About this collection
Suited for nomadic life, traditional costumes and clothes reflect not only the climatic conditions of Kalmykia but also the history of interaction between the Kalmyks with their neighbours. Unlike other Mongolian groups, the Kalmyks - who have lived in a unique environment among the Russians, Cossacks, and various nationalities of the Caucasus - wear unique hats, boots, and belts decorated with interesting ornaments and designs. Having said this, Kalmyk costumes still display similarity to those of other Mongolian peoples not only in terms of design but materials used such as skin, felt, wool, furs, and textiles. In the past, Kalmyk costumes were class, gender, age and season-specific. The aristocracy, for example, used bright colours and expensive textiles. Their winter coats were often decorated with valuable skin and fur of such animals as sables, beavers, squirrels, lambs, foals, and others. The clothes of ordinary shepherds, by contrast, were simpler and darker in colour.