At present the Karaims do not wear their
national costumes in every day life. Nowadays the old examples are carefully
kept in museums as historical relics - some of them you can see in Trakai
Historical Museum, Castle exposition and Karaims ethnographic exhibition.
National costume of a Karaim woman is made up of a long or a semi-long skirt, white blouse, embroidered velvet jacket without buttons with wide sleeves to the elbows, called kyrcha and a flat, round velvety cap, decorated with beads and coins. One could wear a dress, sometimes a patterned one, instead of the skirt and blouse. Sometimes a light kerchief can be put on the cap.
An obligatory element of the costume remains kyrcha. It could be made from dark red, brown, green or blue velvet and had to be embroidered with golden thread in a rather intricate pattern of plants or geometric ornament. Luxurious metal decorations - coin beads or solid decorations used to be worn as well.
The costume for a man consisted of a rather long striped gown, girded with a belt or a kerchief and a rather high dark red cap (fes) having the form of the cut cone and with a tassel.
In the descriptions of various travelers there is noticed that Crimean Karaims preserved their national costumes longer. In Trakai the Karaims stopped wearing them already in XVIII century. The decorative elements of the clothes (by the oriental custom only those of plants and geometrical ones) were similar to the Crimean Tatars' clothes. But the researches have discovered that the painting style of such ornaments by Karaims and Tatars is quite different.
© Lithuanian Karaims Culture Community