.  With the disappearance of this type of ornament in the 14-15th cent, in the attire of representatives of the priviledge classes appeared hollow kolti, fastened to the headdress (analogous to the rings) on small straps, small chains or ryaski (a chain of kolodochek [little metal logs]).  Radial/rayed [лучевые] kolty of the 13-15th cent. are frequent finds in excavations of buried treasure hoards.  [footnote 52]
Women's earrings are met with more rarely than temple rings and neck ornaments like in descriptions of early written sources, as also among archeological finds.  One of the types of women's earring - in the form of a question mark - was discovered in Novgorod and dated to the 13-15th cent.  Women's earrings are mentioned in the will of a certain Volotski princess.  Judging by their writings, the housewife was very thrifty and well knew the price of all such "melochi" [little things] in her treasury.  An old princess indicated in her will that three stones from her earring - two ruby/sapphires and one lal (ruby) - were sewn into an elegant hat of her son Ivan;  the earrings without the small stones she set aside for her future daughter-in-law ("and grant God, my son Ivan to marry..."), while to the wife of her oldest son - also a pair of earrings with ruby/sapphires and lalami (rubies), stones from which buttons of ozherel'ya [collar/necklace] of her son.  [footnote 53]
Significantly more often than earrings, hollow round kolti  are come across in descriptions and among excavations of kurgans and buried treasure hoards.  They were made of various metals, always hollow (not exclusively there was inserted fabric, saturated with essential, fragrant oils), richly decorated with "partitioned" enamel, granules, and filigree.  Since kolty are found mainly in excavations of urban settlements, one can make the conclusion that kolty were ornaments mainly of representatives of urban and local feudal nobility.  In the beginning of the 13th cent. there appeared kolty of tin-lead alloy, imitating the expensive silver and gold, but with more simple decoration, in imitation of the ornaments of the nobility from valuable metals.  After the Horde conquest, such kolty are not traced, although in the wills of the nobility, kolty with valuable stones are mentioned still longer.  [footnote 54]  Probably, they remained in use only as family relics of representatives of nobility.
Not less popular with women of all classes were neck ornaments and most of all glass beads.  They consist of hundreds of varieties, each with its unique ornament, form, and coloring.  Set apart are four types of glass bead, worn by ancient Russian city-dwellers:  1) of blue, black, light-green glass with intricate "eyes"; 2) of many-layered glass small rods, which were divided and pierced; 3) hollow beads; 4) and finally polyhedra/many-sided, carved of hardened solid glass, as of stone.  Beads [бусы] of many-colored "rublennogo bicera" [chopped beads] had the greatest prevalence.  [footnote 55]  Ibn-Fadlan, describing his visit on the Volga in the 10th cent. noticed that the wives of theRus especially liked green beads.  He claimed that husbands went broke, paying 15-20 coins of silver for each green bead.  Among kurgans, finds of green beads are rare; in modest burials are come across blue, turquoise, yellow and striped.  In the environment of thenobility ornaments received large prevalence, combining beads of various materials (for example, hollow gold, pearl grains, and also fashioned/turned-on-lathe of valuable stones).  A Volotskaya princess bequeathed eight such gold "pronizok" [pierced] to her children.  [footnote 56]
In distinction from "democratic" beads, metal hoops [обручи]- grivny were worn also as ornament on the neck in 10-13 cent. and rather later, appeared as the property only of prosperous peasants and city-dwellers.  On many necks grivny preserved traces of repairs - a sign that they represented well-known value.  The most valuable grivny were bilonovye (an alloy of copper and silver); the most wide-spread were copper or bronze, sometimes with traces of silver coating.  Are distinguished drotovye [rod?], round wire, plastinchatye [metal plate?] and twisted [витые] grivny.  Each type corresponded to a definite natural habitat of spread.  For example, near Ladozhski Lake are twisted and drotovye grivny, while the women of North-East Rus wore mainly twisted, etc. grivny.  Twisted/braided [жгутовые] grivny invariably are met on miniatures, depicting scenes of weddings.  In the Nikonovski chronicle can be counted 23 depictions of griven.  [footnote 57]
