Outfits >>> Replicas >>> Head of extended familys shirt.

Altay region.
Russians "kerzhaky" (old believers)
Age group of a wearer:
30-50 years old.
Social category of a wearer:
a respectable married man, a head of an extended family.
Made by
Nataly Marchouk.

"Kerzhaky" of Altay were descendants of Russian Old Believers (refuges who moved to Altay region in 1600's-1700's to protect themselves and their religion from government and state church oppression).

A design of man's shirt is very ancient. Speaking of fashion and symbolism of a clothes, Russian people were conservative in their tastes : "everything must be done as ancestors did". They thought about clothes as "the second skin" (actually, a part of a body), as the first sign to spirits of ancestors : "He/she is from your family, so, protect him/her". However, a material of costumes varied significantly from time to time, depending on what kind of cloth was available in certain period of time. Mainly, people sewed costumes from home-woven cloth. At late 1800's they started to use textile mill-made fabrics. This particular shirt can be defined as from the second part of 1800's, because the trim on a shirt looks obviously manufactory-made (and textile mills appeared in Russia at this time only).

This shirt is dark-blue. Such a color choice points to:

  1. the age group of a wearer (50-70 years old, "seniors")
  2. a head-of-a-family status. A person could be 25-30 years old, but if he was the last adult man in a family, he supposed to wear dark-blue as a sign of his status and responsibilities.
A wrist/neck/bottom edges decorated with red stripes ("fire" line) and coloured trim. In addition, each seam was covered with red or colored bands. Lastovicy" (an armpit details of a shirt) were red also.

The upper part of a shirt was made with a lining. A lining could be made of different materials : from home-woven rough-textured cloth, to pieces of expensive textile mill-made fabrics (in later times).

A shirt's decoration is very limited. This shirt is not an attractive bachelor's outfit, it is a costume of a respectable married man.

Sources (in Russian)
  1. O.A.Savelieva, O.I.Vychristuk, T.O.Teodorovitch "The Costume of Russian Old-Believers from Altay Region"
  2. E.F.Fursova, "traditional Costume of Upper Ob' Region"
  3. "Men and Women (male and female roles and parts in traditional Russian culture)" (encyclopedia)
  4. A.A.Lebedeva, "A Men's Costume in Western Syberia"
  5. L.M.Rusakova, "Russian Siberian Costume"