Winter fur hats

Russian Souvenirs / Winter Fir Hats

Winter fur hats (also “ushankas”) for the Russian people have long been one of the most familiar winter hats, and foreigners, buying it as a souvenir is paying a tribute to Russian history. Even now, this hat has much popularity among young people, as it saves a head in frosty winter. In this respect, even the Oxford dictionary has separate terms «shapka» and «ushanka».

Ushankas descended from Mongol headgear. Mongolian ushanka was a cap in the form of a cone made of sheepskin. This men's hat was indispensable in winter: its wide lapels protected face and cheeks of Mongolian soldiers from the wind and blowing snow. Over time, the sheepskin lapels on the sides were cut vertically. So, appeared ears, which were fastened on the face, when it was cold and in warm weather retracted back on the head.

In the times of Mongolian troops invasion in Kievan Rus, there was an involuntary exchange of cultural and household artifacts between peoples. Therefore, this hat entered the ancient Russian environment.

Throughout the history of the Russian army, ushanka was an attribute of the army form. Despite the fact that the modern Russian army has recently moved to a new form of clothing, this hat remained in place. Of course, it has changed a bit. Modern military ushankas are covered with water-repellent fabric, which has certainly improved their quality.

However, in Russia, ushanka has become a part of history like valenki, samovar and matryoshka. 

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