Russian Winter Shapka Ushanka Hats
A shapka ushanka Soviet and Russian winter hat is a Russian fur cap with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap. In the English-speaking world, it is referred to as a shapka that means "hat". Shapka ushanka literally translates as "ear-flaps hat". Though Russian hat ushankas are a distinctly Russian hat the wearing of fur caps of similar design is common throughout China, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Soviet ushanka hats are also seen in American cities during cold winter months, especially in cities that have a sizable East European immigrant population. In 1991, with the fall of the Soviet Union came the first wave of commercially imported Soviet Russian winter shapka hats into the United States. Ushankas are often made from cheap sheepskin (tsigeyka), rabbit or muskrat fur, though artificial fur hats are also manufactured. Artificial fur has sometimes been referred to as "fish fur" since the material has no relation to any real fur.