Armenian Women’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.

The collection of Armenian women’s costumes begins during the Urartu time period, wherein dresses were designed with creamy white silk, embroidered with gold thread. The costume was a replica of a medallion unearthed by archaeologists at Toprak Kale near Lake Van, which some 3,000 years ago was the site of the capital of the Kingdom of Urartu.

Women’s clothing

East Armenian complex
In the late XIX – early XX century, women’s clothing, in contrast to the men’s, still fairly steadily preserved its main traditional complexes in the historical and ethnographic regions. Women’s clothing of Oriental and Western Armenians was more homogeneous than male and in cut was straight. The main difference was in the abundance of embroidery and ornaments in the women’s suit of Western Armenia.

Body clothes
The basis of women’s clothing, as well as the men’s, consisted of a shirt and lower pants, which had much in common in their cut. In Eastern Armenia, women wore a long red shirt – a halove made of cotton fabric with oblique wedges on the sides, long straight sleeves with a gusset and a straight cut gate. In the cut, like a man’s shirt, hawal also had two varieties. The older one – a one-piece with a straight toeline shoulder – was worn by all women until the 1930swithout taking into account age and property status. A later version – with a shoulder seam and an embossed armhole – spread at the beginning of the last century with the penetration of factory fabrics into the village. This shirt was worn mainly by girls and young women. Long underwear pants were sewn from the same red material as the shirt, on a white lining and at the waist held on to an upholstery with the help of hondzhana.

Festive pants were sewn from silk red fabric on a lining of a white cloth. The lower ends of the trousers, gathered at the ankles, should be visible from under the outer clothing, so this part was sewed from the more expensive and beautiful material and expanded (in the Yerevan and Ararat Valley) with gold embroidery or decorated with a strip of black velvet with Syunik, Artsakh gilded with braid. In the women’s complex of the provinces of Syunik and Artsakh, an important part was the top shirt – virvi halav (Armenian Վիրվի հալավ) made of red silk or calico with round gates and chest section cut with black velvet or satin, and also sewn with silver small ornaments. It was worn over the outer shirt.

At the end of the XIX- beginning of the XX century, women’s outerwear differed widely among Armenians. The basis for it in Eastern Armenia was a long swinging dress – an arhalukh with whole-front front shelves and a scoring back, an elegant long neckline, fastened only at the waist. Due to the lateral cuts from the hem to the waist in the lower arhalukha, three floors were obtained: wide at the back and two narrow ones, swinging in front, that’s why this garment was called the “pyre” (Armenian իրեք փեշքանի letters “with three sexes”). Shili arhalukh from chintz, satin or silk, usually blue, green or purple, on a lining of thin cotton batting stitched with longitudinal, and on the sleeves with vertical stitches. The hem and cuts were trimmed with another, usually red, trim. The incision on the chest and the ends of the sleeves were lined with silver hollow patterned linear beads, and the cut of the sleeve from the wrist to the elbow – by hanging metal balls, amygdala, connected with each other by chains. It was supposed to have two dresses: everyday – from cotton fabric and festive – from expensive silk fabric. Female arhaluh existed in the Armenian way of life up to the 1930s, and in some cases old women wore it back in the 1960s.

Clothing exit served dress – Mingtang (. Arm Մինթանա), is worn for ceremonial occasions over arhaluha the same cut, but without side seams.

An integral part of traditional women’s clothing was the belt. In Eastern Armenia, a cloth long belt (3.5 x 0.5 m) made of cotton or silk fabric, mostly red coarse calico, was tied twice around the waist over the Arkhalukha. Tied it in front, and the ends were fixed from the back. In the late XIX – early XX century. in the Ararat valley, especially in the urban environment of Yerevan, the women’s clothing complex included a cloth silk belt with two long cloth-pendants embroidered with silk and gold threads. In Syunik and Artsakh, a leather belt with a large silver buckle and embroidered silver plates, made in engraving, filigree and mobile technology.

Winter clothing was a straight swinging fur coat-a mushtak, a hammer of dark red velvet or woolen fabrics (cloth) on a stitched lining. The edges of the velvet coat, front and side cuts were decorated with a narrow silk ribbon and were sewed, like the sleeves and the gate, with wide strips of fox fur. It was worn by married women from the well-to-do strata of the population in Yerevan, Syunik, Artsakh. Another version of this expensive prestigious clothing, in particular in Yerevan, was a fur coat cut from the waist in dark blue, dark green velvet on a silk lining with long cut-through sleeves like a male chuhi. She was edged with a black velvet ribbon with a rich gold-plated ornament.

