Armenian Men’s clothing

The dress of the Armenians reflects a rich cultural tradition. Wool and fur were utilized by the Armenians and later cotton that was grown in the fertile valleys. Silk imported from China was used by royalty, during the Urartian period. Later the Armenians cultivated silkworms and produced their own silk.

Armenian national clothes, having passed through centuries of development, already at the beginning of the XIX century was a stable complex. Fragmentary material about ancient Armenian clothing contains archeological artifacts, works of Armenian historiographers, medieval miniatures, architectural and funeral monuments and other sources.

Variety of ethnographic groups of Armenians was reflected in folk costumes: in general, in terms of cut, overall silhouette, color scale, methods and techniques of decoration, two main complexes can be traced: East Armenian and West Armenian.

In men’s clothing, the main complexes differ in their general silhouette:

conditionally allocated long- headed (chuh-arhalukh in combination with a papakha), common in most areas of Eastern Armenia and similar to the clothing of the peoples of the rest of the Caucasus.
shortened (with a short – to the waist – top and very wide trousers) Western Armenian.

Men’s clothing

East Armenian complex
The basis of the masculine masculine clothing of the Armenians of Eastern Armenia was the undershirt and trousers. They were sewn from homespun canvas (at the beginning of the XX century – from the purchased factory coarse calico) at home by women themselves, first by hand, and from the end of the 19th century on typewriters. They were replaced by factory urban lingerie. The most common was a traditional tunic-shaped man’s shirt – a shakik (Armenian Շապիկ) from two cloths. At the end of the XIX-beginning of the XX century, in a number of regions (Vayots Dzor, Tavush, etc.), they wore a shirt of an older type, cut from one fabric with a shoulder and straight armholes.

In the Armenian family, special attention was paid to the clothes of men, especially the head of the house, because in appearance men were judged on the family as a whole.

Belt clothing
Men’s inner pants – varict (Armenian Վարտիկ, also votashor, tumban or pohān) differed from women in that they did not have an ornamental border at the bottom of their ankles; Their trousers were tucked into knitted socks and windings. A remarkable detail of the underwear, as well as the upper pants, was the ochkur- Khojan. He was knit or woven from cotton or woolen threads in the form of a cord with multi-colored tassels at the ends. Khonzhan passed through an upsurge, his ends together with tassels after tying his pants hung down. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century the cap and wart of the traditional cut were worn in ArmeniaMen of all ages, from small boys to old men. Native clothing was persistently preserved in the life of Armenians until the middle of the XX century. Even in the 1930s, it was not completely replaced by factory purchased linen.

Over the pants were worn trousers – shalvar (Armenian Շալվար). They were made of homespun coarse woolen cloth, painted in black, less often – dark blue or brown in the same fabric as the chuh. In the cut they are similar to the pants and on the belt also held at the expense of hondzhana. At the beginning of the 20th century, traditional coarse-wool trousers were gradually replaced by trousers with a button buckle, as well as trousers of the European pattern (straight and trousers- riding breeches) worn with a leather belt.

The basis of the upper shoulder clothing in Eastern Armenia was arhalukh and chuha. Garment type Arkhalukha has a centuries-old tradition among Armenians, as evidenced by images on tombstones and medieval miniatures.

In the XIX- beginning of the XX century, the arhalukh in Eastern Armenia was spread everywhere: it was worn by the entire male population, beginning with boys 10-12 years old. Shili arhalukh from purchased fabrics (satin, eraser, chintz, shawls), black, blue, brown tones, lined. In the cut is a knee-length swing-out clothing with intact front shelves and a cut-off backrest that was assembled in the waist at the waist or sewn from several wedges. Stitched together with a gasket from top to bottom near a series of vertical seams, the arhaluh from the collar to the waist was fastened to the hooks by a butt. It was decorated with braid-galloon in the tone of the main material, which was lined with a collar, a cut of the chest, the edges of the hem and sleeves. In wealthy families, as, for example, in a merchant’s environmentYerevan, along with the tape used a silk cord.

The double-breasted arhalukh doshchas differed in the way of fastening, the deep smell of which was fastened to the buttons on the left side of the chest, and the symmetrically sewn row of buttons on the right created the impression of double-breasted clothing. The range of its distribution was rather limited: it was considered an expensive clothing, which, as a rule, was worn by young people and middle-aged men.

Arhalukh usually girded with a silver belt, less often a belt or a leather belt with overlaid silver buttons. At the end of the XIX-XX century due to significant socio-economic changes in the life of the rural society, as well as under the influence of urban fashion, the men’s suit of Armenians also underwent changes. Arhalukh gradually began to be replaced by a blouse, and then a jacket. Young people who visited the city on earnings, study and other occasions preferred to wear a blouse with a jacket in the city style, which became quite widespread in the 1930s. Over the Arkhalukha, a chuh was worn. The very combination of chuh-arhalukh was so entrenched that it was realized as traditional folk clothes, in contrast to urban clothes.

