Saturday, 6 September 2014

Q62: Doukhobor hood credited to KKK?

From: Keith Tarasoff, Canora, Saskatchewan, August 20, 2014

In the Thursday August 14, 2014 issue of the Kamsack Times on page 13, there is an article : ‘Discovery of unusual hooded garment at Pelly museum leads to research of Ku Klux Klan activities in Saskatchewan.’

To my knowledge this garment was worn by Doukhobors to keep warm, and had nothing to do with the type of hood garment worn by the KKK.

As we at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village in Verigin, Saskatchewan, believe the article was written with a reference in error to the real truth. We want to set the record straight. We are asking for your reaction to the article. Any insight would be helpful.


You are correct Keith. The newspaper shows a Russian hood, called bashlyk (башлык), made by our Doukhobor ancestors. These were common in Imperial Russia.

Maureen Stefaniuk, the museum’s summer attendant, should retract any connection between their display and Ku Klux Klan in Saskatchewan. Canadians have been falsely selling Freedomites as Doukhobors for more than a century, now they are falsely displaying a Doukhobor garment as KKK.

Here are comparisons of 3 Russian-made bashliki with one of current fashion.

  1. Fort Pelly-Livingstone Museum exhibit, published in Kamsack Times.
  2. Photo of a Doukhobor bashlyk by William Perehudoff, 'Costumes and Handicrafts in Color,'Pictorial History of the Doukhobors (1969), page 253.
  3. Photo of bashlyk displayed online at National Sholokhov Museum-Reserve, Veshenskaya, Rostov Region, Russian Federation.
  4. Typical hood-hat-scarf-gloves garment sold online and in many stores.
Fur trapper hats are somewhat similar and more common.

Doukhobor bashlyki are on display at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar, British Columbia; and at the National Doukhobor Heritage Village in Verigin, Saskatchewan. The Fort Pelly-Livingstone Museum can confirm their garment with these 2 museums.

Russian websites show many examples and instructions for making them. Modern English names and styles for this scarf-hat-hood garment vary. Many have animal heads and ears. Sometimes they are mislabeled “snood” — a hair net, which is not a contraction of “scarf-hood.”

Among non-Doukhobor Spiritual Christians from Russia in the USA (Dukh-i-zhizniki, Molokane), their women's' head covering for religious meetings which they call kosinka (triangle), evolved from a scarf of solid fabric to lace cut in a snood-style pattern.

More: Questions and Answers, Comments


  1. Quite so Koozma. Museum workers should be more concerned with accuracy than sensation [as in the connection between Doukhobors and Freedomites]. Moreover, this garment worn for warmth does not even resemble the peaked white hoods of the KKK.

    Hopefully, the museum worker in question will research further, and perhaps will learn about KKK activities in SK in the 1930s, but it will not be evidenced by this piece of clothing.

    1. Larry was curator/director of the Doukhobor Discovery Centre, Castlegar BC.

  2. Dale Dewar, MD, Society of Friends, Wynyard, Sask.7 September 2014 at 20:17

    Letter to Kamsack Times:
    The link that Ms Stefaniuk makes between the Doukhobor clothes and the Ku Klux Klan is illustrates the need for museums to have qualified attendants. To make the leap between a peaked head cover and the Klan without first researching the clothing of the very people who donated the hood shows poor research and absolute disregard for Doukhobor history. Does she even know why Doukhobors came to Canada? Does she know what they stood for? The fact that she allowed her badly conducted “research” to be published is bad taste.

    I trust that Ms Stefaniuk will make an apology for her implicating Doukhobors, a group whose history is pacifist, with the Klan and that the Kamsack Times will publish a retraction of even the suggestion that the head cover was related to the Klan.
    Sincerely yours,
    Dale Dewar

  3. Ryan Kanigan, Australia8 September 2014 at 13:27

    How stupid. I think the term "researcher" for this writer does a disservice to those of us involved in research!

  4. That newspaper article is an irresponsible piece of journalism, featuring the comments of a museum attendant, who did not do a "reasonably exhaustive" search for the facts about this garment.

  5. Clifton Abrahamson, Pelly, Sask.14 October 2014 at 11:24

    We, the Board of Directors of the Fort Pelly Livingstone Museum, sincerely apologize for the error of misnaming one of our artifacts by one of our museum attendants and the error of its connection to another historical group. The display has been corrected as requested. We are a small community museum and our 'curator' was one who came with the best qualifications and was very enthusiastic. We are now taking steps to control articles to be published. Thank you for your concern. We hope this satisfies your request and we are truly apologetic. Clifton Abrahamson, Pres. Board of Directors Fort Pelly Livingstone Museum.