Naima Neflyasheva. Screenshot from video posted user Alif TV,

10 September 2019, 23:30

Historian compares female flashmob in papakha hats with Caucasian customs

Dressing women in men's clothes does not contradict the Caucasian traditions. This was noted by historian Naima Neflyasheva after Khabib Nurmagomedov voiced a statement that only men could wear papakha (sheepskin) hats.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Facebook users criticized the statement voiced by UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who said that only men could wear papakha hats. Natalia Savelieva, a resident of Makhachkala, called on Facebook users to respond to the Khabib Nurmagomedov's statement and was the first who posted her photo in a papakha hat on the social network. The flashmob was supported by at least 18 women.

The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent has learned from Naima Neflyasheva, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Civilizational and Regional Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), an author of a blog on the "Caucasian Knot", that in Northern Caucasus, women could actually wear men's clothing. "They could do that in exceptional cases, at wedding parties or when participating in certain ceremonies. In anthropology, this is called 'ritual dressing'," the historian explained.

A woman could put on men's clothes not only to entertain guests at wedding parties, but also in other cases, Naima Neflyasheva emphasized. "In Abkhazia, there was a tradition, according to which if men were killed, women put on men's clothes and took revenge. In rare cases, a woman became an abrek and put on men's clothes," the historian wrote.

Meanwhile, female participants of the flashmob, who posted their photos in papakha hats, faced attacks from Facebook users, and some of them refused to continue participating in the flashmob.

As of 2:51 p.m. Moscow time, at least four participants of the flashmob deleted the photos in papakha hats they had earlier posted. On September 9, one of them, Irina Kosterina, explained in her post that she "was attacked by millions of haters" after the media had highlighted the flashmob.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 10, 2019 at 02:51 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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