Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)'s image
Created: 2017-02-08 14:53
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: Suited to nomadic life, traditional costumes reflect not only the climatic conditions of Kalmykia but also the history of interaction between the Kalmyks with their neighbours. Unlike other Mongolian groups, the Kalmyks – who have lived in a unique environment among the Russians, Cossacks, and various nationalities of the Caucasus – wear unique hats, boots, and belts decorated with interesting ornaments and designs. Having said this, Kalmyk costumes still display similarity to those of other Mongolian peoples not only in terms of design but materials used such as skin, felt, wool, furs, and textiles. In the past, Kalmyk costumes were class, gender, age and season specific. The aristocracy, for example, used bright colours and expensive textiles. Their winter coats were often decorated with valuable skin and fur of such animals as sables, beavers, squirrels, lambs, foals, and others. The clothes of ordinary shepherds, by contrast, were simpler and darker in colour.

Women

Women’s traditional dress consists of two layers, tsegdg and terlg. Tsegdg, which was worn over terlg, is a long sleeveless garment made of durable cloth and abundantly decorated with embroidery. It has a V-shaped open collar and two crooks for napkins or purses on either side at the waist. By contrast, terlg is a long robe with wide sleeves narrowing towards the wrists. It has a small standing collar meeting at the front. Both tsegdg and terlg can be made from textiles of various colours, except for yellow and red, which are colours reserved for the Buddhist clergy.

Unmarried women or brides, who had not yet given birth to children, wore a hat called kamchatka, which was sewn from fabric with the same name and embroidered with gold or silver patterns. By contrast, the traditional dress of a married woman was complemented with a special festive hat called khalmg. In everyday life, women wore several types of simpler hats called jatg and buslyach, as well as robes called berz and khuvtsn. The hair of a married woman was divided into two braids, each clad in special hair bags called shivrlg, which were the main markers of her marital status.

Men

Bushmud is a traditional man’s robe with long wide sleeves narrowing towards the wrists. Usually sewn from dark fabric, linen, or silk, bushmud has a V-shaped open collar. A plastron, or a false shirt-front decorated with embroidery, is worn underneath. The robe was always worn with a leather belt, usually decorated with silver plates and ornaments. The most popular kind of belt was the so-called ‘reed belt’ (khulsn bus), which consisted of plates that resemble the reed in terms of shape. Another belt variety was ‘chest belt’ (avdr bus), which has quadrangle plates resembling a chest/drawer in the Kalmyk yurt. Hence, the name. The most expensive belt, beloved by the aristocracy, was the so-called ‘Cherkassy belt’ (Cherksh bus) consisting of small and large buttons that are protruded but hollow inside. Kalmyk men wore pants called shalvr which were of two types: syarsn shalvr was made from cowhide and kenchr shalvr from cloth. Men also carried a knife in a scabbard made from silver or leather on the left side of the belt and a flint on the back. In the past, tobacco pipes and whips were also attached to the belt. Men, both young and old, wore a hat called khajlg.

Children

Traditionally, toddlers and babies did not have clothing peculiar to their age group. They usually wore simple and unisex clothes made of old garments belonging to their parents or even grandparents. Children started to wear gender-differentiated garments when they participated in household chores.

When boys were about 8 years of age, their garment already resembled that of grown-up men. Teenage boys wore trousers (shalvr), a shirt (kiilg), a robe (bushmud and lavshg), a belt (bus), and a hat (khajlg).

At around 14, girls also wore distinctly female clothing. Biiz is a dress for girls made of colourful materials. Underneath they wore a plastron embellished with gold and silver threads. Girls were also supposed to wear a special corset called jilyatg over their underwear. It was intended to tighten the breast, which was believed to make horse riding easier. A belt made of cloth was an essential item in traditional girls’ clothing. By contrast, married women’s dress was loose and without a belt. Kamchatka and toortsg are traditional hats for girls and young women alike.
 

Media items

This collection contains 25 media items.

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Media items

Alena Lidzhieva, Devl

   33 views

Alena says that her paternal auntie sewed traditional robes called devl. Her auntie also made winter coats out of animal skin. In the past everyone wore traditional dress....

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 12 Jun 2015


Alena Lidzhieva, Traditional Clothing

   29 views

Alena talks about Kalmyk clothings.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 12 Jun 2015


Alesya Kalmykova, Traditional Dress

   16 views

Alesya is engaged in the reconstruction of Kalmyk costumes based on the works by Irodion Zhitetskiy and Uryubdzhur Erdniev.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 11 Mar 2017


Alexandra Sanzheeva, About the Kamzal Corset

   1 view

Kamzal is like a corset. It was worn by girls from the age of 10. Its purpose was to suppress the girl’s breast. Even after marriage and after giving birth, women continued to...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 11 Nov 2018


Bulgun Lapsina, About the Dress of the Tersk Kalmyks

   4 views

Bulgun says that her father always carried a knife with him, as it was customary. Kalmyk men’s dress resembled that of the Caucasians, with cartridge pockets on the chest.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 11 Sep 2018


Dmitriy Orusov, Zula Andratova, Kalmyk Ornaments and Dress

   15 views

In this video Zula explains to Dmitriy about Kalmyk traditional dress.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 10 Aug 2017


Ekaterina Zhuzhaeva, Kalmyk Dress

   26 views

Ekaterina recounts the following. In the past girls dressed up in many ways. In particular well-off girls liked to wear a dress with ornaments.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 4 Apr 2017


Galina Goryaeva, Married Women's Dress

   23 views

Galina says that in the past the way that married women dressed was different to single women. A married woman’s dress consisted of terlg and tsegdg.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 8 May 2015


Ksenia Kardonova, About Traditional Clothing

   4 views

Ksenia relays the following story. In the past, girls wore beshmet, while older people wore gowns. My mother used to wear a dress called khuvtsn with wide sleeves similar to...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 6 Jun 2018


Larisa Shoglyaeva, Kalmyk Dress

   23 views

Larisa recounts that when the Kalmyks returned to Kalmykia from Siberia, in Iki-Chonos where she lived many people wore traditional dresses. There were two kinds of dress, one for...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 2 Feb 2017


Maria Erdnieva, About Women's Dress

   18 views

Maria talks about Kalmyk women's dresses.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 11 Aug 2016


Maya Karueva, Men's Costumes

   21 views

Maya says that traditionally men wore a manishka, a chest decoration made from floral embroidery. The embroidery was made from golden or silver thread. On top of it ordinary men...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 20 Jan 2016


Maya Karueva, Women's Dress

   27 views

In this video, which is shot at the National Museum of Kalmykia, Maya explains about women’s dress.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 20 Jan 2016


Nikolai Ubushaev, Why Does the Kalmyk Hat Have a Red Thread?

   12 views

Nikolai relays that in the past during battles it was difficult to distinguish your side from the enemies. In order to overcome that, the Kalmyks came up with various war calls....

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 19 Dec 2016


Sergei Muchiryaev, Men's Clothing

   17 views

Sergei shows a rare Kalmyk belt made from silver, which is his family’s relic.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (DRESS)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 25 May 2015


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