Bast in Russia

At the beginning of XX century Russia more often called the country "lapotnoy" by investing in this concept shade primitive and backward. Shoes, which have become a kind of symbol, which came in a variety of proverbs, traditionally a shoe of the poorest. It is no coincidence.

The entire Russian village, with the exception of Siberia and the Cossack areas, year round walking in sandals. It would seem that the complex carries a theme of the story rounders? And yet even the exact time of occurrence of bast in the lives of our ancestors unknown to this day.

It is believed that sandals — one of the most ancient types of shoes. In any case, bone kochedyki — hooks for weaving bast — Archaeologists are even found in Neolithic sites. It does not give reason to assume that in the Stone Age people may have woven shoes from plant fibers?
Widespread wicker shoes has created an incredible diversity of varieties and styles, depending primarily on the raw materials used in the work. A woven sandals made of bark and many deciduous trees Podkoren: linden, birch, elm, oak, willow, etc. Depending on the material and wicker shoes called variously berestyaniki, Vyazovik, Dubovik, broom … The most durable and soft in this series were considered bast shoes, made of linden bast, and the worst — and willow Koverznev mochalyzhniki, which were made from urine.
Often called the number of bast Lykovy bands used in weaving: Pyaterik, by six, Semerikov. At seven lyk usually woven winter shoes, although there have been instances where the number lyk reached twelve. For strength, warmth and beauty sandals propletali again, which, as a rule, in the course were hemp rope. With the same purpose, sometimes sewn leather soles (podkovyrku). Output destined for holiday unwritten Elm sandals thin bark with black wool (not hemp) Oboro (ie braid, which enshrines sandals on his feet) or reddish Elm Semerikov. For fall and spring yard work easier is considered high wicker foot had not rev.
Shoes not only spun from tree bark, in the case went and fine roots, but because of them, and woven sandals surnamed wheeler. Model, made from strips of fabric and cloth pokromok, nazyvalipleteshkami. Bast made from hemp rope — Kurp or Crutzen, and even horse-hair-volosyanniki. Such footwear often worn at home or go to her in hot weather.

Venetsianov AG Boy putting on sandals
Technique weave bast was also very diverse. For example, the Great shoes, as opposed to the Belarusian and Ukrainian, had a twisted braid — "grille forward", while in the western regions was common more conservative type — direct weaving, or "direct lattice." If Ukraine and Belarus began to weave sandals with socks, the Russian peasants did zapletku a backdrop. So what about the place the appearance of a woven shoes can be judged by the shape and the material of which it is made. For example, for the Moscow patterns woven from bast, have high sides and a rounded head (ie socks). Northern or Novgorod, type usually made of birch bark with triangular toes and relatively low sides. Mordovia shoes, common in Nizhny Novgorod and Penza province, woven from elm bark. The heads of these models were usually trapezoidal.
Rarely among the peasants could not weave sandals. Preserved description of this fishery in the Simbirsk province, where lykodery went into the forest intact artels. Lime per acre forest rented from the landlord, they paid a hundred rubles. Filmed special wooden splint Pyrkov, leaving quite bare trunk. The best is a splint, accomplished in the spring, when the lime tree leaves first started to blossom, so often this operation is ruined tree (hence, apparently, and the familiar expression "tear as sticky").
Lucky then carefully removed the hundreds of tied in bundles and stored in the hall or in the attic. Before weaving bast bark during the day always soaked in warm water. Then scraped off the bark, leaving the inner bark. From the cart lyk — from 40 to 60 bundles of 50 tubes each — get about 300 pairs of bast. The rate of weaving bast various sources say differently, from two to ten pairs per day.

