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Zealots, kolts and other jewelry worn by common women of fashion in Ancient Russia
Zealots, kolts and other jewelry worn by common women of fashion in Ancient Russia
What decorations were worn by ordinary people in Ancient Russia

In Russia, rich people loved expensive jewelry with precious stones, rare fabrics, did not spare money on them, and often demonstrated them. The peasants, who did not live well, could not afford such a luxury. But the commoners also tried to somehow decorate their clothes, and put on all the best for the holidays. The options were quite varied.


Kokoshnik is a headdress that is an integral part of Russian traditional costume. In "kokosh" our ancestors called the chicken and the rooster. This is where its name came from, because in shape it resembled a crest, crescent, fan or rounded shield. For the first time the word "kokoshnik" was mentioned in documents dating from the 17th century, but from the beginning of the 10th century, ancient Russian women wore headdresses very similar to them.

Peasant women, unable to decorate kokoshniks with jewelry, embroidered them with beautiful patterns

Initially, kokoshniks were worn only by married women, but gradually this line was erased, and it became one of the most popular elements of folk costume. Ordinary peasant women could not afford hats decorated with expensive stones, so they embroidered them with various patterns. Embroidered ornaments served their mistresses as a talisman, a symbol of fertility and marital fidelity. Since kokoshniks were expensive, they were inherited from mothers to daughters.

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Kika (kichka)

Along with kokoshniks, the horned kika was considered a popular headdress of ancient Russia. It was a crown, similar to a month, only with its horns up.

It was believed that the moon determines the fate of a person and embodies the power of female energy. Thus, the horned headdress protected its mistress from the evil eye and evil spirits. As the thin horns of the young moon symbolize fertility, so the corners of the crown were a female symbol of procreation. At the same time, the horns changed depending on the age of the woman and her marital status.


The chicks were carefully kept and passed on by inheritance. Poor peasant women decorated them with patterns, lace, beads and even faceted glass. Kika is first mentioned as “human” in a document dated 1328.


Not without beads in Russia. Often, large beads of the same or different diameters were strung on a thread or horsehair. They were a favorite adornment of women and were mostly made of glass. Until the 9-10th centuries, beads were mainly imported, since the process of glassmaking was just emerging among the Slavs, and there was no way to satisfy the needs of everyone.

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Initially, the beads did not have a large selection of colors, but as soon as the craftsmen learned to paint glass, everything changed. Green beads were especially popular. The husbands of the peasants sometimes put a lot of money on them.

The peasant women were ready to pay a lot of money for beads

Various materials were used to make the accessory, such as metal or stone. Like other wardrobe items of traditional Russian costume, the pendants were magical in nature. They protected vulnerable spots from evil spirits, evil spirits and the evil eye.


The necklace gets its name from the word "throat" meaning the neck. It had the shape of a lying or standing collar, embroidered with stones or pearls.Ordinary people could not afford luxury, so necklaces were made of metal, beads or beads. In ancient Russia, there were several types of suspensions, differing in shape, length, ornament and weaving. Gaitans, mushrooms and bundles (blocks) were in great demand.


The necklace could be worn not only by women, but also by men. It was believed that the sound made by the suspension when walking scares away evil spirits and removes evil spells. Bulky beaded necklaces were especially appreciated, since the peasants believed that glass would preserve health. Information about the decoration is often found in documents from the 17th century, but the first mention of such pendants dates back to the beginning of the 11th century.


Kolt is a hollow jewelry made of metal. It had the shape of a star or a circle, and was decorated with silver, niello, small ornaments in the form of balls or filigree. Mostly the ornaments symbolized fertility and the idea of ​​life. It is assumed that a small piece of cloth impregnated with incense was placed in the hollow part of the kolt, protecting the hostess from evil spells.

This is how the kolts looked

The decoration was attached to the sides of the headdress, at the level of the temples. Commoners had access to kolts made of bronze, sometimes of silver or gold. They were carefully preserved in the family and passed on through the female line.

Temple rings - zeal

Zeryazi were considered popular female embellishments in Russia. They were in the form of wire rings with blades or rhomboid patterns. They were attached to the headdress, woven into the hair, worn in the ears and behind them, pinned to the ribbon. Peasant craftsmen made them from copper and iron alloys. Various forms of zeal determined the origin of a woman and her family.


Peasant earrings

Until the beginning of the 16th century, earrings were not popular items, but over time they became in great demand, which gave rise to the emergence of earring masters. Moreover, they were worn not only by women, but also by representatives of the stronger sex. The difference was that men, mostly warriors, wore the earring only on one ear. Decorations played the role of talismans and amulets. Over time, wearing earrings changed its role, then losing, then gaining popularity again. A peasant who wore one earring in his ear showed his belonging to the owner in this way.

Peasant earrings


Rings were one of the most common adornments in ancient Russia. They were worn by men and women of all classes. The very first rings were made from wire. Subsequently, they began to be made from alloys of various metals, decorating with jewelry, glass colored inserts or ornaments. They played an important role in wedding ceremonies. With the help of the rings, the newlyweds were tightly tied by the knot. In addition, they could be worn as a simple decoration, several pieces on the fingers and even toes.

Ancient rings

And in continuation of the topic more 18 photos of luxurious women's hats from Russian folk costume

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