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What is Russian kokoshnik?

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Peter the Great's (1672-1725) attempts to Westernize Russia were partially manifested in changes to the traditional costume of the court. Though they were not required by law to adhere to the reformations, the peasant class commonly adopted aspects of Western styles blended with folk dress. This headdress in particular is an excellent example of the melding of cultures found in Russian history. The shape of this headdress is nearly identical to a French style from Alsace illustrated in Auguste Racinet's "The Complete History of Costume". This type of crossover is characteristic of the evolution of Russian dress. Married women were required to cover their hair entirely lest they be considered immodest, therefore headdresses, or kokoshniks were often accompanied by a venchik, a forehead covering made of fabric or metal.
The picture and text is from The Metropolitan Museum web-site. I have found it very interesting that something like this can be found in the North America! Definitely should go see it if I am ever making it there!

2 comments:

Irina Belinskaya said...

And the wig is not needed, and the crown on his head. ;)

Natalia Khon said...

No wig is needed :) This "crown" was needed to hide ALL the hair of a woman :)

 
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