The most characteristic and complex in the Eastern Armenian complex was the female headdress, which is of the “closed chin and mouth” type. In girlhood, the hair was loosened back with a few pigtails and tied a head with a handkerchief. “After marriage, the Armenian woman was tied up her head,” that is, they put on the head a special “turret” – palti (Nagorno-Karabakh, Syunik), pali, poli (Meghri, Agulis), baspind (Yerevan, Ashtarak) – a height of 8 to 15-18 cm from several layers of paper glued with flour. A ribbon with coins (silver, very rich with gold) or with special pendants was tied under it on the forehead, and silver balls or silver balls alternated between the temples on either side of the face. The nose and mouth were tightly tied first white, and then a colored (red, green) handkerchief, tying the ends or fastening them with hooks at the back of the head. All this complex dress was covered with a colored handkerchief and was strengthened with a wide (4-5 cm) silver or gold chain with a hook thrown over the head. It seemed as if the entire upper half of the face was peeping out of a quadrangular frame. To make such a headdress, it took a lot of time, it was “built” for several days, and to not be destroyed, lying down to sleep, under the head, rather under the neck, they put an elongated round cushion pillow “. In Lori this headdress was lightened: the “turret” was replaced by a low rim, decorated with a bandage bandage with embroidered floral ornament; very rarely wore silver coins on the forehead; on the head instead of a handkerchief threw a gauze (tulle) handkerchief, his face looked more freely from under the scarves. More significantly, the headgear of the Tiflis Armenianwas lightened.

The Western Armenian complex
The Western Armenian complex of women’s clothing was distinguished by its bright color scheme and rich decorative design. The underwear was similar in style to the Eastern Armenian, with the only difference being that the shirts were made of white cotton fabric.

Western Armenians wore a sweeping one-piece dress – ant’ari or zpun, xrxa with a small stand-up collar, extended sleeves below the side hips below the hips, sewn from silk or cotton, lined. Over the antara for solemn occasions, as well as in the cold season, a dress was worn-juppa, but without side cuts. This dress could be festive (from burgundy, purple, blue velvet or silk, colored woolen fabric in stripes) and everyday (from dark blue cloth). Such a sweeping women’s clothing with straight lines, which has six basic variants, was widespread in Western Armenia (Karin, Kars, Bagrevand, Ardahan, Khotorgur and others). The cut on the chest, the edges of the sleeves, the whole hem of the dress were decorated with relief gold sewing in 5-7 cm width of the plant pattern.

A distinctive feature of traditional women’s clothing in Western Armenia was the apron – mezar.

Stitched from cotton or expensive (velvet, cloth) fabrics, richly decorated (especially a wedding), he was a necessary part of the outfit: how to “go ashamed” in the east to go out with an open chin, so here it was “shameful” to appear without an apron. His classic version is an apron of red cloth in a set of clothes Karina-Chirac with exquisite sewing and braid, which was tied around the antarctic. A long narrow band (2-3 cm wide and 3 m long), woven from red and yellow silk (golden) threads, was sewn to the apron. With this apron, the open breast of the dress was covered with an embroidered breastplate – krckalrectangular or trapezoidal shape of silk, velvet or woolen fabric, for girls and young women decorated with rich embroidery along the gates and on the chest, and dzhuppa replaced with a jacket – salta or kurtik. This short, short (to the waist) jacket was made of purple, blue, burgundy velvet or green, blue silk fabric. The jacket was festive clothes and amazed with the beauty of the patterned embroidery. Warm outer clothing, in particular in Vaspurakan, served as dalma, a kind of long coat of black cloth on the lining. This swinging, fitting in the waist and laced with braids of woven gold and silk threads, clothing in the cut was similar to juppa. It was mostly worn by girls and young women.

Women’s headdress was distinguished by special wealth and beauty. The girls braided their hair into numerous braids (up to 40), from which the front ones were thrown forward on the chest, and the rear ones were placed on the back with the help of silver chains, they lengthened the braids with elaborately woven wool threads into the hair color, decorating them with silver balls and brushes. Decorated with silver ornaments and a felt cap shaped as a feather without a brush. It was hung on chains in front of a row of new lunettes, leaves, chains, amulets, and at the temples – navisochniki – eresnoc. In many regions a silver plate with chased colors, images of angels, sun rays, etc., was sewn on the fez on top.

