Rus Male Costume

Peter Beatson


Numerous grave finds show that fashions in clothing and jewellery were transmitted from steppe nomad cultures (eg. Khazars) to Eastern Scandinavia, via the Russian principality centered in Kiev, during the Viking period (Jansson 1986; 1988). These include metal buttons, appliques, and braids presumed to come from a front-opening coat or kaftan (perhaps ultimately derived from a Persian riding coat like those found in Antinöe, Egypt: Gervers 1983), sometimes found in association with belts of the type familiar from nomadic art and archaeological finds. It has been suggested that garments of these types were awarded by the Russian prince to persons of rank (Hägg 1983a; Roesdahl and Wilson 1992).

General reconstruction notes: The costume was based almost entirely on archaeological finds from Scandinavia and 'Varangian' settlements in Russia. All seams were hand sewn, the types of seams used are those known from surviving Viking Age garments and fragments (Fentz 1987a; Hägg 1974; Hald 1980; Walton 1989). Fabrics and threads of natural fibre (silk, wool or linen) were chosen to match the archaeological finds as best as possible. Metal items were made by cire perdue casting (from wax models).


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Page updated 27 Oct 1998