Kolt or kolty was a part of a female headgear, hanging on a ryasna at both temples as a sign of family's wealth, common in 11th-13th centuries in Old Rus'. It comprised a pair of metal pieces, joined to form a hollow medallion or star that, presumably, contained a piece of cloth, impregnated with fragrances.
The origin of the word “kolt” is obscure. As a term, it was introduced in the late 19th century in the course of ethnographic surveys. According to a version it derived from the Ukrainian: ковтки meaning (earrings), also in West-Ukrainian dialects “колток”. In a Novgorod dialect the word “колтки” means pendants of earrings, it was also mentioned in birch bark document No. 644, found in Novgorod, dating back to Novgorod Republic.
- Б. Д. Гринченко. Словарь украинского языка, К., 1908, т. 2, с. 262 (in Russian)
- А. А. Зализняк. Древненовгородский диалект. М., 2004, с. 268 (in Russian)
- Pekarskaja, Ljudmila V. (1997). Treasures from Ancient Kiev in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Dumbarton Oaks 32 (Metropolitan Museum Journal ed.). New York. pp. 65–75.
- Рыбаков, Б. А. (1971). Декоративно-прикладное искусство Руси X-XIII веков (in Russian). Leningrad: Аврора.
- Жилина, Н. В. (1997). Древнерусские звездчатые колты (схема развития) (in Russian) (1) (Научные чтения памяти В. М. Василенко ed.). Moscow. pp. 140–150.
- Ляусік Н.А. (2003). Ціснёныя колты са збораў ГДГАМ (in Belarusian) (Краязнаўчыя запіскі. Вып. 6 ed.). Grodno. pp. 3–5.
- a kolt in the collection of Kremlin Armory Chamber, Moscow
- a star-shaped kolt in the collection of Kremlin Armory Chamber, Moscow
- a circular kolt in the collection of the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
- a circular silver kolt found in the Berestye archeological site, Belarus, featuring a seed with sprouts