Female festive headdress-kokoshnik - "Shishak". Russians. Pskov Province. Late 19th cen

Female festive headdress-kokoshnik - "Shishak". Russians. Pskov Province. Late 19th cen

The headdress was the most remarkable and well decorated piece of a female costume. Unlike maidens who could wear only the forehead band, women in the Northern part of Russia always covered their heads and hid their hair under different types of headgears, for example kokoshnik.   Wedding and festive kokoshniks were adorned with golden embroidery and richly decorated with crushed and round river pearls. Pearl was hunted in more than 50 rivers in the north of Russia, and was sold in the fairs all over Russian Empire. Peasant women and the cloistral mistresses did pearl string.

Cone-like decoration of the kokoshnik is an ancient symbol of the fertility, the wish to have many children, rich harvest and cattle breed. Such headgears were kept in the family and were given from mother to daughter.