Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1667 Russian voyevoda
Subject: боя́р noble as воево́да general
Culture: Muscovite/Russian
Setting: Muscovite empire, Russia 17thc
Evolution1242 Rus' druzhnik > ... > 1552 Muscovite pomeschik > 1667 Russian voyevoda

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Dmytryshyn ed. 2000 p392-393 (Jacques Margeret, writing in 1606)
"Concerning the military, we must first speak of the voevody, who are the generals of the army.  They are chosen customarily from the dumnye boiare and okol'nichie -- that is to say, if some enemies appear.  Otherwise, they are chosen annually from the dumnye dvoriane and moskovskie dvoriane, who are sent to the frontiers of Tatary to stop the incursions of any assembled forces of Tatars, who come sometimes to steal the grazing horses of some garrisons. If they were to meet no resistance, they would ravage all the more.  The voevody separate their army into five units: the advance guard, which is near some town close to the confines of Tatary; the right wing, which is near some other town; the left wing; then the main force of the army; and the rear guard -- all separated one from another.  However, the generals must be ready at a moment's notice to join the main force.   There are no other officers in the army but these generals."


* Stone 1934 p544
"SCHELOM.  Russian helmets of the 17th century.  The body is a bowl with a slight point at the crown; it has pendant ear and neck guards." [reference omitted]

* Dmytryshyn ed. 2000 p395 (Jacques Margeret, writing in 1606)
"The important nobles ... must have a shirt of mail, a helmet, a lance, bow and arrows.  So much each of their servitors, along with a good mount.  The dvoriane must have fairly good horses, a bow, arrows, and a scimitar. So must their servitors. This makes a multitude of men badly mounted, without order, courage, or discipline.  Many often do more damage to the army than good."

* Czars 2002 p91
"The term zertsala first appeared in Russian documents of the 16th and 17th centuries to refer to armor composed of thick metal plates and fastened together with straps, laces, or chains.  Usually the zertsala was made from between two and four pieces, but could contain as many as forty pieces.  This armor was worn by itself, over a battle uniform, or in combination with other armor.  The plates were typically crafted from polished steel, decorated with gold, silver, and sometimes precious stones.  The patina of this armor was likened to both polished silver and to the surface of an old-fashioned mirror."

*  Klučina/Pevný 1997 p108
"Perhaps the most stunning innovation in Russian armor was the baidan, chain mail made of large, flat chains, which protected against cuts extremely well.  Mirrors (in Persian, chair aina), or reinforcing plates, were of Persian origin.  Originally there were four mirrors -- one back plate, one breastplate, and two side plates -- were joined together with a set of straps and buckles.  The name was derived from the fact that these plates were polished until they shone like mirrors.  Later, in the seventeenth century, mirrors became small masterpieces in Russia.  Plates or mirrors were attached to expensive fabrics; their shape, number, and decoration changed, and the whole mirror was used to form a sort of plate-covered vest. "


* Czars 2002 p108
"Caftans are first mentioned in Russian documents of the 15th century.  Thereafter, and particularly in the 17th century, the name 'caftan' referred to any loose-fitting, ankle-length, secular garment, with many buttons, long sleeves, and a lining.  It could be worn as either an undergarment or an outer garment, in summer or winter. ...  The caftan was a particularly elegant and sedate garment, with its flowing, loose form and extreme length, stretching almost to the floor, which encouraged a smooth and dignified gait, as was considered appropriate in the Middle Ages.  The full costume was completed with the aid of a high fur hat and staff."

Yefimova/Aleshina 2011 p13
"This type of outer garment probably made its first appearance in the principality of Moscow in the 16th century.  It was distinguished from other types of garment by the richness of its fabrics and the luxuriance of its patterns.  At the end of the 16th century and in the early 17th century, the feryaz became the most fashionable garment for the Russian tsars.  Later in the 17th century, it became a kind of ceremonial imperial robe, replacing plain clothing.
​    "Registers of possessions, betrothal contracts and other written records demonstrate that the feryaz was worn by various groups of people among the population of Muscovite Russia.  A noble's version was distinguished from a merchant's by the quality of the fabric and the appearance of the trim.  Worn by both men and by women [sic], it had two purposes, being both a ceremonial garment and a simple domestic form of attire."

* Yefimova/Aleshina 2011 14
"The shuba is a fur-lined outer garment, usually worn unfastened, that was in widespread use in Russia from the 15th to the 17th centuries.  It was worn by people from various strata of society.  These coats were embroidered and decorated in various ways, depending on the level of prosperity of their owners.  References to various kinds have been preserved in documents: 'Russian', 'Turkish', 'Polish', for example."

* Racinet 1988 p270 f1.4
"... a Polish-style caftan, [is] so called because of its vertical opening down the front.  The Russian caftan was normally fastened obliquely across the chest."

 * Leventon ed. 2008 p249 (reconstructing Peter the Great)
"The tsar wears a Polish kaftan (kontusz) in an engraving of c. 1689.  This garment survives in the Kremlin Armoury and has multi-coloured braid trim, frog fastenings and full upper sleeves narrowing from the elbow to the wrist.  Characteristic of the kontuz [SIC] at this time is a narrow centre back panel flanked by wedge-shaped gussets inserted at the waist." * Leventon ed. 2008 p248 (reconstructing a Boyar man)"The highest rank of the Russian feudal aristocracy, the Boyars were distinguished in the 17th century by their tall fox or sable hats and soft red leather boots. He wears a Russian form of kaftan (ferezja) with two frog closures on the chest and a stand collar. ...  The ferezja is of silk brocade."


* Czars 2002 p69
"[I]n the 17th century with the invention of firearms, the saadak was replaced with pistols and carbines, though the saadak continued to play an important role in the ceremonial armament of the Russian czars."


* Czars 2002 p95
"According to scholars, the word konchar comes from the Turkish kandzar, meaning sword or dagger.  The word, however, is also consonant with the Slavic word konets, or konez, in its meaning of 'sharp.'  For example, in Russian, konchatiy is the adjective for a sharp knife, and in Czech, a koneiz is a foil (a sidearm with a long narrow blade).  The Hungarian word for this weapon -- hegyestorok, a 'cutting edge' -- is also extremely close in meaning.
​    "There are two types of knochars: the fighting knochar, with a long blade and, as a rule, a saber hilt; and the parade konchar, which has a small blade and is decorated with precious metals and stones.  The distinctive feature of the weapon was that it was not carried on the swordbelt, but attached to the saddle."


* Stone 1934 p632
"TSCHEKAN.  A war hammer, Russia."  [reference omitted]


* Stone 1934 p544
"SCHESTOPJOR.  Russian, a mace."  [reference omitted] 

* Czars 2002 p90
"In the 17th century, maces ... were often presented to military leaders on their promotion to a post of command in the Russian army."