When married, a woman wore a red cap made of the finest felt, with a long brush of purple or blue twisted silk threads 40 cm in length. Brush clings to the cap cap, jewelry decoration filigree work with precious stones. Above the cap is put on a tight circle made of velvet or silk 7 cm wide: in the southern regions – kotik, in Karine-Shirak vard (lit. rose). On the circle near the temples there are raised convex thickened roses and kotosner. The front part of the wards used to be decorated with flowers from precious stones and pearls, and from the end of the 19th century. they are replaced with lace silk small flowers, embroidered needles in the technique of Armenian lace. Surface of wardslike a flower garden. Among flowers, sometimes there are convex figures of males.

By the forehead of the Ward sewn saran – a double row of gold coins. In the middle of it on the forehead came a larger coin ktuc – “beak”. The temporal decorations from several rows of braided pearls come down to the chest, ending with thin round golden plates. On top of this headdress, when leaving the street, a large transparent coverlet was put over from head to toe, lined with a wide lace border (for young people, white woolen yarn, and for the elderly, blue).

All this elegant colorful complex was supplemented by many ornaments: necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings, as well as silver or gilt belt with a massive buckle of amazingly fine jewelry work. Most of them were the property of wealthy Armenian women, especially in the trade and artisan environment in many cities of Western Armenia and Transcaucasia.

Since ancient times, shoes have been an integral part of the traditional clothing of Armenians. Men’s and women’s shoes (knitted socks and shoes) were in many ways identical. An important place in the shoes of Armenians was occupied by knitted patterned socks – gulpa, t’at, which, along with male leggings, are known even in the Urartian period. In traditional life, male and female patterned gulps were knit tightly from the woolen, economic activities of a particular region. They could be monophonic and multicolored, and each region had its own favorite pattern and color. They were widely used not only in everyday life, but also had ritual significance. Socks were part of the dowrygirls, were one of the main subjects of the gift exchange at weddings and christenings. They had a wide existence throughout Armenia and in many regions were preserved until the 1960s.

Men’s leggings – srnapan and windings – tolax were mostly knitted from woolen or cotton colored yarns or sewed from homespun canvas. The noses were worn over the socks and fastened under a lace cord.

Traditional pistols of men and women were pistons – trex with pointed toe. They were sewn from one piece of raw rawhide leather of cattle with woolen or leather laces, and each region had its own way of passing laces in them. Tpex had two varieties: with a seam in the middle of the foot and without a seam. It was a casual shoes, which during the work carried all the rural population without age differences and restrictions.

The oldest sample of the trio was found in Armenia in 2006 in the cave Areni-1 (Vayotsdzor) and dates from the middle of the 4th millennium BC.

Very distinctive was the women’s outgoing footwear – mas babuj, sewn from two separate parts of the same quality leather: in young yellow, in the elderly yellow and red, on a firm sole. The common footwear on firm soles was s`musk – sharp-nosed, with a strongly curled toe toe without shoes on a small heel of black (male) or green (female) leather, on a leather lining. Their entire front surface was plentifully embroidered with linear patterns. Women, mostly wealthy, wore them mostly in the winter. A variety of crampons was shoes c’ust also on the firm sole and bent upward nose, which in a number of areas of the Ararat valley (Ashtaraketc.) served as a parade footwear: she was put on, going to church or to visit. With the hubbub there was a similar and sharp-nosed footwear without backdrops – masik, with a padded horseshoe heel. Young women and girls wore a machine green and red, the elderly – black.

At the end of XIX century. came into use a new kind of women’s shoes – closed deep factory-made shoes, strapped with a lace or three-button closure. It was the front shoes of the well-to-do strata of society. in the beginning of XX century. the so-called Adelkhanov footwear (known by the owner of the factory in Tiflis) was popular. This flat shoes with backs on a low heel, equipped with a horseshoe and a rounded nose, resembled chusts, but was more deeper. However, it was not widely used and soon disappeared.

In cities, men wore high-heeled boots, with a thick sole, in ancient times with pointed and curved up toes. High boots made of soft thin leather (chrome or chevrolet) were expensive footwear, worn by mostly well-off people, mostly elderly men, especially in combination with a black one – Circassian.

