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Doukhobor Wedding Ensemble

Curated Submission
Circa 1880
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
Vest 28; Apron 92.5
Materials & techniques
Linen, cotton, wool, silk, glass; Homespun, hand-sewn
Made by Kabaroff family
Saskatchewan Western Development Museum WDM-1999-S-78
In 1899 Onya and Fedyor Perehudoff travelled with thousands of others of the Doukhobor faith to western Canada, where land had been reserved for them. It was the single largest mass migration in western Canadian history. Thirty two years earlier, when Onya Kabaroff wore this wedding ensemble for her marriage to Fedyor Perehudoff, there was no way of knowing that a new home in Canada was in their future. It was likely made for her by her mother; the wool and linen of this garment were homespun, while the cotton and other fabrics were purchased on an annual trip to a larger town.
Onya and Fedyor, whose anglicized names became Anna and Fred, settled in the small Doukhobor village of Ospennia, near present-day Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan. Most Doukhobors adopted a Canadian style of clothing soon after arriving in Canada. Onya, like most Doukhobor women, continued to wear her traditional outfit throughout her life on Sundays and special occasions.
In 1899 the Canadian government promised exemption from military service and allowed Doukhobors to establish communal farming villages similar to those in Russia. In 1906 however, the government cancelled the agreement, requiring Doukhobors to abandon their villages for separate farmsteads. The Perehudoffs were among those who decided to stay in Saskatchewan. Another group purchased land near Brilliant, British Columbia, where they could continue their communal lifestyle.
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