Well, there’s a bit more of the Cossackry around in modern-day St. Petersburg than I thought. Not much, but a bit.
Walking from Vitebsky Station to the metro the other day, I saw this billboard. I may actually be able to go to this; I’ll have to check out the price of tickets.
Near a client’s office, I saw this – which I would like to go to, but can’t because I’ll be working.
I’ve found another Cossack shop! The two that I found just after I arrived in Russia have long since closed down. This one is much smaller, and only has a very, very limited stock – but some of it’s quite different to what I’ve seen before. They have a wide selection of papakhi, kubanki, and ‘mountain shepherd’ hats:
They also have whips. Some are the short, soft-handled Kuban nagaikas, just under a metre long. The nagaikas that Andrey Karimov sent to Olivia, and which have created something of a stir, are of the Kuban type, though rather longer. They also have Don-style nagaikas, with the stiff wooden handle. The gem was something called an arapika, which is like a Kuban nagaika, but much longer, somewhere between 1.5 and 2 metres, with a cracker at the end – kind of a Cossack bullwhip. You can see it here in the middle of the group of whips.
And here it is next to a nagaika I already had:
Although I hadn’t know what it was called, I’d seen an arapika in this video, from Cossack hip-hop group Atamansky Dvorets, who I believe are based in the Don region:
I’d wondered where I could get one…So, anyway, I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip (you never know how long these shops will be around!) so, although it was rather more than I could really afford, I bought it.
They also have Cossack outfits and shashki.