Plaiting rounders needed was a wooden block and, as already mentioned, bone or iron hook — kochedyk. Special skills required weaving zapyatnika where reduced all Lucky. Tried to tie a loop so that after proderzhki Equi, they CURVE rounders and labor feet on one side. Legend has it that Peter himself I learned to weave woven sandals, and that kept them a sample of his things in the Hermitage at the beginning of the last (XX) century.
Boots, different from the bast comfort, beauty and durability, most serfs were not available. That treated rounders. On the fragility of wicker shoes suggests saying: "The way to go, five sandals weave." In winter, one man wore sandals not more than ten days, and in the summer tread down their working time in four days.
The life of the peasant lapotnikov described by many Russian classics. In "The Polecat and Kalinych" IS Turgenev opposes Orel Kaluga rent-paying peasant farmer, "Orlovsky small man tall, stooped, morose, sullen looks, lives in aspen wretched hut, goes to serfdom, not engaged in trade, eating poorly, wears sandals, Kaluga quitrent man lives in a spacious pine cottages, tall, looks bold and fun, sells oil and tar and holidays walking in boots. "
As you can see, even for the rich peasant boots were a luxury, they are worn only on special occasions. Kind of symbolic meaning of leather footwear for the farmer and the other emphasizes our writer, DN Mamin-Siberian: "Boots for the guy most seductive thing … No part of the peasant costume does not enjoy such sympathy as it boots." Meanwhile leather shoes valued not cheap. In 1838, the Nizhny Novgorod Fair a couple of good Lykovy bast could be bought for a penny, while the roughest peasant boots were worth at the time of at least five or six rubles. For the peasant-farmer a lot of money to collect them, you had to sell a quarter of rye, and in other places and more (one quarter stood at almost 210 liters of solids).
Even during the Civil War (1918-1920) in sandals walking larger part of the Red Army. Gathering, the Extraordinary Commission (CHEKVALAP), supply soldiers felt footwear and rounders.
In written sources, the word "bast", or rather, a derivative of it — "lapotnik" was first mentioned in "The Tale of Bygone Years" (in the Laurentian Chronicle): "In the year 6493 (985 years old.), Ideal for Bulgarians Volodimer ting ting Dobrynya uem svoim Bb boats, and are shown in Torquay beregom konih, and beat Bulgaria. Reche Dobrynya Volodimer: sglyadah kolodnik Auger TNI Bb sapozeh, sim tribute we do not dayati, oids look lapotnikov. And make Volodimer with Bulgaria mir … "In another written source era of ancient Russia, the" Word of Daniel the Exile ", the term" lychenitsa "as the name of the species is contrasted with wicker shoes boots:" I wish to see their own E leg at home in lychenitsy tvoem than with dyed callosum in boyar yard. "
Historians, however, know that the names of things known from written sources that do not always coincide with those items that match the term today. For example, "sundresses" in the XVI century named the top men's clothing in the form of his coat, and "fly was" called a richly embroidered handkerchief.

