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  • Writer's pictureSoviet Visuals

Tubeteika skullcap that won Soviet heads.

Traditional Central Asian skullcaps gained immense popularity in the European part of the USSR in the 1930s-1960s. They were worn by workers and professors, people's artists, and people's writers as well as by their children. Soviet leaders were not spared by the passion for these informal headwear, which contrasted with traditional military caps and civilian hats. For a while "tubeteikas" became something of an American baseball cap for Soviet residents.

Chess players. Photo by Max Penson, Uzbek SSR, 1930s

Young pioneers, USSR, 1950s

Soviet writer Maxim Gorky, 1930s

"Angel wearing tubeteika" Soviet Kazakh musical comedy film poster, 1968

"Boy wearing a skullcap" painting by Alexander Nikolayev (Usto Mimin), Turkestan ASSR, 1920s

Still from "Hero's brother" 1940 Soviet children's film

Cuban President Fidel Castro addresses meeting at Kzyl collective farm. Photo by Vasily Malyshev, Uzbek SSR, 1963

Soviet actors Yuri Nikulin and Natalia Varley in "Kidnapping, Caucasian Style" comedy film directed by Leonid Gaidai, 1967

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, 1961

Lenin & Stalin mausoleum. Photo by Léonard Gianadda, Moscow, USSR, 1957

Post-Soviet visual. Kazan, Russia, 2000

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