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  • Writer's pictureElena @ How To Tie a Scarf

Revival: Zanuzdalka, a scarf face cover from 19th century.

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

This year, just before pandemia started, I discovered an old time face cover of Cossack’s women. It is very simple yet absolutely genius! Zanuzdalka or Kutalka scarf face cover came from the 19th century. The purpose of this cover has been uniquely utilitarian.

Cossack’s women have been using cotton scarves to protect their head and face from sun and dust working in the field. In winter, they used big shawls to proteсt their ears, head and faces from the chilly wind.

Cossack’s women have always been proud of their beauty and skin. And as there was no sunscreen in the 19th century, they protected their skin by covering their faces with scarves.

By the way, the word Cossack came from Turkic languages, where “Cosac” means “free man”. The Cossacks are a self governed and semi military Cristian ortodox community that has existed since the 14th century.

Drawing Cossakh’s women from stanisa Cimlanskaya 1875-76

They still exist in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The Cossacks have a very interesting culture and history. You can check online if you want to know more, but now let's talk about our scarf face cover.

Here are a few historical pictures from the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century showing different styles of tying Zanuzdalka and some screenshots from movies from the mid of 20th century..

“Kozakhs” Movie (1961)
face cover from cotton scarf
“ Tihi Don “ Movie (1957)

I did a lot of research on this style, read articles. Looking at old pictures and old movies to learn more about it, I found out that there are more than 5 ways on how to tie it.

Some of them are made from large scarves:

Face cover from large scarf

For some variations smaller scarves are better, there is even a variation made from 2 scarves.

Face cover from square scarf

But the unique thing about all these face cover that they are all very comfortable and easy to pull down and pull up. Also, Zanuzdalka or Kutalka can be adjusted and removed easily.

What more could we want? If you are looking for a comfortable face cover from scarf, Zanyzdalka is the style you should absolutely try. I have al ready 3 videos on all these styles, and here is my latest one:

Material used:

Cossacks” Movie (1961)

“ Tihi Don “ Movie (1957)

Drawings from article of NF, Jakovlev 1916

Drawing E.Lancere 1928,

Drawing Cossakh’s women from stanisa Cimlanskaya 1875-76

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