Interesting article on the history of modern St. Petersburg rounders published archaeologist A. Kurbatov, which offers not consider the history of rounders from the point of view of the philologist and historian from the standpoint of material culture. Referring to the recently accumulated archaeological materials and expand the linguistic base, he reviews the findings made by the Finnish scholar of the last century, IS Vahrosom in a very interesting book "The name shoes in Russian."
In particular, Kurbatov trying to prove that wicker shoes began to spread in Russia earlier XVI century. Moreover, the opinion about the original bast prevalence among rural residents, he refers to the mythologizing of history, for that matter, and social explanation of this phenomenon is the result of extreme poverty of the peasantry. These representations are formed, according to the author, among the educated part of Russian society only in the XVIII century.
Indeed, the relevant literature on large-scale archaeological research in Novgorod, Staraya Ladoga, Polotsk and other Russian cities, where the cultural layer was recorded, simultaneous "Tale of Bygone Years", no traces of wicker shoes. What excavated bone kochedyki? They could, according to the author, be used for other purposes — for weaving baskets with birch or fishing nets. In urban layers, stresses researcher sandals appear not earlier than the turn XV-XVI centuries.
Next the author's argument: images clad in sandals either on the icons or on the frescoes, miniatures of any personal vault. The earliest miniatures, which shows shod in sandals farmer — plowing scene from "The Life of Sergius", but it dates back to the beginning of XVI century. By this time include information scribe books, where he first mentions "lapotniki" ie craftsmen busy making bast shoes on sale. In the works of foreign authors who have visited Russia, the first mention of Lykova shoes, referring to the middle of the XVII century, Kurbatov finds a certain Nicolaas Witsen.
Can not be said about the original, in my opinion, the interpretation given by the Kurbatov Early Medieval written sources for the first time it comes to sandals. This, for example, the above excerpt from "The Tale of Bygone Years", where Vladimir Dobrynya gives advice to "look lapotnikov." AV Kurbatov explains it is not poverty lapotnikov, opposing rich captive Bulgarians, booted, and sees this as an allusion to the nomads. After all, to collect tribute from the sedentary population (lapotnikov) is easier than chasing the steppe hordes of nomadic tribes (boots — shoes, best adapted to the beach, actively used by nomads). In this case the word "lapotnik" that is booted in the "bast", mentioned Dobrynia probably means a special kind of low shoes, but not woven from plant fibers and leather. Therefore, the assertion of the poverty of the ancient lapotnikov that actually went to the leather footwear, according Kurbatova, unfounded.

Laptev holiday in Suzdal
All told again and again confirms the complexity and ambiguity of the evaluation of the medieval material culture from the standpoint of our time. I repeat: we often do not know what the terms found in the written sources, and at the same time we do not know the purpose and name of many objects found during excavations. However, with the stated archaeologist Kurbatov conclusions, in my opinion, one can argue, advocating the view that the bast much more ancient invention of man.
So, isolated finds wicker shoes during excavations of ancient cities, archaeologists have traditionally attributed to the fact that the sandals — primarily attribute of rural life, while citizens prefer to wear leather shoes, the remains of which are found in large quantities in the cultural layer during excavations. Nevertheless, the analysis of several archaeological reports and publications, in my opinion, does not give reason to believe that wicker shoes did not exist before the end of the XV — beginning of XVI century. Why? But the fact that the publication (and even reports) do not reflect the full range of archaeologists discovered the mass of material. It is possible that in the publications did not mention the poorly preserved scraps of bast or are otherwise provided.
For the answer to the question, whether worn sandals in Russia earlier XV century, should carefully review the inventory of finds dating to verify the layer, etc. It is known that there are publications, remaining undetected, which mention the remains of early medieval wicker shoes bedding Lyadinskogo cemetery (Mordovia) and Vyaticheskih mounds (Moscow). Bast found in the pre-Mongolian bedding Smolensk. Information about this may be found in other reports.
If sandals really widespread only in the later Middle Ages, in the XVI-XVII centuries, they would meet everywhere. However, in urban parts of the wicker shoes are sometimes found during excavations of a very rare, while the details of leather shoes are tens of thousands.
Now for the information content carried by medieval illustrations — icons, frescoes, miniatures. One can not ignore that it greatly reduces the conventional representation, far from real life. And the long-skirted garment often hide legs depicted characters. It is no coincidence historian AV Artsikhovsky who has studied more than ten thousand miniatures of the Personal vault and to generalize the results of their research at a big book "Old Russian miniatures as a historical source" does not apply to shoes.
Why not have the necessary information in written documents? First of all, because of poverty and the fragmentary nature of the sources themselves, in which the least attention is paid to the description of the costume, the more clothing commoner. The appearance of the pages cadastres XVI century mention of artisans, specially engaged in weaving shoes, does not exclude the fact that even before weaving sandals peasants themselves.
AV Kurbatov not seem to notice the aforementioned fragment of the "Word of Daniel the Exile," where for the first time the word "lychenitsa" opposed to "dark red callosum." No explanation and evidence of the chronicles in 1205, which speaks of the tribute in the form of bark, taken by Russian princes after beating Lithuania and Yatvingians. Kurbatova comment to the passage of the "Tale of Bygone Years", which defeated the Bulgarians are elusive nomads, although interesting, but also raises questions. Can not be considered nomadic Bulgar Empire State end of the tenth century, which brought together many of the tribes of the Middle Volga. It is dominated by feudal relations flourished huge cities — Bulgaria, Suvar, Bilyar, bogatevshie on transit trade. Besides hiking the Bulgarians in 985 was not the first (the first mention of the campaign refers to the 977), so Vladimir already had an idea about the enemy and hardly needs explaining Dobryni.
Finally, notes about Western travelers who visited Russia. They appear only at the end of the XV century, so the earlier evidence in the sources of this category does not exist. Moreover, the notes of foreigners focused on political events. Curious, from the point of view of Europeans, Russians wear them almost occupied.
Of particular interest is the book of the famous German diplomat Baron Sigismund Gerbershtey on who visited Moscow in 1517 as an ambassador of the Emperor Maximilian I. In his notes there is an engraving depicting a scene in a sleigh ride, which are clearly visible shod in sandals skiers accompanying sleigh. In any case, in his notes Herberstein notes that went skiing in many places in Russia. Clear picture of peasants, clad in sandals, is in the book "Journey to Muscovy" A. Oleary, twice visited Moscow in the 30's of the XVII century. True, in the text itself does not mention sandals.
Ethnographers have also no clear opinion on the transit time of wicker shoes and its role in the life of the peasant population of the early Middle Ages. Some researchers have questioned the antiquity of the bast, considering that before the peasants wore leather shoes. Others refer to the customs and beliefs, talking just about the antiquity of bast shoes, for example, point to their ritual significance in the places where the wicker shoes long forgotten. In particular, already mentioned Finnish researcher IS Vahros refers to the description of the funeral in the environment of the Ural-Believers kerzhakov not wearing wicker shoes, but bury their dead clad in sandals.

