Russian clothing history – Central Asian clothing

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a group of men and women wearing robes; the women have their hair covered

The Svyatoslav Family (Kiev, ca. 1000 AD)

At the western end of Central Asia , Russian people, who were mostly farmers and not herdsmen in the Middle Ages, dressed more like their Byzantine neighbors to the south than like the Mongols. But it’s cold enough in Russia that even very poor people had to own leggings and cloaks if all possible.

Most women in Russia wore long woven wool tunics with long loose sleeves and belts at the waist. Women’s clothing had to be loose enough to still wear it if you were pregnant, because women couldn’t afford to have special maternity outfits. They covered their heads with veils like Islamic and European women. Men also wore wool tunics belted at the waist, but knee length and with tighter sleeves. Over their tunics, people wore wool cloaks to keep warm. But the men also wore caps, just like Mongol men further east and like the earlier Scythians.

Kids – as you can see in the picture – dressed like small adults, so the little boy has on a knee-length tunic and a small cap with ear-flaps like his father.

Bibliography and further reading about Russian clothing:

Earlier Central Asian clothing
Mongol Clothing
West Asian clothing
Chinese clothing
Indian clothing

By | 2017-06-08T09:06:26+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Clothing|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Russian clothing history – Central Asian clothing. Quatr.us Study Guides, May 31, 2017. Web. December 12, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr

Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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