Dmitriy Orusov, Zula Andratova, Kalmyk Ornaments and Dress

Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 

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In this video Zula explains to Dmitriy about Kalmyk traditional dress. Traditionally, the dress of married women differed from that of single women or girls. The former did not wear a belt, whereas the latter did. There was also a difference in hairstyles. Married women had two tresses that they put into shivrlg (special hair bags), whereas single women or girls had only one braid. Women’s dresses had sleeves long enough to cover the hands. The dress that Zula wears has embroidery made from gold thread. She says that other bright colors, such as blue or red, were also used in embroidery. Both Zula’s and Dmitriy’s costumes have floral ornaments. In the past men also wore robes with embroidery made from silver thread, had a silver belt and a knife. Zula also says that traditionally Kalmyk women wore silver or gold jewelry. Both genders had earrings. Single men wore an earring on their left ear, single women on their right ear, and married women wore earrings on both ears. Silver was considered pure metal that cleansed one’s thoughts and soul. Kalmyk hats, both for men and women, differ from those of other nationalities in that they have a red tassel on the top.

Dress, embroidery, symbolism, identity
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.