Sarafan


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sarafan

 

a Russian national dress that is usually sleeveless and worn over a shift. In documents from the 14th through 17th centuries the term sarafan also refers to a man’s outer garment. In pre-Petrine Rus’, the sarafan was worn by the boyars. In the 19th century it was worn mainly by peasant women in the northern and central areas of Russia, in the Volga Region, and in Siberia. It was also worn by some city women.

The oldest type of sarafan did not have a slit down the front. It had wide armholes and sometimes false flap sleeves. In the mid-19th century a particularly popular style of sarafan was made of material cut on the diagonal and buttoned down the front. Later sarafan styles had a straight cut and straps or consisted of a bodice and skirt.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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