Neck grivny preceded later metal ornaments of the ozherelij type (from the ancient Russian word zherlo - neck), although they continued to exist as holiday ornaments of noble women even in 16th cent. "But that gold to my wife Olenino, to ec'm gave daughter her Fetin'i, 14 hoops and necklaces, to mother her necklace new, that es'm forged. And chelo and grivna te est gave pri cebe", - Ivan Kalita wrote in his will.  Necklaces [мониста] of pearl grains, gold badges/plates [бляшек] and similar valuables are also well-known both by the assembly of materials and by the chronicle memorials.  Volinski prince Vladimir Vasilkovich "pobi and pol'ya" [?] in bar of necklace "of his wife and mother".  Dmitrovski prince Yuri Vasilevich bequeathed to Ryazan Grand Princess Anna a necklace with which "his wife" - Sofya Vitovtovna - "blessed" him.  Ozherel'ya  with "pearl seeded" and "great ruby/sapphires" [яхонты] are mentioned in will of Verejski prince Mikhail Andreevich, and "ozherel'noj of pearls" - in the will of a Volotskoj princess.  [footnote 58]
Very valuable and expensive neck ornaments of women of priviledged classes were chains (tsepi).  Among these appeared kol'chatye (of rings), and "ognichatye" (of oblong "ogniv"), and chernenye [black?] (they were called "vranye tsepi" [raven chains]), and also in form of trihedron prisms.  "While that ring gold - to Ofim'ino", - writes in his will Novgorodian Fedor Ostaf'evich, transfering further "tsepetsku gold ring" and other "tsepetsku gold raven".  In birchbark letter No. 138 (from the second half of the 13th cent.) are named two chains, valued at two rubles.  For this money in Novgorod in the 14th cent. could be purchased 400 squirrel hides.  From the beginning of the 13th cent. dates the first mention of gold chains as a women's ornament in the Ipatevski chronicle.  A "khrest'chatuyu" gold chain (its drawing shows tiny linked golden crosses [krestikov]) was given by Kashinski princess Vasilisa Semenovna to Grand Prince Vasili Dmitrievich, while the same chain was included in her dowry.  [footnote 59]
An inalienable part of the costume of women-city-dwellers of North-West Rus [the Novgorod lands] in 10-13th cent were chest and waist priveski - varied in form metal ornaments, constituting part of the ozherle'ya  [necklace/collar].  The majority of privesok had also symbolic meaning - playing the role of amulets.  They were worn on long cords or "chepkakx" (small chains), fastened to the dress on the chest or on the belt.  Priveski were made of silver, copper, bronze, and bilona [alloy of silver and copper].  By outward contour they are divided into zoomorphic forms, and reproductions of objects of life and symbolizing plenty (spoons, keys, combs, etc.) or wealth (small knives, hatchets).  The later - together with swords - were symbols of the worship of Perun.  Also worn were small bells, noise-making priveski, needle cases, and also geometric priveski (circles, moons, little crosses, rhombi, clover-shaped, spear-shaped, etc.).  [footnote 60]  At the present time are known 200 types of privski; several of these appeared among the Slavs as a result of borrowing from neighbors, for example from Ugro-Finns.  One of most favorite priveski-amulets of ancient Russian women was the little horse with outstretched ears and turned-up-in-a-ring tail.  The horse was a symbol of good and luck, connected with the cult of the sun and in priveski invariably surrounded little circles - solar symbols.  Besides horses frequently wore stylized portrayals of water birds, personifying the life-giving property of water.  Many Novgorodians wore on the belt on leather laces ob"emnye [three-dimensional] (hollow inside) depictions of animals with one or two heads, tails twisted in a spiral and small chains instead of legs.  [footnote 61]
"Everyday" priveski-amulets were produced for the most part in the countryside and were part of the costume of rural residents.  The countryside preserved the devotion to pagan cults longer than the city, therefore in rural burials among priveski often appear moons and crosses, connected with the ancient pagan deity Yarilo.  [footnote 62]