The shoes of Western Armenians differed somewhat from Eastern Armenia. On the patterned socks usually put on leather shoes – soler I with tongues and sharp curled socks, on low heels, to which the horseshoe was hammered. Men wore shoes of red, black, women, girls – red, green, yellow flowers. Women and girls also wore elegant leather boots without soles, and they were wearing shoes – smek without backs, but on heels. Men’s black shoes had a small leather loop on the top of the back, their sole often nailed with wide and convex heads. Men also wore soft red boots. In the villages homemade shoes were distributed – rsekteron a felt sole with knitted woolen threads on top, which replaced three.

In the conditions of development of factory production, distribution in a life of factory products and under the influence of an urban fashion, folk clothing has gradually disappeared from the 1930s and has had pan-European forms. Only the old people, most often in the villages, up to the 1960s, adhered to separate elements of the traditional traditional clothing.

Currently, in the conditions of the rule of uniform European clothing, the ethnic originality of the Armenian people’s clothing is preserved in the costumes of ethnographic ensembles of folk dance, products of decorative and applied art and souvenir products. Rich collections of samples of male and female traditional clothes of the 18th and 20th centuries, reflecting the specifics of different historical and ethnographic regions of Armenia, are contained in museum collections.

One of the defining characteristics of folk costume was ornamentation and color symbolism, in which ethno-cultural traditions and the social environment play an important role. The color scheme as a whole, as well as certain color combinations, express sex and age and social differences. Women’s traditional clothing of Armenians is everywhere distinguished by its colorful and rich tonality. Men’s clothing is multicolored only in the Western Armenian regions, while the Eastern Armenian men’s suit is characterized by general restraint and modesty of coloring, with a predominance of dark tones, sometimes combined with white (under the urban influence at the beginning of the 20th century).

The colors of Armenian traditional clothing, in particular the female, are dominated by red color – from dark cherry to blood-fire tones. Red color was used both for the lower (female underwear, pants), and for outerwear: men’s and women’s hats, knitted wears, belts, women’s head scarves, bedspreads, bibs, aprons. The aprons played an important role in the women’s clothing complex as a symbol of the marital status: it is no accident among the Armenians that the expression “red apron” (Armenian կարմիր գոգնոց) means “married woman”.

The red color was also widely used in embroideries and stripes adorning both male and female clothes. Armenians, like many peoples, red color was identified with “beautiful”, “good”, “festive”. According to folk beliefs, this color symbolizes life / blood, sun / fire, fertility and at the same time serves as a defense against evil, sickness and infertility.

Red color in combination with green is primarily associated with wedding symbols. This is reflected in ritual clothing, in particular, in a wedding chrezplechnike – kosband (arm. Կոսպանդ) or usband (arm. Ուսպանդ), uskap (arm. Ուսկապ) – Phillips-dressing of red and green scarves on the chest of the groom, in narote (Arm. նարոտ) – retinue of red and green thread the cord, tie svyaschennikaom in the church on the neck or arm the bride and groom as a wedding symbol, the way a married couple. A donkey was worn on the neck of the child at baptism. With the help of this amulet, the child underwent initiation, passing from a ritual unclean state to a ritually pure state.

The combination of red and green in the Armenian tradition is a symbol of marriage, as in the popular green color perception is identified with youth, spring greens, growing, with a new generation. To tie the “red-green” meant to marry, marry, the wish of marriage. Red-green color combination is typical for everyday women’s clothing in a number of regions, especially Syunik and Artsakh (lower red shirt, upper green arhalukh). Sometimes the color red is used in a wedding ceremony in conjunction with the white: top and bottom red white head veil bride in Shirak and Javakhk, as red and white narot (arm. Նարոտ) inSasune.

In the women’s clothing of High Armenia, Shirak, Javakhk, green color gives way to blue (purple, dark purple). The combination of red and blue, typical for Armenia and for the Near East, has firmly become part of the symbolism of Christian iconography. Replacing the red apron as a symbol of a married woman against a blue is a sign of a woman’s loss of reproductive power. Blue in the popular perception is associated with old age, death. As for other Asiatic peoples, blue for Armenians is the color of mourning, and blue was worn as a sign of mourning for a distant relative, black for close relatives. At the same time, the blue color was simultaneously attributed to the healing power, and it was widely used in medical magic: mine-black beads are still considered an amulet, a guard against spoilage, evil eye.

