Men’s costume

The old Karakalpak men’s costume was notable for its austere colour and was largely similar to the neighbouring nations» attire. It included: tubeteika, fur hat, shirt, wide trousers, sleeveless jacket, robe, belt, shoes, and other pieces.

In the XIX century Karakalpak men wore boric hats that resembled the form of Old Scythian headdresses. They were made of black felt in the form of a cone with a bent tip. The ancient types of Karakalpak headdresses also included shogirme (a dark sheepskin hat with wool outside), a fox fur malakhay hat with earflaps and neckpiece, and lastly a felt or velvet degeley headdress with a fur trim. Another example of traditional Karakalpak hats was a famous karakul telpek. Under the hats men usually wore tubeteikas called takhiya. Its dome shape contained four parts, while the cap band was made of other cloth strips. It was trimmed with ribbon floss. The most popular shapan robes were the spacious shekpens from homespun cloth made from camel wool. Shekpen robes as well as a sheepskin coat, postin, were distinguished by a back triangle amulet with embroidery. The amulet was associated with the concept of human vulnerability from behind and originated from the ancient custom of wearing a quiver of arrows. A triangle, an ancient symbol of the Mother Goddess, at the same time meant arrowhead – a well-known amulet against malign forces.

Wearing a belt was considered obligatory; it was a symbol of male dignity and strength. An ordinary scarf was worn as an everyday belt. During holidays men were girded with a silk sash. Wealthy men wore wide cowhide belts called kamar-belbeu. They were decorated with silver pendants that contained depictions of trefoil, tiger head and paws. Thin leather belts with a set of pendants were also worn. Such belts were typical of hunters and were supplemented with numerous cases for cups, cartridges, flint and other necessities of camp life.