Favorite ornaments of both city-dwellers and peasants were also small bells with various splits/sections.  As a typical ornament of women's costume they existed right up to the 15th cent, at that time as the above-named priveski existed only to 13th cent.  Small bells worn in complex with other priveski and and in composition of beads, sometimes hung from neck grivny.  They could be ornaments of venets or kika, and could be braided in hair on small hanging straps.  Small bells were frequently used even in the capacity of buttons.  But for the most part this was a traditional hanging ornament of the belt, on sleeves, and leather waist/belt purses.  In the era of the middle ages there were no pockets in women's clothing and the waist purse - kalita (money bag) - fulfilled their function.  According to the beliefs of the eastern slavs, bells and other noise-making priveski were considered symbolic representations of the Thunderer-god, guarding people from evil spirits and unclean forces.  [footnote 63]
Among hanging ornaments of nobility were known also medallions.  They were made from silver or gold, decorated with "partitioned" enamel, grains, filigree.  [footnote 64]  Since the 12th cent. medallions of cheaper alloys [aka zmeeviki?] began to be produced in imitation of the expensive ones, cast in imitating forms.  Part of costume of the ancient Russian nobility were objects, analogous in type to the podveski-amulets [podveski are basically the same as priveski] of peasants and city-dwellers.  For example, in the will of prince Dmitri Ivanovich (1509) mentions "mayalki (noise-making priveski - N.P.) with ruby/sapphire and with pearls".  [footnote 65]
One more ornament of womens' attire (especially of formal/festive outfits) were clasps (fibuli).  They were made from iron, tin-lead alloy, copper, bronze, and silver.  One of the first mentions of fibuli is kept in the "Tales of Bygone Years" under the year 945, but the largest number of archeological finds fall in strata of the 10-12th cent.  In one grave usually is found only one large priveska-clasp, more rarely - two.  They wore them either on the shoulder, or on the chest (they fastened the upper, draped clothing of cloak and cape type).  With small fibulami ancient Russian women fastened sorochki [rubakha] at the collar, fastened amulets and priveski to the belt, and also household objects:  keys, fire steels, small knives.  Fibulami could fasten also ornaments to women's headdresses.  [footnote 66]  Up to the 10th cent. clasps-fibuli were only large, massive, but later - in the 14-15th cent. - predominated light, small ones.  In all centuries this type of ornament was decorated richly, ornament varied depending on the ethno-national region, the degree of skill of the forger, the engraver, and other similar causes.  The same structural-functional meaning that fibuly had, had also pins [булавки] in women's outer costume - characterisic of costume only of noble city-dwellers.  Two identical in form and size clothing pins with long bar/pivot and large "slit" head, united with a small chain, supported the vcstyk [in-joint, straight?] edge of the cloak.  [footnote 67]
In the 15th cent. cloaks and capes were used more rarely, and together with changes of form, the clothing was changed and also the set of its traditional accessories.  Fibuly became also a completely rare ornament.  But the belt remained a necessary accessory of women's clothing.  Gold belts, consisting of gilded metal badges-plate/piece/straps [бляшек-накладок] also appeared as signs of feudal dignity, - a favorite object of blessing by princes for their relatives in their wills.  The will of princess Ul'yana Mikhailovna mentions her gold belt; two belts of that type are mentioned in the will of Glitskoi prince Dmitri Ivanovich.  Women's belts, analogous to those depicted on miniature of the Izbornik of Svyatoslav 1073, are known from olden times; they were made of silk, of cloth of gold or silver threads, velvet or leather with forged/hammered metal badges.  Often expensive metal finished only the tips of belts, completed with small bells, while the belt itself was decorated with gold or silver thread - spiral twisted gold or silver fine wire.  For poorer women these badges ("nauzol'niki") were copper or bronze.  [footnote 68]
