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  National costume

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  The clothing of the Kazan Tatars is interesting and original and seriously differs from the clothing of other nations of the Volga region.
  Ancient Turkic forms, such as a long shirt in the shape of a tunic (kulmek), both for men and women and loose trousers wide in the seat became the base for the Kazan Tatar costume. Women shirt was embellished with big and small flounces: breast part was designed with appliquй work, special breast adornment - isu. Tatar outer closing with slim line back has no buttons. A sleeveless or with short sleeves jacket was worn over a shirt. Women jacket were sewed from velvet, lapels and hem were embellished with braid and fur. Preference was given to bright colours - yellow, green, blue, lilac. As a whole, the costume was multi-ply and heavy as a result of selection of numerous decorative details. Metal belts with buckles, cast buttons were important elements of costume design. Coins were also a part of embellishment, their number reached 15-20. Peference was given to Catherine's coins and Elizabeth's rubles.
  The spread men headdress was 'tubeteika' of semi-spherical shape or 'kelepush' of truncated-cone shape, which were skillfully embroidered in satin or chain stitch (mostly with gold thread). Women headdress was especially original - it was embroidered with pearls, small gilded coins, and gold thread hat - 'kalfak'. Making 'kalfaks', which were a part of dowry and were handed down, required a lot of hard work and skill from Tatar women. Sometimes women covered the head with a shawl, which were tied in a special way.
  Girls and women plaited hair parted in the middle in two distinct braids. Braids were adorned with pendants, tassels - 'chulps'. Chulps weighed braids and, in the opinion of Tatar women, promoted their growth.
  Patterned boots - 'ichigi' were a part the costume of Kazan Tatar women. They were made of coloured morocco, and were so well known, that in the Central Asia good curried leather has been called 'bulgary' till our days. This kind of leather patchwork art has been developed only by the Kazan Tatars and traces its roots back to ancient Turkic steppe nomad culture. Woman's face, in accordance with Muslim traditions, was covered with a veil. People said the Tatar woman was rather to be heard then seen, because of the jingle produced by numerous heavy pendants, rings and earrings, 'hasite'-belt, broad bracelets. Bijous were also used as charms - for example, turquoise, in the opinion of the Tatars, protected from an evil eye, and an equal number of bracelets on both arms helped preserving spouses' love in the family.
  Produce of Tatar masters, gold-thread embroidering of women 'kalfaks', men tubiteikas and kelepushes has won Gold Medals in Chicago and Paris several times, and were sold out not only in Russia, but in Asia and West Europe.
  Today traditional Tatar costume is used in the practice of folk music ensembles. Designers create samples of national costumes for exhibitions and museum displays.


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