Black is clearly perceived as a ritually unclean color. Black encodes all the dark tones – gray, brown, blue. Changing colored clothes to dark means the onset of old age. Black – the most common color of mourning. In Armenian traditional clothes, mourning is reflected, in particular, in the headdress. In Taron and Vaspurakan (Western Armenia), men in a sign of mourning threw on the hats – araxc’i black handkerchiefs-bandages – p’usi. Women in mourning mostly changed their headgear to a black veil. It is important to note that young women mourned only for their husbands, in other cases it was forbidden, since they believed that black color could deprive them of their childbearing ability.

White was considered ritually pure, it was the color of clothing at baptism and at the same time – the funeral shroud at the burial.

In the colors of the Armenian traditional costume, there is a special restraint in the use of yellow. He meets very rarely, in subdued tones. Yellow, the color of wilting nature, as a whole has a negative symbolism. he was associated with disease, bile, poison, and why was considered harmful. The presence of a broad yellow band in the rainbow palette was interpreted as a bad omen (drought, crop failure, disease). On the basis of the negative perception of yellow, a number of prohibitions arose, such as the ban on visiting a newborn during the period of forty days in gold jewelry, which could cause jaundice. However, the association of gold gloss with sunshine / light justified the wearing of gold ornaments, as well as the use of gold thread in embroideries.

Thus, the colors of Armenian folk traditional clothing can be represented in video contrasting positive (red, green, white) and negative (blue / violet, yellow, black) colors.

Ornament of clothes refers to that area of folk art, in which the specific appearance and national color of the people is manifested. About ancient sources of ornamentation of clothes from Armeniansevidence of archaeological finds, mural paintings, relief images on the walls of churches, tombstones, miniatures, etc. Clothing and its components, along with utilitarian, have a ritual and magical significance. Ornament of male and female Armenian folk clothes was located around the so-called entrances 9 neck neck, sleeves, wrist, side gaps, hem), ie on those parts of clothes that have a sacred function to protect it from penetrating all kinds of “evil spirits” “. The men’s belts in the wedding and maternity ritual, ornamented female aprons, breastplates, traditional knitted patterned socks of the hulp (military գույպա) (in particular, in wedding rituals), etc. The ornament was carried out with the technique of heel, embroidery, applique, artistic seam and viscous. In the Armenian tradition, knitting, as well as embroidery, including mesh ornament, had the magic and magic significance of protection from evil and evil spirits, and the needle (pin) served as a guard against evil eye and spoilage.

The material for the ornamentation of clothes, in particular for women, was rich and varied: woolen, cotton, silk, and also gold and silver threads, sequins, beads and buttons, small shells and even fish scales. Shells and scales (as extracted from water) were attributed to magical power, capable of stimulating fertility. Special bewitching powers were given to beads and beads from the wound material (glass, coral, stone). Small beads of turquoise or red coral decorated the tips of the brushes of men’s belts, fringes of headbands and women’s headscarves. Ornaments on women’s belts and nalobniki were embroidered with beads or beads. According to folk beliefs, some of them are treated for certain diseases, others catch up with sleep, others are protected from the evil eye, etc.

Classification of ornament
The national ornament is included in the category of sign-saturated objects of the traditional everyday culture of the ethnos, acting, in particular, as the bearer of ethno-differentiating features and at the same time being sex-age, and also a social indicator.

The ornament of the Armenian national costume is divided into three main groups – vegetative, zoomorphic (ornithomorphic) and geometric. There are also images of household objects, architectural structures (for example, the dome of the church) and donative inscriptions.

Vegetable ornament
Vegetative ornament is characterized by branches, stems, leaves and trees of different species. A wavy line depicting petals and sprouts on each bend edges the edges of clothing, symbolizing the infinity of the life cycle. Male and female jackets and sleeveless jackets of the Western Armenian complex are distinguished by a complex stylized petal-and-shoot ornament.

Flowers according to popular beliefs are a symbol of youth, purity and eternal youth. Quite widespread almond-shaped ornament, found, in particular, on female aprons as a symbol of fertility and serving also for protection from evil. Such an ornament is also widespread throughout the Indo-Iranian world and has the same symbolism.

The image of the tree (the tree of life), the most common motif in Armenian ritual art, occurs in a wide variety of variants on women’s head scarves, bibs, woven belts, etc. It was believed that his image on clothes could be protected from lightning strikes.

The motif of a tree – a universal symbol of fertility, growing from a pot or from the ground, symbolizes pregnancy, motherhood, because the earth was identified with a woman, and the tree – with a fruit. It was not for nothing that the Armenians compared a blossoming tree with a bride. Trees from ancient times were the object of veneration for the Armenians.

