The bright, original folk costumes of Russia clothing kept traditional forms among peasants until the beginning of XX century. There were tsar crowns and girls’ wreaths that were handed on down the generations, and practical ponevas designed for married women and, of course, all kinds of sarafan dresses.
Sbornik was a whole group of old head-dresses. The word means the way of making the hat – assembling the material into folds on the top like a comb. This comb look creates a unique style and had a magic meaning to protect the person and to produce the next generation. The sbornik headpiece differed from one region to another in the old Rus. Some looked more like kokoshniks, others were very close to povoynik hats. Povoynik is a decorated textile hat covering the hair of the married women.
In the central part of Russia sborniks were often used at the wedding ceremony.
Another old forgotten word is poneva. The poneva skirt consisted of the plaid or striped material piece gathered on a string or wrapped around the hips, which was put on a long loose shirt. Young women wore simple long shirts with the embroidered sleeves and bottom, tied with a belt around. The poneva costumes were put on when a girl became a bride or a wife. In some regions ponevas were made like long aprons tied around the waist to warm the hips. Ponevas were decorated in the traditional ways with the embroidery and bright trims.
Rubakha shirts and Sarafans
Rubakhas, long homespun shirts were a main clothing attribute for kids, women and men of all ages in all the regions across Russia. Women needed a rubakha shirt to put on under a sarafan dress. These shirts were often embroidered on the chest and shoulders with traditional symbolic patterns. The geometric and pagan embroidery was meant to protect the person from evil or whammy. The sleeves decoration served more festive purposes.
The sarafan dress was the most popular wear in most regions of Russia. The word came to Russian from the Iranian word sеrāрā - «dressed from the head to toes». So it was. A sarafan was a loose long jumper dress worn over a shirt and tied with a woven belt around the waist. Everyday sarafans were made from homespun linen or cotton, hand painted in red, blue or green colors. For special occasions, rich people could afford to buy brocade material from the Moscow or Ivanovo textile manufacturers.
The dushegreya was a special word for a short women's jacket, that was worn over the sarafan. Dushegreya was a festive clothes for poor peasants and everyday wear for rich ones. The word means a "body warmer". These jackets were often made from the brocade or velvet with the inside lining. It could be also a sleeveless garment.
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