Russia: Married Russian woman

Front view

General description: Married woman in a poneva ensemble typical of the southern regions of European Russia.

Dimensions 21 x 11 x 7 cm

Date when acquired 2015

Original Date 2015

Source Moscow, Russia. Present from a former student.


Back view


China doll with moveable arms and legs. Her features are painted on. As with all decent married Russian women, she does not show any of her hair.



Her cotton blouse (dunyasha) has long sleeves decorated with red lines painted as if they were embroidered. Her cuffs are made of red braid decorated with red and green flowers with a white geometrical design between them. The edges of the braid are decorated with loops of yellow silken thread. The collar of the blouse is made of red silk ribbon. Her long black cotton skirt (poneva) is hemmed with a piece of braid painted in yellow, red and brown stripes. Around the waist of the skirt is a piece of cream braid with an eyelet edging. A long woollen belt made of red and green wool is tied doubly around the woman’s waist with a loop with the double ends hanging down on the left side. The ends of the sash have orangey-yellow tassels attached to them. Belts were once considered to have protective powers and acted as an amulet.

Side view

A long white cotton apron, reaching from above the woman’s breasts to the knees, hangs down from a piece of brown ribbon that reaches to the back of the skirt in a V-shape and a piece of red ribbon attached to the ribbon around her neck. The apron is gathered at the top and is decorated in the bottom half with decorative stripes of different geometric forms in brown, black, yellow and blue. A piece of braid with a geometric design in yellow, red and grey and a red lace border lies on the top edge of the apron, which is itself hemmed with red ribbon.

Her red boots are painted on and she is wearing a pair of cream cotton underpants.

The woman’s traditional headdress (soroka) consists of three elements: (1) a piece of material (nalobnik) that covers the forehead and temples and completely conceals her hair; (2) on top of the nalobnik is a high domed hat, the kichka; and (3) the soroka, which falls down to the top of her shoulders. The nalobnik is made of white felt with a piece of gold braid painted with white and black flowers with green leaves. The kichka is also made of white felt. The soroka is a piece of green felt-like material lined and hemmed with red felt. A rectangular piece of white felt is sewn to the top to hold it to the kichka.

top of headdress



Background information

See Russia: general information.



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