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Just Shapka
October 2, 2018 17:09


(Source: http://www.matruska.ru/bir-rus-simgesi-usanka-rus-kalpagi)
Shapka (hat, cap) is the most popular winter gift from Russia. However, the cap with earflaps in frosty days turns from a souvenir into a vital necessity. No wonder, Russian shapka has a very long history.
 
1. The prototype of the Russian treukh (literally, “three ears”),  a round fur hat, usually made of sheepskin, with a broad flap at the back that covers the neck all the way to the shoulders, and two smaller earflaps, is a Mongolian malakhai. Sheepskin cap-transformer protected the nomads from  arrows, and, most importantly, the wind. When the frosts were over, the Mongol horsemen were tying a headdress on the back of the head. 

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2. The Pomors wore their own version of treukh. Practical tsibak hats were popular among Finno-Ugric peoples. "Opleuha" – a fur Pomeranian helmet, complemented by long ears, which went down to the waist. Fishermen used them in harsh weather instead of a scarf, going to the White Sea.
 
3. The Ushanka came to Russia from the north or from the south - no one will say for sure. In the sixteenth century, treukh was a symbol of well-being. It was not only men who wore it. The female version was supplemented with a frill covering the hair at the back of the decorated with pearls - a kind of winter kokoshnik.

 
4. Attribute of wartime.  In 1919, ushanka was a part of a uniform of the White Army and became known as Kolchakovka  - after the name of General Alexander Kolchak. A woolen headdress was  sewn from Japanese linen. It was worn both by soldiers and commanders. The officers were distinguished by a cockade or a white-green ribbon.

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5. Workers and 'Peasants' Petrograd picked up the fashion for a hat with earflaps. And it already looked like a modern hat. But the leather headdress with astrakhan edging was an indispensable attribute and a special chic accessory of the wealthy Petrograd public.

 
6. At the beginning of the 30s of the last century,  ushanka appears in the Red Army as part of the fighters' winter uniforms. The first to wear this headdress were sailors. In the Naval Forces, earflaps were always of black colour – traditional for the fleet.  
 
7.   45 years ago ushanka was mentioned in an order of the USSR Ministry of Defense. The ground forces received steel-colored flaps, the Air Force – the colour tone of the evening sky, the sailors - their traditional black. The more severe the conditions, the longer the ears - to hide from the cold, not only the soldiers' ears, but also the chin.

 
8. Ushanka is crossing borders and becomes a part of the uniform not only in the Russian army. China and North Korea, Mongolia and Canada, Sweden and Finland - northern countries greatly appreciated the warmth of ushanka, while Westphalia Police Department tests showed that Russian earflaps are much warmer than baseball caps with ear protection.
 
9. Ushanka   overstepped the bounds of practicality and appeared on the podium, thanks to Vyacheslav Zaitsev, who turned a winter hat into a modern stylish accessory. The idea of Russian couturier was picked up by Dolce&Gabbana. There are even high-tech caps  with LED-displays. Ushanka as a symbol exists in the uniforms of   the English football club Chelsea.

10. Kabardinka made of otter and Cossack Burka, Belarusian Ablavukha and Polish Magerka, Latvian Ausene and Estonian Laki-Laki -  Russian treukh  is famous the world over. And this very headdress is indicated in the Oxford dictionary simply as “shapka”.
 

 




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian designers Russian fashion Vyacheslav Zaitsev Russian winter Russian souvenirs 

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