Female Festive Costume

Kargopol District, Olonets Gubernia. 19th century

Shirt and Sarafan
(Modern reconstruction)


Fabric, pearls, beads, gold threads, stringing, embroidery on cardborad

Latter half of the 19th century
Fabric, gold thread, spangle, embroidery on cardboard, fringe

In the Kargopol District the gold embroidery on headscarves and the pearls and beads sewn onto headdress were done to order by the best craftswomen. The Kargopol kokoshnik has a specific shape — its ochelye with a thick podniz— a pearl net ring hanging over the forehead, is where it gets its nickname of “horned” from. All parts of the headpiece are embroidered either with cubes of crushed mother of pearl or matt pearls. The white canvas headscarves, the so-called “gold kerchiefs”, have amazingly rich and varied motifs. The large clear patterns do not exactly resemble real plant shapes, they are more like the carved motifs of solar rings and ovals on Kargopol spinning wheels.

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