Zoomorphic ornament
A zoomorphic ornament, rarely found in clothing, is very stylized, accentuating the characteristic external sign of the animal. The most common “horns” – a stylized image of the horns of a bull / cow or ram, found on female aprons and headdresses. This ornament, semantically connected with a phallic cult, with heavenly moisture, symbolizes abundance, well-being and fertility.

For women’s clothing is also characterized by a serpentine ornament encoded in an S-shaped figure in both a horizontal and vertical position. This is the most common sign in the woven ornaments of Armenians. The cult of the snake among the Armenians has deep roots, as evidenced by archaeological finds, in particular, images of snakes on ceramic objects, daggers, bracelets with snake-headed endings of II millennium BC. and others. The image of a snake is a favorite motif in Armenian decorative art, in particular, in women’s jewelry (belts buckles, bracelets, etc.). The mythological image of the snake is associated with the water element and has both a positive and negative context. According to popular beliefs, the snake communicates with the well-being of the house and family, it is considered the guarantor of fertility, i.е. appears as if in the role of a “good spirit”.

In the ornithomorphic (zoomorphic) ornament there are also pair images located on both sides of the vegetative (often stylized) ornament, in three-part compositions, without any specific differences. The Museum of the History of Armenia holds the oldest (1880)) a sample of the surviving fiancée of the bride from Karina, embroidered with stylized cocks. The motif of a bird with the same stylization can be seen on the grooms’ knitted socks (also from Karin). Such an ornament on ritual clothing is associated with wedding symbols as a sign of the bride and groom. The rooster occupied a special place in the wedding ritual of the Armenians. Red and white cock feathers adorn the bridegroom’s headdress as a symbol of male potency. In three-part compositions, images of birds on both sides of the plant ornament are treated as a symbol of fertility. This composite plot has ancestral Asian roots. The idea of fertility is expressed in another version of this composition, where the plant sprouts from the back of the birds connected by the tails.

Geometric ornament
Geometric ornament is the most common, it is decorated with both women’s and men’s clothing, it is especially typical for Western Armenia. The main types of geometric ornament, which was widespread in many peoples, more than others bear the semantic load. One of the most common geometric ornaments is a circle (concentric, with a point in the center, with a cross). The circle with internal rays hides the floral code.

The circle symbolizes the space-time concepts, as well as the heavenly bodies. In ritual art, he simultaneously symbolizes the original egg, the fetus, the fetus – synonyms of life. According to folk ideas, the circle (the outline of a circle, walking around in circles, etc.) performed, in addition, the magic function of protection from evil and evil spirits.

The square, as well as the circle, mythologically means the initial delimitation of space, while simultaneously representing concepts related to the number four (the directions of the world, the annual cycle, the four elements, etc.). The joint of the vertical (male) and horizontal (feminine) lines of the square, their crossing in the image of the cross, demonstrate the idea of fertilization. In this sense, the cross and the square are considered as symbols of fertility. Embroidery with crosses on ritual and children’s clothes performed a guard-magical function. Every image of the cross, as well as the custom of baptism, should be protected from evil, witchcraft, unclean.

The diamonds and triangles adorned mostly women’s clothing. They are interchangeable in both constructive and semantic meaning. A triangle with a vertex down is treated as a female symbol, with the top pointing up – often as a masculine. Thus, the rhombus is considered as a combination of two principles, i.e. a symbol of fertility.

A more illustrative example is a rhombus with hook-sprouts, symbolizing fertility and fertility in all agricultural peoples.

Of the other elementary geometric signs, the most common point is the simplest and at the same time semantic loaded ornamental element. It was considered the first principle, the initial sign, the symbol of the seed, grain, fertility.

Along with the ornament on the clothes (belt, socks, parts of the shirt, etc.), there are often embroidered or woven donative inscriptions, which are regarded as a kind of magical formula of goodwill such as “carry on health”.

As an ornament, one can consider the depiction of churches and domes on women’s woven and silver belts. The church, the temple, the sanctuary are allomorphs of the world tree and in the ritual art are completely interchangeable.

Ornament of folk clothes, having lost its ancient mythological meaning, was preserved until the beginning of the XX century. Nowadays motifs of traditional ornaments, often stylized and in a modernized form, are widely used in decorative and applied art, especially in souvenirs.

Source from Wikipedia