The kokoshnik (Russian: коко́шник, IPA: [kɐˈkoʂnʲɪk]) is a traditional Russian headdress worn by women and girls to accompany the sarafan. The kokoshnik tradition has existed since the 10th century in the ancient Russian city Veliky Novgorod. It spread primarily in the northern regions of Russia and was very popular from 16th to 19th century. It is still to this day an important feature of Russian dance ensembles and folk culture and inspired the Kokoshnik style of architecture.
Historically a kokoshnik is a headdress worn by married women, though maidens also wore a headdress very similar to a kokoshnik, but open in the back, named a povyazka. The word kokoshnik describes a great variety of headdresses worn throughout Russia, including the cylindrical hats of Veliky Novgorod, two-pointed nimbus kika of Vladimir, triangular kika of Kostroma, small pearl hats of Kargopol, and scarlet kokoshniks of Moscow.
While in the past kokoshnik styles varied greatly, currently a kokoshnik is generally associated with a tall, nimbus or crest shaped headdress which is tied at the back of the head with long thick ribbons in a large bow. The crest can be embroidered with pearls and goldwork or simple applique, usually using plant and flower motifs. The forehead area is frequently decorated with pearl netting. While wearing a kokoshnik the woman usually wears her hair in a plait.