Mordvin nation consist of several small ethnic groups. Main of them are Herzia and Moksha. Herzia mordvins are broad-shouldered and fair haired with flat faces. Moksha mordvins are with the dark curly hair and carry over from Turkey type. Traditional costumes are the most obvious point of contrast. They have a similar t-shirt. Herzia’s t-shirt divided into two parts. Moksha wears a scarf on their heads. The authentic costume also includes the belt. Sometimes it weight as mutch as 20 kilograms. Moksha wear the several shirts, one on top of the other.
In accordance with tradition a Moksha girls put on as many shirts at wedding ceremony, as she can. More shirts – wealthier bride.
The Mordovian national dress is known for its bright colors and rich embroidery. Girls are taught embroidery from early childhood. If a girl’s dress was adorned with elaborate embroidery, she has a better chance for a successful marriage. The most exquisite patterns on the shirts were made by sight without scratching them first on paper. Embroidery served more than decorative purposes. It also help to protect the women wearing it. Each seam has a meaning. There were time, when Mordvins believed in angry spirits and they need to protect their health, their future, their families and relatives. One kind of seam protect from bad weather, other – from fire etc. Some embroidery symbolize, that young girls wear this t-shirt. It was in form of bird, because young girl will have to fly away from the birthplace to start a family. Her family.