With a number of similar features with arhalukh, chuha had a broader functional purpose. As the outer clothing served not only warm clothes (a coat in the modern sense of it), but I was clothes on the way out. Most of the old photos of the XIX-early XX century, most often there are pictures of Armenians in the chucha. She was considered an indispensable element of the groom’s costume; even if the groom was from an indigent family, it was taken from relatives or neighbors. The right to wear the chuhu symbolized a certain social and age status: as a rule, it was worn from the age of majority (from 15-20 years).

At the end of the XIX century the chuhu was often sewn from homespun coarse wool, painted mostly in black, as well as dark blue, brown tones, long to the knees, with sleeves sewn along the entire length or with a small incision at the wrist. With the proliferation of factory fabrics, the chuhu began to sew also from more expensive cloth, again of dark tones, but somewhat shorter than homespun. The upper part – chest, back and sleeves – sewed on the lining. Often, on both sides of the chest were decorated with decorative gas tanks. In the cut of the chuh, as well as arhalukh – swinging clothes with a detachable back. At the waist, it is assembled into an assembly and tightly fitted to the figure.

Another variety was chuhu with cuts that were not sewn along the entire length of the sleeves, which performed a decorative function, which is typical for the chuhi or Circassian production of the furir. They sewed it from thin cloth, with a silk contrasting lining (green, blue, blue tones), the cuts were lined with braid, often with a gold cord, in the wealthiest families – with a velvet rim.

It was worn only by wealthy people in the city merchant and trade and crafts in Erivan, Shusha, Alexandropol, Tiflis and other cities. Therefore, even in the late XIX-early XX century, unlike homespun chuhi, there was no significant spread in everyday life of Armenians. In the first quarter of the 20th century, the chuhu was gradually replaced by clothing of urban cut and by 1920-1930 it was only isolated, and soon completely disappeared.

Over the chuhi they wore a mustache or a burka, and later as a city influence – a coat, greatcoat, quilted jacket. A sheepskin coat-a hammer or a mustache-was worn as a very expensive item by well-off persons, mostly of the older generation. The tailoring of one fur coat was spent on average skins of six to seven sheep. The sword sheepskin coat was one-piece in the back, or cut at the waist, sewn inward (according to the principle of modern sheepskin coat) to the knees or ankles, with a large collar and long straight sleeves and on both sides with pockets from the inside. Front from the collar to the waist she fastened on the hooks. I put it on top of a chicken in the winter.

Burka (military այծենակա ар, aytsenakach) was the only garment in the traditional Armenian costume. Armenians wore a burqa of two kinds: fur and felt. Fur fur was made from goat hair, fur out, using long-bellows fur. Felt felt, and in some areas – shepherds wore fur (Lori). She had strongly protruding rectangular shoulders, giving her the appearance of a trapezoid, broad in shoulders and sharply tapering downwards. The upper part of the felt burka – back and chest – was sewed on the lining. Often its addition was a basil. Burka also served as street clothes: it not only protected in bad weather, but if necessary it could also serve as a bed (a cloak-tent in the modern sense). Such use of a felt burka was characteristic not only of Armenians, but of all the peoples of the Caucasus, without exception.

In the men’s clothing complex was also a leather belt, which was worn over the Arkhalukha. The leather belt had a silver buckle and overhead, engraved with floral ornament ornaments.

As warm clothes, men had a long (below the knees), sewn from woolen cloth of black or dark blue color, with a standing collar of choch. At the front, the Choha was straight and buttoned with three buttons using loops of braid. To the chest part of the chohi were sewn chamber-sticks (pampstackal). Choha girded with a narrow cloth, more often a leather belt, and later (from the end of the 19th century), often with a set of silver belts with a high buckle.

Wedding clothes for men, which was both festive, differed in that arhalukh was sewn from a more expensive fabric, choch and shoelaces were red (this color was considered a charm), and the silver belt that they received during the wedding from their parents bride. This type of Garabagh men’s clothing was also distributed among other Eastern Armenians, in particular in Syunik, Gohtna, and also in Lori..

The usual headdress of Armenians was a fur hat – a papakh (Armenian փափախ), sewn from sheep’s skins, which had local differences in form. In Lori, they preferred to wear a wide, low and magnificent daddy, in Syunik – narrower and taller, from a less long-haired furs, Armenian kinto -small peddlers in Tiflis -black cone-shaped caps with a red silk top at the top. The most expensive and prestigious was considered the astrakhan Bukhari from the wool of sheep of Bukhara breed, which was worn by representatives of the wealthy strata, especially in the cities. In the cities, complete with a flap with folding sleeves, they wore very high caps close to the cylindrical form. The headdress and hat, in particular, were the embodiment of the honor and dignity of the Armenian man. Throwing his cap on the ground was tantamount to his disgrace and dishonor. According to traditional etiquette, in certain situations, a man was supposed to take off his hat: at the entrance to the church, at the funeral, at meetings with highly respected and respected people, etc..