Ancient Russian city dwellers obviously gladly wore also glass bracelets.  Their fragments are found among excavations of ancient layers (beginning of 10th cent.), but most often of all they appear in the smallcities of the 11-13th cent. where the quantity of such finds is numbered in the thousands.  Are come across light blue, blue, green and yellow fragments of bracelets, which give an idea about the principle of their creation:  glass sticks were bent in ring, the rods were painted and sometimes were twisted with metal or glass filaments of a contrasting color.  Glass bracelets were mainly the ornaments of city-dwellers, while metal - both of city dwellers and peasants.  Most often of all they find copper and bronze manufacture, more rarely silver and bilonovye [silver/copper alloy].  Gold lamellar bracelets -"obruchi" were the priviledge only of the urban nobility. They wore bracelets both on the left and on the right arms, often on both and by several each. Lamellar bracelets often were worn on the forearm near the elbow joint.  Many bracelets were worn over the sleeves of sorochki.  Strikingly great in number are their variety:  rod [дротовые], twisted [витые], pseudotwisted [ложновитые] (cast in a form imitating twisted bracelets), woven [плетеные], lamellar [пластинчатые], lad'evidnye (boatshaped), uzkomassivnye [literally "tight/narrow massive"] (in the form of a rhomboid or oval stretched-across-wrist) and others.  Specific folding bracelets of bilona (silver/copper alloy), lead with tin, and silver, in such cases gilded, were only for the city.  [footnote 69]
Among women's ornaments especially widespread in 10-15th cent were perstni (finger rings).  This explains the most important role of perstni in the wedding ceremony.  Although then worn also by men, perstni were all the same a women's ornament.  There exists a find of a perstenechka [little ring] in a child's grave - on the hand of a girl of 2-3 years.  Perstni were worn, of course, on hands, but in several graves they were worn even on the toes.  Perstni are one of most numerous archoeological finds among ornaments.  They frequently repeated the forms of bracelets (twisted, weaved, lamellar, etc.).  The seal/signet perstni had an individual form, and also Novgorodian perstni with settings - green, blue, light blue, black, transparent glass.  Seal/signet perstni and Novgorodian with settings received dissemination not earlier than the 13th cent., and existed right up until 15th cent. and even later.  Representations on signet/seal perstni (birds, wild animals, flowers, triangles) served also as personal signs of owners, and if imprinted on wax after text of a document, countersigned the transaction.  [footnote 70]
Shoes completed women's costume.  One of the first mentions of "sapozek" [boot] and "laptex" is contained in the Lavrent'evski chronicle under the year 987.  Mostly rural inhabitants wore lapti of various weaving (oblique, straight - depending on the traditions of the ethnic region).  Lapti were made of bast (the inner part of bark of larch trees) and birchbark, which long were soaked and straightened under a press.  For completion of one pair of lapti on a small woman's foot it was necessary to kill three to four young linden/lime trees, and such lapti were worn, even those woven "with podkovyrkoj" (a double sole), from several days up to a week.  The form of lapti was varied depending on locality:  southern and polesski lapti were open, while northern - "bakhili" - had the form of a narrow boot.  Lapti, woven of leather, were much more durable than bast, but more expensive.  In order to combine low price with durability, in the country they often used a combined weaving of lapti from bast and leather straps.  In cities lapti in 12-14th cent. were made also of "cuts" of fabric, little pieces of broadcloth and even of silk ribbon.  In that case they were called pleteshki [wicker/weaving].  [footnote 71]
