A Kyrgyz man wearing a malahai, depicted in an early-19th-century painting

The malahai[a] (Russian: малаха́й or малакай,[b] Kazakh: малақай) is a historical headgear originating in present-day Kazakhstan, which was adopted in some of other regions of Central Asia and worn throughout the Russian Empire from the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries. It is a fur hat with a noticeably high conical, cylindrical,[1] or quadrangular[2] crown[c] and flaps that are typically four: two long side-flaps covering the ears, a wide rear one covering the neck and shoulders, and a short front one functioning as a visor. It is lined with furs of diverse animals, which include badger, fox, and wolf.

Worn by men in winter to protect themselves against the cold and withstand the elements on the road, the headgear also served as a soft protective helmet against bladed weapons.[1] It was worn by women in some parts of Russia.[3] Among Old Believers it was proscribed over religious reasons.[4][5]

Etymology

The etymology of the word malahai is disputed.[6] Although most philologists agree that it was derived from the Mongolian word malgai (малгай or malaɣai̯) meaning 'hat', they disagree on how the word came to the Russian language.[6] The wide distribution of the word in the Turkic languages led some to theorize that it had entered Russian via Turkic—according to Hungarian linguist Éva Csáki, Manchurian speakers loaned the Mongolian word without -i and the word regained -i only after it entered the Kipchak languages[7]—but others believe that the word had come from Manchurian and Mongolian speakers living in southeastern Siberia and then the word entered, on the contrary, Turkic via Russian.[6]

Design and materials

The extant images of Kazakh men wearing malahais were created in the 18th and 19th centuries by Russian, Western European, and Qing-dynasty Chinese artists and, toward the end of the 19th century, photographed by Russian officials, soldiers, and travelers.[8] As of 2012, seven authentic malahais with varying degrees of damage survived in museums and private collections in China, Kazakhstan, and Russia.[8]

Its crown was in general 40–50 centimetres (16–20 in) high[9] and either conical, cylindrical,[1] or quadrangular.[2] The headgear typically had four flaps and the front one, rectangular and shorter than the rest, was habitually folded upward and only lowered to cover the wearer's forehead during severe cold snaps or snowstorms.[10] The side-flaps or "ears" (naushi [ru]) were tied together either on top of the wearer's chin or under the chin, with leather straps or ribbons sewn on the flaps.[11] The wide rear-flap covered the wearer's neck and shoulders. Malahai was made of sheepskin, deerskin, and calfskin, and lined with furs of diverse animals such as beaver, fox, badger, and wolf,[12] while its outermost layer was made of cloth,[12] brocade,[9] silk,[9] or velvet.[12]

In Russia

Malahai became part of the Russian clothing in the mid-18th century after the Bashkirs and Kalmyks introduced the headgear to the country.[13] By the mid-19th century, its use had spread throughout Siberia and European Russia; however, before the 19th century ended, it had been mostly replaced by ushanka in the Russian Empire.[14]

In Russia, it was most often worn on the road and, as such, became a distinctive headgear of coachmen in Siberia.[15] Worn by men in winter to protect themselves against the cold and withstand the elements, it also served as a soft protective helmet against bladed weapons.[1] In some regions of Russia, it was worn by women as well.[3]

Among Old Believers—Eastern Orthodox Christians who maintain the liturgical and ritual practices of the Russian Orthodox Church as they were before the 17th-century reforms of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow—wearing malahai was forbidden because the wearer of the headgear cast a silhouette that allegedly resembled that of a horned demon,[4] and some malahais were lined with wolf fur, which was proscribed for them to wear especially in group prayer meetings.[5]

See also

Notes

a. ^ Variously romanized as malahai,[16] malahay,[7] malakai,[1] malaxay,[7] malaqai,[7] malaqay,[7] malakaj,[7] and malakhai[17]

b. ^ Pronounced [məɫɐˈxaj] and [məɫəˈkəj] respectively

c. ^ The term malahai applies to the ones with high (40–50 centimetres or 16–20 inches[9]) crowns only; those with low crowns are called tumaq [kk; ru].

