Библиотека нематериального культурного наследия Республики Башкортостан
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At all times clothing, besides protecting the body from the effects of negative
and harmful environmental factors, also carried a certain sacred meaning,
aesthetic, ethno-cultural functions. It is not by chance that the garments
in many ways give us a deep understanding of the life of our
ancestors. Whether it's a traditional Russian shirt with
skewed collar – kosovorotka or a fox hat.
Today, when it comes to the Bashkir national costume, we are imagine stage costumes, in which dancers are dressed, but in fact everything is much more interesting and deeper.

In the photo: State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble named after Faizi Gaskarov
Photo source
First of all it is necessary to clarify
that Bashkirs are not a monolithic
nation in cultural aspects.
The clothing of certain groups of Bashkirs due to the ethnic history of clans and tribes has its own characteristics.
All these features are reflected in seven local costume complexes: southeastern, southwestern (Dyoma), Samara and Irgiz, central (Inzer), northwestern, northeastern and eastern (Trans-Ural).
Most of the costume complexes are of the same type. The same shirts, pants, boots and outerwear without fasteners. Differences are observed in the decoration, jewelry, fabric and ways of wearing.

The basis of the Bashkir costume was almost always a shirt similar to a tunic, pants without side stitches and outerwear resembling a robe. Men's shirts were long, knee-length, with a wide collar and a central neckline. Women's shirts were without a collar, lengthened almost to the floor. Under the shirt women wore a fabric necklace tyushelderek or kukrekse.
Bashkirs wore upper trousers salbar over their pants, into which outerwear was tucked during work. Outerwear, in turn, was sewn from canvas, patterned homespun cloth or from purchased fabrics. It was decorated with embroidery or applique. The most ancient outerwear was a broadcloth robe sekmen and a woven fabric one – elyan, as well as a fur coat made of horse skins – kolon tun and fur coat made of sheepskin – tire tun.
Bashkirs used the sheepskin coat tulup as a traveling garment and put it on over warm clothes. That is why the sheepskin coats were made several sizes larger. Also the sheepskin coat had a large collar that protected the head from the cold and wind. Winter clothes were belted with a woolen sash – bilbau. It was wrapped twice and the ends were tucked on the sides. Among the rich Bashkirs the bilbau was replaced with a woven belt kemer with a jewelry buckle.

The Bashkir dressed in beshmet

Photo source

In the XIX century a fitted outerwear appeared in the Bashkir costume. Beshmet was sewn from cotton factory fabric with lining. Kamzul – a sleeveless jacket that was worn over a shirt – was also sewn from purchased factory fabric. And borrowed from the Finno-Ugric peoples a thin canvas short kaftan syba was sewn from striped fabric: men's one – from white cloth with thin dark stripes, women's one – from blue cloth with white stripes or red one with black stripes.
Headdresses also differed in variety. The men had skullcaps, burek hats, felt caps and hats, conical fur hats with large ear-flaps and a high crown – malakhai. The women had artfully embroidered head towels tastar along with women's forehead jewelry kharawys, over them was worn a kashmau – a hat-helmet made of coral and coins with a long ribbon sewn on the back, open at the back of the head. Rich girls also wore a kalyabash – a high cap with a wide ribbon hanging along the back and covered with coins. The variety of women's hats was not limited to this. The girls also wore caps or takyiya – a semispherical-shaped hat decorated with coins. And in the XX century shawls, veils, velvet caps and kamaburek hats were added to headdresses.
Women wouldn't be women without jewelry. Women's costumes were decorated with corals and silver coins. The set was complemented by bracelets, rings, earrings, jewelry pendants, khakaldyryk – ribbons tied under the chin, pendants worn near the ears, hair jewelry for braids. A specific girlish jewelry was elkelek worn on the back of the head. Coins, corals, carnelian, turquoise, rock crystal, mother of pearl, cowry shells, sometimes fish vertebrae, carnation fruits were often used in jewelry.
Bashkir shoes also met the requirements of the time. Most often Bashkirs wore leather shoes kyun bashmak, leather shoes kata, boots itek, sitek. Such shoes were made of calf, bull and horse leather and cloth. Also in the northern districts bast shoes were worn, and in the northeast Bashkirs wore short fur shoes.
Video about Bashkir women's costume

As mentioned above, the Bashkir costume

is divided into 7 local costume complexes.

Southeastern costume complex
The upper men's and women's clothing here were kezekei kaftans on weekdays, woven fabric robes elyan, broadcloth robes sekmen on holidays, and fur coats and sheepskin coats in winter. Men wore hats: skullcaps, fur malakhai and cloth caps. Young women wore kashmau, elderly ones – tastar.

In the cold season they threw over their heads large homespun wool shawls folded in the form of a triangle.
On the feet men and women put on cloth stockings and leather shoes kata or itek. Women continued to wear tunic-like dresses, a necklace selter and a headdress kashmau.
The jewelry set was complemented by bracelets, coral necklaces, rings. The girls wore a semi-oval or triangular occipital jewelry elkelek.
Southwestern (Dyoma) costume complex
The clothes of southeastern and southwestern Bashkirs had a lot in common. Women here wore oval-shaped khakal necklaces made of corals and coins over their dresses, short and narrowed at the waist elyan and camisoles, festive chekmen' (outerwear made of cloth, sewn like a kaftan) and fur coats.