Women's leather shoes were sewn in the 13-14 cent. in cities from the hides of horses, cattle, sheep and goats [крупного и мелкого рогатого скота].  [footnote 72]  Chronicles, describing the legendary journey of apostle Andrew to Novgorod in the 12th cent, report:  "Amazing sight of Slovenian land, induchi mi village.  Sight of bath of wood...  and sovlokut'cya i budut' nazi, and obleyutsya with kvas usniyanym"..." ("usnie" - ancient Russian name of leather).  [footnote 73]  Loosened by pickling/fermenting in bread kvas, leather was tanned with bark of willow, alder, andoak (from this [the word for oak "dub"] came the very term "tanned" - "dublenie"); and then the leather was smoothed out, greased for elasticity and was kneaded.  In such a way came about most expensive sort of leather - yuft' [Russian leather] and poluval [calf-leather], but only noble boyarinas could flaunt in them.  Russian leather was colored in bright colors, about which testifies both princely miniatures, and frescoes, depicting noble women.  On the mother of Yaropolk Izyaslavich from the Trirski psalter are red slippers [башмачки]; and such a portrayal had princess Kilikiya, wife of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich (Izbornik 1073), and also a wife of a Novgorod boyar on the icon "Worshipping Novgorodians" (15th cent).  Archeological finds confirm that the colors of leather women's shoes were various - not only red, but also greenish, yellow, and brown.  [footnote 74]
Soft Russian leather [юфть] of different colors was not affordable for simple Novgorodians.  They wore shoes of rawhide leather - the so-called porshi.  [footnote 75]  Shoes for "porshni" were not tanned, but only kneaded and saturated with oil.  It was very durable, only quickly saturated in the rain.  Women's leather shoes were sewn with linen threads, which for durability were sewn in.  Soft women's "porshni" with a small number of seams were made frequently of the more thin and delicate parts of the leather of the animal, mainly from its "chreva" - belly; they even were named "cherev'ya" (cherevichki).  Everyday porshni and cherv'ya were embellished only with unusual seams ("pleteshok"  ).  Around the edges of "porshni"  small leather straps were passed through, which tightened the shoes around the leg, forming small pleats, also ornamenting the shoes.  Openwork porshni were far more stylish.  They were made often with a cloth lining.  Ornament of openwork presented itself most often of all as parallel slits, little stripes.  In cases of wearing out of such shoes, they carefully were repaired with little leather patches.  Besides openwork from the 10th cent. there existed embroidery of shoes with wool and silk threads, and also stamping/embossing them.  Openwork and embroidered "porshni" appeared in cities (Novgorod, Grodno, Starij Ryazan, Pskov) no earlier than 11th cent.  [footnote 76]
Soft shoes, reminding of contemporary children's pinetki [baby bootees], were a widespread type of women's leather shoes.  The majority of such shoes had a small strap let in at the ankle, tied up in front on the instep.  The length of the footprint in discovered examples of women's shoes does not exceed 20-22 centimeters; that speaks to the fact that the feet of city dwellers of that time were highly miniature.
Half boots [polucapozhki] of city dwellers were short and not stiff:  in back of them lacked the hard padding ofbirchbark or oak, obligatory in boots.  Such shoes, half-boots were ornamented with embroidery.  Among embroidery of the shoes of Pskov of 12-13th cent. predominate small red circles (solar symbols), proshvy [stripes] of dark threads (portrayal of road) and green flourishes (symbol of life).  From the 12th cent the favorite type of shoes of well-to-do inhabitants of ancient Russian cities were boots - blunt-toed and sharp-toed (depending on the traditions of the given area), and the toe was a little raised up.  Pskovskie boots were without fail with a little leather, composition, narrow heel (from the 14th cent.), while, for example, Ryazanskie were distinguished by a triangular leather inset on the toe.  Bright little leather boots with edging material and embroidery of colored threads, and river pearls appeared as an addition to the stylish and holiday garb of wealthy women, as a distinctive indicator of the income of the family, as a necessary attribute of the garment of a personage, shrouded with authority.  [footnote 78]
Thus, the combination of the main objects and ornaments of women's costume of 10-15th cent. could give a presentation not only of outward appearance, but also of the social, family position of a woman and the place of her residence.