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Бобров, Л.А. (2012). "Казахская воинская шапка «Малакай» XVIII-XIX веков" [Kazakh Military Cap "Malakai" 18th–19th Centuries]. Археология и этнография. История, филология (in Russian). 11 (7). Novosibirsk State University: 220. ISSN 1818-7919. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 550. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "Он представлял собой шапку с четырехугольным, (...) остроконечным верхом из сукна и с четырьмя клапанами." [It was a hat with a quadrangular, or (...) pointed top of cloth and four flaps.]
  3. ^ a b Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 550. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "мужской головной убор, использовавшийся в некоторых районах России и как женский." [A men's headwear, and used in some regions of Russia as a women's headwear.]
  4. ^ a b "Шапочный разбор" [Hats off]. Старообрядческий сайт «Русская вера» (Old Believers website 'Russian Faith') (in Russian). May 28, 2020. Archived from the original on October 10, 2022. Retrieved December 21, 2022. "В постановлениях поморских и федосеевских соборов (...) треухи и малахаи запрещены к ношению, потому что они напоминают силуэт беса." [In the rulings of the Pomorian and Fedoseevtsy councils, (...) treuhi [ru] and malahai are forbidden to wear as they resemble the silhouette of a demon.]
  5. ^ a b Селищев, Валерий (December 11, 2017). "О христианской одежде" [On Christian clothing]. Старообрядческий сайт «Русская вера» (Old Believers website 'Russian Faith') (in Russian). Archived from the original on October 14, 2022. Retrieved December 21, 2022. "Запрещены для христиан лишь картузы и шапки — малахаи (...) Также шапки из собачьего и волчьего меха, особо для посещения соборной молитвы." [The only things forbidden for Christians are kartuz [ru] and hats such as malahai (...) Also hats made of dog or wolf fur, especially for collective prayers.]
  6. ^ a b c Джапарова, Б.Б. (1999). "Этимологический аспект в толковании. Проблема этимологических помет" [Etymological aspect in interpretation: The problem of etymological marks] (PDF). Вестник Иссык-Кульского университета No.3 (in Russian): 135–136. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Csáki, Éva (2006). "89. malakay 'hat' < MMo malaγai, malaqai, maqalai". Middle Mongolian Loan Words in Volga Kipchak Languages. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 145–146. ISBN 9783447053815. Retrieved August 17, 2023 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b Бобров, Л.А. (2012). "Казахская воинская шапка «Малакай» XVIII-XIX веков" [Kazakh Military Cap "Malakai" 18th–19th Centuries]. Археология и этнография. История, филология (in Russian). 11 (7). Novosibirsk State University: 213. ISSN 1818-7919. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d Бобров, Л.А. (2012). "Казахская воинская шапка «Малакай» XVIII-XIX веков" [Kazakh Military Cap "Malakai" 18th–19th Centuries]. Археология и этнография. История, филология (in Russian). 11 (7). Novosibirsk State University: 214. ISSN 1818-7919. Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  10. ^ Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 550. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 22, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "Передний клапан, обычно невысокий, прямоугольный, (...) опускался на лоб только во время сильных морозов или пурги." [The front flap, usually low and rectangular, (...) was lowered to the forehead only during severe frosts or blizzards.]
  11. ^ Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 550. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 22, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "К боковым клапанам пришивали ремешки или тесемки для завязывания малахая." [The side flaps had straps or ribbons sewn on them to tie up the malahai.]
  12. ^ a b c Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 550. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "Его изготавливали из овчины, телячьей, оленьей шкуры, меха лисицы, бобра, барсука, волка, а также из сукна, верверета." [It was made of sheepskin, calfskin, deerskin, furs of fox, beaver, badger, wolf, as well as cloth and velvet.]
  13. ^ Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 551. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "В состав русского костюма вошел в середине ХVIII в. (...) что он был заимствован русскими у башкир и калмыков." [In the middle of the 18th century, it became part of the Russian clothing. (...) the Russians borrowed it from the Bashkirs and Kalmyks.]
  14. ^ Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 551. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "В середине ХIХ в. малахай бытовал фактически на всей территории Европейской России и в Сибири. Во второй половине XIX в. был вытеснен шапкой ушанкой." [In the middle of the 19th century, malahai was practically worn throughout European Russia and Siberia. In the second half of the 19th century it was superseded by ushanka.]
  15. ^ Шангина, И.И. (2003). Русский традиционный быт [Russian Traditional Life] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Азбука-классика (Azbuka-Attikus Publishing Group). p. 551. ISBN 535200337X. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. "Малахай, как правило, надевали только в дорогу. Он являлся также головным убором сибирских ямщиков." [Malahai, as a rule, was worn only on the road. It was also the headwear of Siberian coachmen.]
  16. ^ Eliade, Mircea (1997) [1951]. Şamanismul şi tehnicile arhaice ale extazului [Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy] (in Romanian). Translated by Prelipceanu, Brândușa; Baltag, Cezar. Bucharest: Humanitas. p. 154. ISBN 9732807156. Retrieved August 17, 2023 – via Internet Archive. Şamanul (baqça) kazak-kirghiz ,,poartă pe cap tradiționalul malahai, [...]
  17. ^ Hellie, Richard (June 15, 1999). "Clothing and Accessories". The Economy and Material Culture of Russia, 1600–1725. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. p. 366. ISBN 9780226326498. Retrieved August 17, 2023 – via Google Books.