Male festive dress. Kabardians. 1880s

Male festive dress. Kabardians. 1880s

Male costume in Caucasus formed in conditions of man mobility. 

The most important detail of the male costume was a burka (a sleeveless cape made of felt or karakul) that could replace during a campaign both a home and a bed. It covered owner from rain and snow, and could serve as a tent as well as a cover and mat. When hot it protects the owner from the scorching heat. It was uncomfortable only for walking man that is why shepherds wore short burka. Kabardians burkas were the best, lightest and firmest in the Caucasus. Burka was put on over the cherkeska (caftan type clothes). On both sides of front parts of cherkeska there were small long pockets for the wooden small pipes-gazyry (gunpowder cases) the cases for rifle bullets. Usually there were dark colored burkas, the white burkas were only for noble people. 

The most common male headdress was a fur hat - papakha (astrakhan hat) it has cloth bottom and it was bad weather over the papakha they put on a bashlyk (cone-shape hood). People take the bashlyk along and wore it on the shoulders until it will be necessary. The festive bashlyk were white or bright and were richly decorated with galloon and golden embroidery.