Sometimes with a khakal a seskap back jewelry with sulpys pendants at the bottom was worn. A cord or tape with coins and jewelry called sesyurges was woven into the braids. There was a deuyet sash in the form of a wide ribbon with coins, which was worn on the left shoulder. Women had kashmau and tastar headdresses, men – hats kolaksyn. Leather shoes with heels – kata – served as the footwear of the Dyoma Bashkir women.
Samara and Irgiz costume complex
A common outerwear for men was a kaftan – kezekei, for women – elyan. Chekmen', fur coats, sheepskin coats were made of cloth and fur, worn with fur or felt headdresses:
men – burek hats, women – headscarves and shawls,
on holidays they also worn kashmau, the elderly women worn tastar. Necklaces were of the southeastern (selter) and southwestern (sakal) types. Neck jewelry was necklaces of munsak, merjen corals, beads tyoyme. A girl's occipital jewelry elkelek of oval or triangular shape was widespread. Footwear was represented by kata shoes, less often – by boots, ichigi (light shoes shaped like boots).
Central (Inzer) costume complex

Robe elyan served as an outer clothing of men and women. Elderly men wore beshmet. As headdresses men wore fur hats and felt caps, women – double headscarf kush''yaulyk, married older women – coral kashmau, elderly women – tastar and kamaburek. As a footwear – kata shoes with a short cloth bootleg. The main jewelry of the woman was a necklace khakal of semi-oval or trapezoidal shape. The girls wore the occipital jewelry of the semi-oval shape – elkelek.

In the photo: women's costume from the central districts of Bashkortostan (homespun dress, velvet camisole, silver jewelry)

Northwestern costume complex

It is characterized by the presence of homespun items, shirts, pants, aprons and outerwear were sewn from canvas. Outerwear – beshmet and syba robes. In winter fur coats and cotton syrma coats were worn. At the end of the XIX century a feature of women's dresses was a wide frill at waist level.
At the beginning of the XX century shirts and aprons were sewn here from patterned home-made red or yellow fabrics.
In summer a long, narrow at the waist and flared downwards camisole was worn over the dress. The clothes were worn with jewelry made of coins: khyrga necklaces and ribbons woven into the braid – seskap, arkalyk, sashes deuyet. In the western districts neck jewelry – clasps called yaga sylbyry – were worn over the stand-up collar of a women's shirt.
Men's hats are a fur hat burek and felt hats eshlyape. Married women wore a frantsuz yaulyk headscarf, the elderly women wore a white kyiyksa veil covering their shoulders.
The women's costume was complemented by caps of several types. On this territory until the end of the XIX century a girl's headdress takyiya was worn. There were shoes sabata (shoes made of bast and birch bark), and on holidays – leather shoes bashmak, kynkalush

In the photo: a woven dress with necklaces (izeu and yaga sylbyry). Northwestern districts of Bashkortostan

Northeastern costume complex
In winter women wore a khyrma kyopyo cotton wool coat or a fur coat, and men wore a chekmen' with a large collar. Outerwear for all seasons for both women and men was beshmet. At the end of the XIX century dresses, shirts and pants were sewn from striped linen. Over the dress older women wore camisoles, and young women wore aprons. The apron and dress were decorated with stitch embroidery using colored threads, and in the XX century with multicolored chain-stitch embroidery (tambour lace) with a large floral ornament.
Headdress – a small cap with gold or beaded embroidery, a headscarf, tupyi, kamsat burek.
The trapezoidal necklace muyinsa consisted of coins and covered the entire chest from neck to waist. The jewelry was complemented by a khakal – chin tape attached to the head covering. A special feature of the men's suit were shirts embroidered with a chain-stitch, with a stand-up collar and a strap covering the chest slit. Leather shoes and sabata served as footwear in summer, and shoes made of horse and cow skins – in winter.
Eastern (Trans-Ural) costume complex
Women wore elyan, men – kaftan kezekei, cloth and
fur clothing were valued. In the XX century the camisole appeared. The chest decoration of the trapezoidal shape – yaga – was complemented by back jewelry – inkhelek.
The headdress is a red headscarf, one edge of which was embroidered, decorated with tassels, coins, etc. There was a maiden's hair jewelry for braids – sesmeu and the occipital jewelry elkelek. Dresses, aprons, men's shirts, sashes, women's hats, shoes with cloth bootlegs were embroidered. Wedding and festive clothes were decorated with chain-stitch embroidery, counted-thread embroidery, applique. The hats of men and women in winter were kama burek. Footwear consisted of kata with a heels and a hard sole, saryk with a soft sole.
The traditions of Bashkir folk costume in modern times have received a worthy continuation both on stage and in the folk environment. Recently in the wardrobe of modern Bashkir women such elements as khakal, kashmau have appeared. The national costume is an integral part of any mass event, from sabantui to grandiose national processions. Creative reinterpretation of elements of traditional costumes finds its application in the collections of many fashion designers.


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Farida Galiyeva, Holder of an Advanced Doctorate in Philological Sciences, Ph.D. of Historical Sciences