Summarizing, we note: It's hard to believe that widespread in the early Middle Ages and bark kochedyki only used for weaving baskets and nets. Sure, shoes made of vegetable fiber, was a traditional part of the East Slavic costume and is familiar not only Russian, but also Poles and Czechs and Germans.
It would seem that the question of the date and nature of the propagation of wicker shoes — a very special moment in our history. But in this case it involves a large-scale problem of the urban and rural differences. At the time, historians have noted that a fairly close relationship the city and rural districts, the lack of significant legal distinction between "black" population of the urban village and farmers do not allow a sharp boundary between them. Nevertheless, the results of excavations indicate that cities sandals are extremely rare. This is understandable. Shoes, woven from bast, bark or other plant fibers, more suitable for peasant life and work, and the city is known to have lived in the main trade and commerce.
Redditch, S. "Science and Life» № 3, 2007

Bast — the oldest shoe in.

Laptev (VERZNI, Koverznev, Cross tee, LYCHNIKI, LYCHNITSY, crustaceans) — They were the low light shoes, used all year round and tied to the leg length of the cord — SPEED

Lapotnoy Russia remained until the 30s of the 20th century.
The material for the bast was always at hand: their woven bast linden, elm, willow, heather, birch bark, and urine. On a couple of bast stripped three young (4-6 years) sticky.

You had a lot of bast — and about their everyday life, and for sale. "Good man in a thin time to wear out in a week for at least two pairs of bast" — testified before the revolution known writer and ethnographer S.Maksimov.

Bast for everyday tried to make durable to last longer worn. They were woven of coarse broad bast. These soles attached to braided hemp rope or thin strips of oak wood, soaked in boiling water. In some villages, when the street was dirty, the Laptev tied thick wooden blocks, consisting of two parts: one part is tied to the front of the foot, the other — to the rear. Everyday shoes, without additional devices, have a shelf life of three to ten days.

To strengthen and insulate their shoes, the peasants "podkovyrivali" their sole hemp rope. Feet in the sandals do not freeze and do not get wet.

