Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mordovian Costume

I have been browsing through Julia Stepanova's wonderful site, looking at reconstruction drawings based upon Russian archaeological finds. The site is in Russian, but there are a lot of photographs and illustrations, and Google Translate seems to have done a pretty good job translating the text.

I found, to my delight, that one of the drawings is of a female Mordovian costume from the eighth-ninth centuries CE! (The Mordovians, you may recall, used a lot of small omega-shaped brooches in their costume, which I blogged about here and here). The image is sufficiently striking, and different from other tenth century Northern European costumes that I decided to show the image here, instead of simply linking to it.  I think the brooches fastening the chain on her chest may be omega brooches, but the style of the drawing is such that I'm not quite sure.

I can't tell who drew the sketch from the information on Ms. Stepanova's site, but you can find the sketch in context on this page. (It's picture number 4.) Over on this page are some reconstructions of Mordovian headresses; they resemble the circlets of the Lithuanians and Latvians, unsurprisingly.

There is an extensive bibliography of Russian and Baltic area costume resources on Ms. Stepanova's site.  If you read Russian, I heartily recommend looking through it and making notes of sources to ILL.  I've been looking through it with the aid of Google Translate, and I don't read Russian.  I doubt I could read the reference texts referenced there, but it's good to know that a list of relevant information exists.


  1. In Russia we have some girls who make Mordovian Costume

  2. Thanks so much, Murašk, for the links to the photographs of the recreated costumes! They are very well done. Are the girls in the photographs friends of yours?