The Western Armenian complex
The traditional clothes of Armenians of Western Armenia were basically swingy and, despite regional differences, had a common similar silhouette, bright colors and was colorful and abundant in embroidery.

Male clothes had a similar vein to the East Armenian style. However, the shirt was characterized by a side cut of the gate. The trousers were made of vark, they were cut without a step wedge, but with a wide insertion strip of fabric, as a result of which the width of such pants was often equal to their length (so-called pants with a wide step). They, like the upper shalvar, were also on the ochkur – a honjan from woolen multicolored twisted threads.

Depending on the region, the cuffs of the pants, side seams, and also the pocket were edged with a thick twisted black silk thread (Small Armenia), expanded with woolen threads, colored beads, clad with gold or black silk threads (Cilicia). Similar broad trousers were worn in Soviet Armenia by settlers from Western Armenia (Sasun) and immigrants from Iran (Maku).

The collar and long sleeves of the upper shirt were a loafer – they were embroidered with geometric patterns of red thread. In a number of regions (Vaspurakan, Turuban), the sleeve of the shirt ended in a brush with a long hanging sewn piece – jalahik. They wore a jacket of a waistcoat, an eagle (elk) with an open chest, from under which the embroidered chest of the shirt was clearly visible. A similar waistcoat was a characteristic component of the traditional men’s suit only in Western Armenia.

The waistcoat was worn on top with a short, up to the waist, and a woolen jacket open in the front, a baccon, a salt with one-piece sleeves, often quilted. “It seemed to be beautiful, even splendidly to embroider and sprat, and bachkon, and even trousers, especially among young people. Prosperous Armenians chose the thinnest, especially the Shatah cloth, for the most part domestic and local handicraft production, and tried to sew all parts of the costume from the same fabric “.

They wore short (up to the waist) short-sleeved sweatshirt with a short sleeves – a Kazakh goatskin or a felt wool. Goat jacket, trimmed around the edges with braid and with bundles of fur on the shoulders, was worn by mostly well-to-do villagers.

The top warm clothing was also a long straight jute. In more wealthy families, it was quilted and lined. Men of mature age preferred to wear it. In winter, in some, mostly mountainous regions (Sasun), they wore wide fur coats from tanned sheepskin, without a belt.

Belt as an indispensable part of a man’s suit in most regions of Western Armenia was unique. The colored patterned belt was “rather a bandage around the waist. A long, wide shawl, knitted or woven, folded several times in width, wrapped around the waist twice or more. Deep folds of the belt served as a kind of pockets for a kerchief, a pouch, a purse. For such a belt it was possible to plug a long tube, and a knife with a handle, if necessary, and a dagger “.

The silver belt was an accessory of the city costume, it was worn in Karin, Kars, Van and other centers of highly developed handicraft production. The townspeople, artisans, wealthy peasants were recruited from massive silver plaques.

The headdress in Western Armenia was caps of various shapes (hemispherical, cone-shaped): felt, wool knitted and woven, which were usually worn in addition with a handkerchief. According to the material of manufacture, stylistics and color scheme of the ornament, they had regional differences. Widely distributed felt white cone-shaped cap – a coloza with a pointed or rounded top.

A widespread peanut was a truncated cone (15-20 cm tall), knitted from wool or embroidered with idle youth with colored woolen threads, with a predominance of red color. He was not ornamented with the married people, and the peanuts were worn with a headscarf. The way of wearing this traditional headdress was a marker of the marital status of its owner, just as in East Armenia the right to wear a chukh was owned by a married man. Caps made of woolen and cotton fabric with a round black or brown parietal part, embroidered on the circumference by colorful threads, in the late XIX – early XX century. were widely distributed in Sasun, Shatahye and other places. In Trebizond, Gyavash and others, around the hemispherical cap, a wide head bandage was tied, the ends of which were hanging from both sides on the shoulders. In the urban environment, such as in Van, Vaspurakan, they wore a felt red fes with a black brush; in Sebastia, with the elderly, he was blue or purple. But in all cases a headscarf was wrapped around him, the ends of which, tied behind the knot, loosened freely. In Cilicia, a fez was worn, wrapped in several bandages. The young fescue tassel was long and extended to the shoulders. Sometimes instead of it, a silver decoration was attached to the top.

Source from Wikipedia