The foundation of the costume of ancient Russian peasants in the 10-15th cent. was formed by the long to ankle rubakha (sorochka) and thigh [nabedrennoe] clothing (ponyova).  An obligatory part of women's peasant garment was the belt.  The richer a village inhabitant was, the bigger in her attire, especially for holidays, were all kinds of ornament, the higher the quality of their manufacture, and the more expensive the utilized materials.  The most conspicuous part of the costume of peasant women of the pre-Mongol period was the headdress (venets for maidens and kika for married women), and also its ornaments - temple rings, by the form of which could be judged from where its owner came.  Peasants wore earrings, beads, priveski, copper bracelets and perstni [finger rings].  On the feet of rural women were lapti.  The composition of the costume of ancient Russian city dwellers was more complicated and included greater number of objects.  Over a long sorochka they wore one or several gowns of straight or widening cut and an open-down-the-front [распашное] garment.  The number of garments depended on the season and the material circumstances of the family.  The outer dress was made shorter than the lower garment and had wider sleeves.  The hem and cuffs of the lower garment always were visible, forming a stepped silhouette.  As in the costume of peasants, a belt was added to the attire.
In the garb of noble city dwellers, princesses and boyarinas were used expensive, most often imported, fabrics.  Of velvety aksamite were sewn open-down-the-front garments of a type of cloak with a clasp on the right shoulder - part of the holiday clothes of princesses.  The distinctive features of climatic conditions (cold winters) were the cause of special attention to warm fur-lined clothing - the shuba, which at that time was worn with the fur inside.  The headdress of city dwellers of all classes (koruna for maidens and kika with povoj for married women) in form had much in common with peasants, which were determined by its rural origin, however decoration of it was complex, intricate.  As ornament of the headdress of city dwellers a long time served kolty on ryasny (for the prosperous they were  made of valuable metals).  The necks of city dwellers "ogruzhali" [were surrounded by] metal grivny and necklaces [ожерелье] of beads.  Boyarinas and princesses wore over sleeves at wrist and forearm massive folding bracelets; city dwellers a bit more poor were content with different-colored glass.  In distinction from peasants called "lapotnits" , city dwellers and the representatives of the ruling class were "all in boots".  The leather shoes of the 10-13th cent. - porshni, soft shoes [туфли], half boots and boots without heel or stiff base - were cut simply and crudely, but then were brightly colored.
In the 14-15th cent. the loose stepped silhouette of clothings, emphasizing the stateliness [statnost'] of Russian women, endured little change.  Innovation affected the attire of rural inhabitants less of all, although temple rings (evidence of ethno-tribal characteristics) or, for example, noise-making priveski (sign of proximity with Ugro-Finnish tribes) gradually disappeared from the headdresses of peasants.  For noble city dwellers, boyarinas, princesses instead of the cloak appeared letniki, "korteli", and "opashni".  In cold autumn or winter day they wore kozhukhi and shuby ["sheepskin coat" and "fur coat", respectively], which in rich families now lay beneath bright expensive fabrics.  The favorite color of clothing traditionally remained red.  The quantity and quality of gowns and decorations as before conditioned the social prestige of their owners.  The shoes of Marfa Boretski and her contemporaries (at the end of the 15th cent.) became significantly more complex in cut and design: appeared openwork, and composite manufacture.  "Porshni " completely went out of use; everyday shoes became more comfortable in construction.  In the 14-15th cent. half boots and boots with little composition leather heels on a stiff base gained the most wide spread, and became the favorite shoes of city dwellers and also princesses and boyarinas.
The manufacture of clothes, spinning and weaving, sewing and embroidery was the everyday needlework of all women - rich and poor, mistresses and their servants.  Thanks to the women themselves, women's clothing became genuine works of art.  Of this writes even the chroniclers:  "Finding wool and flax create all that is necessary/useful by their own hands... Rutse [hands?] their own stretch out on useful, their elbows direct the spindle...  Exceptional clothing they create..."  [footnote 79]
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