> Footwraps and rhubakha shirts
> > were still standard issue in the Russian army until
> > the early 1950s!
To be precise, the very Rubakha-style tunics were out of issue yet in 1920s. And footwraps are much more hygienic if you are out of civilization for more than several days.
> In a BBC documentary of the 1980s about life in Russia one episode
> showed rookie soldiers getting footwrappings as standard issue socks.
Why not. A knitted sock stops breathing after a day or two, if you can't change it. A footwrap keeps on working on condition you can dry it (about 5-10 minutes by an open fire, unlike a sock) or at least you re-wrap it to the dry end. It works guys. It really works.
Some of my potholer acquaintances prefer fleece portyanki to socks. :-)
> And looking appalled, and confused.
Because they simply don't know how to do it. City children.
From 1800s to 1920s high boots were about the only casual wear(see any photos of early 1900s people - they all wear boots. A well-known picture - two great writers, Tolstoy and Chekhov, they both wear high boots.
For about 60 years it is not so. Less and less people wear high boots.
And, FYI, this is how to wrap it (with some text hints):
in period they mostly did NOT wear 20-century footwraps (0.4x0.7 meter). They wore Onuchi (0.2x2.0 meter). They were wrapped in a different way, the leg was sorta bandaged, from toes to the thickest part of the calf (see this photo - http://www.ralphmag.org/DU/ilyich.html
The Kremlin garb registers mention Tsaress's Onuchi in entries of (afair) early 17 century.
Hope that helps.
> > But the picture is great, and as usual, its just
> > the formal last note of a very long dance that his
> > father had orchestrated and played starting 5-10 years
> > before. Mikhial's father was a major mover and shaker
> > in kicking the Poles out of Russia during the Time of
> > Troubles and had built up alot of political clout in
> > the process. But his noble equals weren't about to
> > bend knee to someone they felt was more of an equal
> > tan anything, but they still needed a titular head to
> > cite when they banged the Realm back into shape from
> > the tatters it was in.
> > So, they compromised and made his 16 year old son,
> > Mikhial, Tsar to avoid political manuering and
> > potential Time of Troubles II. He was very intelligent
> > and very religious and not very outspoken, so not
> > threatening to their own individual powerbases. His
> > father was placated by becoming Metropolitan so he had
> > his clout, but not direct power, and he advised his
> > son politically and kept a hand on him, just in case
> > it went to his head! A very pragmatic, very Russian
> > solution to a potential political crisis and civil
> > war.
> I'm currently in the midst of some heavy research about this period
> (and thus feel confident to chime in). Mikhail's father was Fedor
> Nikitich Romanov. Fedor was the nearest male relative to the extinct
> Riurikovich dynasty through two lines of descent: by marriage, via
> their ancestress, Anastasia Romanovna Iur'eva Zakharina, the first
> wife of Ivan IV, and also as the last connection of the Shuisky clan,
> who were also of Riurikovich descent.
> Boris Godunov saw the threat of Fedor Nikitich as a rival and had him
> forcibly tonsured as a monk, Filaret. Ditto his wife, who became the
> nun, Marfa. Forced taking of orders was a time-honoured method of
> neutralising people you were squeamish about murdering, because it was
> mandatory you could not rule if you took holy orders. For example, if
> Vasily III had recovered from his final illness, during which he
> begged to take holy orders, he'd not have been able to rule.
> Boris would have been reluctant to aggravate already testy boyar clan
> loyalties, which had been fractured considerably by the policies of
> Ivan IV. Hence his reluctance to just do away with Fedor Nikitich.
> In any case, after Boris died, and during the Time of Troubles,
> Filaret was held captive by the Poles for some time, but was elected
> Patriarch in his absence and duly returned to be de facto ruler of
> Russia for much of his (less forcible) son's reign.
> I joined here, more for costume expertise, btw, and will further
> comment: I find your collective and separate erudition truly amazing!