Peasants: 1850

From The Golden Age of Russian Literature

Russian Peasant.jpg

“The poorer peasants’ working clothes tended to be very simple home-made articles. In summer they might go barefoot or would wear bast shoes (lapti), while felt boots (valenki) supplied protection against the cold of winter. They wore trousers, linen shirts and various styles of coat or tunic, including the caftan and poddyovka. Sheepskin coats were worn in winter, sometimes with an extra large topcoat (tulup), also usually of sheepskin and bound round with a coloured cummerbund. This was essential for winter travel, owing to the use of open sleighs. Hence the close association between peasants and the smell of sheepskins in descriptions of winter in literature.” --Hingley, 88

Siberian Peasant.jpg

“The clothes of peasant women offered greater variety, but with the same tendency to keep special dress for holidays. The most characteristic item was the sarafan, a sleeveless over-dress. On holidays elaborately embroidered or ornamented clothes might be worn, including the kokoshnik, a head-dress adorned with artificial pearls in place of the humble but gaudy kerchief worn on ordinary working days.” --Hingley, 89