Secrets of the Russian braid
Secrets of the Russian braid

Grow, braid, to the waist, do not drop a hair. Grow, skewered, up to the toes - all hairs in a row. Our grandmothers knew this saying when they were still girls themselves.

From it we can conclude that the most ancient hairstyle in Russia is a braid, but this is not so. At first, they wore loose hair. And so that they do not fall on the eyes, they hold the strands with a hoop or tied with a ribbon. The hoop was made of wood, from bast or birch bark. And they were trimmed with fabric, trimmed with beads, dyed feather grass, bird feathers, natural or artificial flowers.

Well, braids appeared much later. Russian girls braided only one braid. And this was different from mothers who were entitled to two. Girls of Belarus and Eastern Ukraine braided one braid only on holidays. And on weekdays, they wove in twos and put a crown on their heads. In western Ukraine, one spit was completely unknown. Two, four or more braids adorned the hairstyles of local girls. They called them "small braids" or "dribushki".

Before marriage, girls wore one braid. At a bachelorette party, girlfriends, howling and crying, probably due to envy, twisted one braid into two. It was two braids that were worn by married women in Russia. One scythe fed her life, and the other - future offspring. It was believed that a woman's hair contained the power that could energetically support her family. They were placed as a crown on the head or tied with a ribbon to make it easier to put on the headdress. Since the woman's marriage, no one, except her husband, naturally has seen her braids again. In Russia, women necessarily covered their heads with a warrior, to rip off a headdress was considered the most terrible insult (to go wrong means to be disgraced). The worst offense was, perhaps, cutting off the braid. Once, in a rage, a gentleman cut off a thin pigtail for his maid, and then calmed his indignant peasants, and even paid a fine. If a girl cut her braid on her own, then most likely she was mourning the deceased groom, and cutting her hair was for her an expression of deep grief and unwillingness to marry. To pull the braid meant to offend the girl.

By the way, those who dared to rip off a woman's headdress were also punished with serious fines. Only the fines, it seems, went not at all to improve the morale of the victim, but to the state treasury.

But the braid could be cut off by force - say, if the girl parted with innocence before marriage. This is already at the time of the adoption of Christianity, because in pagan times the presence of a premarital child was not a hindrance to the wedding, and even vice versa: the girl's fertility was confirmed by a living fait accompli. Then the morals became stricter, and the one who allowed herself liberties before the wedding could part with her hair as punishment - also a jealous rival could cut them off.

In addition, in some places there was an interesting custom, when a girl's braid was cut off before marriage, and she gave it to her husband, as if to say that she gave him her whole life, and then grew a new one under a headscarf. In the event of an attack by enemies - the Pechenegs or the Polovtsians, for example - the husband could take his wife's girl's scythe with him into battle, as a talisman against misfortune and the evil eye. And if the enemies broke into the Slavic settlements, then, in addition to logically explainable robbery, violence and murder, they could cut off the hair of women.

During pregnancy, the hair was not cut, since the woman took energy not only for herself, but also for the child. Cutting your hair during pregnancy meant depriving your unborn child of support.Hair has traditionally been considered a reservoir of vitality, so young children are usually not cut until a certain age (usually 3-5 years old). Among the Slavs, the first haircut was performed as a special ceremony, which was called so - tonsure. In the princely families, the boy, moreover, was put on a horse for the first time on the day of the tonsure. And a newborn child under one year old is not even recommended to comb, not only to cut.

Parents combed their hair for children at a young age, then they did it on their own. Only someone who was well known and loved could be trusted to comb their hair. The girl could only allow her chosen one or her husband to comb her hair.

Children under 12 years old were not even cut off the ends of their hair, so as not to cut off the mind that comprehends life, the laws of the Family and the Universe, so as not to deprive them of the vitality given by Nature and the protective power.

Trimming the ends of the hair to a length of no more than one nail in young people over 16 years old was done in order for the hair to grow faster, and this act could be performed only on the days of the new moon.

Interestingly, the old maidens were strictly forbidden to weave one braid into two, they were also forbidden to wear a kokoshnik.

For little girls, so-called three-beam braids were braided, which were a symbol of the unification of Reveal, Navi and Prav (present, past and future). The scythe was located strictly in the direction of the spine, since, according to our ancestors, it served to fill a person through the ridge with vital forces. The long braid kept the feminine strength for the future husband. Weaving braids protected women from the evil eye, negativity and evil.

The braid wasn't just a hairstyle. She could tell a lot about her owner. So, if a girl wore one braid, then she was in "active search". Is there a ribbon in the braid? A maiden of marriageable age, and all potential candidates must urgently send matchmakers. If two ribbons appeared in the braid, and they were woven not from the beginning of the braid, but from its middle, then “dry the oars”, or, as they say, who didn’t have time, he was late: the girl had a groom. And not just the one who makes eyes and plays at exchanges, but the official one, because the ribbons also meant the blessing received from the parents for marriage.

Combing the hair was like a sacred ritual, because during the procedure it was possible to touch the vital energy of a person. Apparently, in order to restore the vitality lost during the day, it was required to run a comb through the hair at least 40 times. For babies, only parents could comb their hairs, and then the person himself performed this daily procedure. Interestingly, the girl could allow only her chosen one or her husband to unravel her braid and comb her hair.

The fact that hair cutting radically changes life seems to be well known in the old days. Hence the sign that has survived to this day that it is extremely undesirable for pregnant women to cut their hair. Voluntarily, and sometimes with reverent trepidation, only women who were in a state of severe mental shock, for example, during the monastic tonsure, allowed to cut off their braids. Hair in Ancient Russia did not have the habit of cutting at all, and this custom has been preserved in modern men's monasteries.

A braid as thick as a hand was considered the standard of female beauty in Russia. Healthy and shiny hair could say better than the words of flattering matchmakers about a future wife. Unfortunately, not all beauties could boast of thick long braids. Of course, they did not even hear about building up in Russia. So the young ladies resorted to deception - they weaved hair from ponytails into their pigtails. And what to do, everyone wants to get married!

Long hair is a sign of good health, beauty and female inner strength, which means that men subconsciously like it. According to statistics, men, when evaluating women, put women's hair in third place after figure and eyes.

An experiment was carried out: children 5 years old, drawing their mother, in 95% of cases drew her with long hair, despite the fact that mothers had short haircuts. This suggests that the image of a mother is gentle, kind and affectionate, subconsciously associated with young children with long hair. The same statistic claims that 80% of men correlate short haircuts with masculinity and aggression.

Long hair gives a woman strength, but what is important: it should not be worn loose. It was indecent to loose long hair, it was like getting naked. "Masha dismissed her braids, and after her all the sailors."

Letting go of hair in the presence of a man meant an invitation to intimacy. Therefore, before a woman was not allowed to loose her hair in front of strangers. The women who wore their hair loose were fallen, they were called "WELCOME".

Loose hair was also not accepted because it was considered unsafe to scatter energy and strength, loosening hair. Therefore, the hair was taken away and braided. After all, a woman loosening her hair could attract other people's glances, could arouse the envy of ill-wishers. Women were self-conscious in this sense, since they knew that in their hands the energy protection of the family and their home.

Women's hair has a very powerful sexual appeal, which is probably why married women could only show their hair to their husband, and the rest of the time they wore a headscarf. Therefore, a woman in the temple should wear a headscarf so as not to embarrass men and not distract them from prayer.

And also the headscarf symbolizes the power of the husband and female obedience and humility. Only unmarried women could previously not cover their heads with a headscarf in temples.

It is very important to know about the power of women's hair and use this knowledge for your own benefit, and most importantly, remember that hair is our dignity and our pride.

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