A waistband is a must-be part of a traditional Russian clothing.
It proves that a wearer is a human, and he/she belongs to Cosmos, not Chaos.
Despite its pagan origin, a symbolism of a waistband was deeply incorporated into Russian Orthodox Christianity.
For a true Orthodox, it was totally forbidden not to wear a belt for any moment of her/his life.
Symbolically, a belt is a border between Inside and Outside.
Those In and Out could be thought in any sence: physical, spiritual, or social.
So, when a person moves from one "world" (social group, physical condition, etc) to another,
it is nesessary to let him/her "go out" from a previous situation
(by untying his/her belt),
and then to accept her/him into a new "life",
by making a new knot (or, sometimes, even tying a new waistband) on his/her waist.
A belt should be worn on a waist, or under a belly. It was allowed to twist it twice around a body.
As a rule, they made a knot on a left side.
However, in some regions of Northern and Central Russia a left-side knot was appropriate for women only.
Men supposed to tie their belts on the right.
In Southern Russia one more type of a waistband existed.
It was called kushak (a Turkish word for a belt).
Kushaks were much wider than regular belts.
They were worn wrapped about a waist, with ends tucked into a wrap - without any knots.
Buckles and metal decorations (tips and plaques) for leather belts were common,
but note that the buckles were not unlike the modern ones, and had a tongue.
Kushaki, on the other hand, were made of bright fabrics with specially decorated ends.
Since neither men nor women had pockets, belts served to hold various objects, just like in the West.
A fabrics used for belts depended on a purpose of a belt.
So did colors. Belts for special occasions were made of bright red, green, yellow, blue wool with silken and golden thread.
Their ends were decorated with tassels, pompoms, and beads.
Everyday belts were woolen with a weft made of linen or hemp, their colors were modest.
Leather belts were allowed to men only.
A belt was aslo used as a talisman. It was considered as a wish of luck to give a light whip with a belt.
A red belt woven by a wife protected her husband during his foreign trip.
To rend someone's belt was counted as an insult. Human hair should be used for making the most powerful ritual waistbands.
Pregnant women wore their husbands' belts to protect an unborn child from any supernatural danger.