Going on mowing shoes in sandals rare weaving, do not hold water — crustaceans.
To work around the house were comfortable feet — sort of galoshes, just braided.

Rope sandals called chuni, put them to work at home or in the field in the hot, dry weather. In some villages, managed to weave sandals horsehair — volosyaniki.

Held at Oboro sandals — leather narrow rmeshkahili ropes of hemp fiber (mochentsah). Legs wrapped in linen foot wraps, and then wrap themselves in woolen leggings.

Rural young frantihi appeared in public in written Elm sandals thin bark with black wool (not hemp) dues and onoochas.
Were considered the most beautiful sandals Elm (bark of elm). They were kept in hot water — then they are pinker and becomes rigid.

Most seedy reputation of bast shoes in Russia and willows, or Koverznev — from willow bark, and even to weave them considered shameful. Tala bark weaving shelyuzhniki and oak bark — Dubovik.
In Chernihiv sandals made of bark of young oaks called dubocharami. In the case go and hemp tow, and worn ropes, sandals of them — chuni — were mostly at home or in hot, dry weather. They must be of Finnish origin: Finns in Russia called "Chukhnov."
Were of such bast other names: Kurp, Crutzen and even whisperers. In areas where the bark was not, and it was expensive to buy, quirky peasants from fine roots wove wheeler; horsehair — volosyaniki. In Kursk province learned to make straw sandals. Lapotnaya footwear to be strong and feet do not get wet and it did not freeze, its bottom "podkovyrivali" hemp rope.
Before putting on shoes, feet wrapped in canvas puttees, and then wrap themselves in woolen leggings.

Woven sandals on the block, using an iron (or bone) hook —
kochetykom: call it more or marlinespike Shvaiko

He also stripped the bark from the trees.

"The most dexterous workers had time to weave a day not more than five pairs of bast. Easily given sole, before and obushnik (side). But not everyone is given zapyatnik: it reduces everything Lucky and bound loop — so that they slide the dues would not curve rounders and labor leg in the same direction.
People say that King Peter was able to do, did it all myself, and pondered over zapyatnikom rounders and cast. In St. Petersburg he nedopletenny bast shoe store and display "- wrote S.Maksimov.
Some sandals woven into five bands bast, or lines — they were Pyaterik, woven in six lines — by six and seven — Semerikov.
Great-bast different oblique weave bast, Belarusian and Ukrainian — direct.
Before and obushnik Russian bast shoes were tight, tight.

To work around the house were comfortable wicker feet — sort of high galoshes (rubber overshoes, more expensive, entered the village life only in the early twentieth century, and wore them only on holidays).
Left foot on the threshold, to quickly put to work on the farm, especially in the spring or fall, when the yard dirt, and sandals with leg wrappings, and defense onoochas wear long and troublesome.
In not so long ago a Russian bast shoes (as opposed to boots) were different for the right and left foot, while the peoples of the Volga — Mordovians, Chuvash and Tatars — they did not differ in the leg. Living side by side with these people and the Russian took over more practical shoes, when worn out, torn, or lost a bast shoe, the other one could not throw.

During the Civil War (1918-1920) in sandals walking larger part of the Red Army. Gathering, the Extraordinary Commission (CHEKVALAP), supply soldiers felt footwear and rounders.

With bast shoes in the Russian village was associated with many different beliefs. Used to be considered that the old bast suspended in a chicken coop will protect chickens from disease, will facilitate egg birds. It was believed that a cow after calving fumigated of rounders, will be healthy and will give a lot of milk. Bast stacked in a grass-lice, thrown during a severe drought in the river, cause rain, etc. Lapot played some role in family ceremonies. For example, according to the custom, after the matchmaker, matchmaker sends throwing bast to matchmaking was successful. Upon meeting the young, who were returning from church, the children burned shoes, filled with straw to give them a rich and happy life, protect them from harm.

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