What do we know about Slavic dolls?
The doll is one of the oldest human toys. The Russian word “doll” is akin to the Greek “kiklos”, meaning a circle, something rolled up.
The purpose of the dolls are divided into play, ceremonial and dolls amulets.
From ancient times in Russia they made charms dolls from ash, which was taken from the hearths. The ash doll, or Baba, as it was called, protected the home, the hearth, and the woman. Grandmother gave Baba to her granddaughter on her wedding day. Later, dolls were made from various natural materials: wood, bone, clay, roots, straw, grass, cloth, and others. Slavs tenderly treated the appearance of a child in the family. For him, a charm doll was made of colored pieces of cloth.
The toy was rolled up without using a needle and scissors, and the warmth of the maternal soul and heart was put into it. Before the birth of the child, the amulet was put in a crib, he lived in and warmed it. Later, in order to deceive the evil spirits, they laid a pelenashku doll in the cradle.
When guests came to the house, they looked at the child and at the doll, saying: “What a doll is good for.” Above the head of the cradle hung Bereginu sleep, punishing her: “Sleepless, insomnia, do not play with my child, but play with this doll.”
In Slavic families also made health charms and called them Kubyshka-herbalist, Travnitsa-defender. The head of this pupa was made of linen or cotton fabric and cotton wool, and medicinal herbs were put in the body: St. John’s wort, oregano, mint, yarrow and pine needles.
Often they tied a bag of healing herbs to their hands. These dolls were beautifully decorated, and when they were brought into the house, they were crushed so that the scent of herbs spread throughout the dwelling. The pupa was hung over the crib or near the bedside. Herbs two years later changed to freshly dried.
Interesting doll charm Likhodeyka. She was twisted in the form of a cross from two strips of fabric taken from used clothes or bed linen. Such a talisman was strengthened on the wall so that diseases would enter it, and not into the owners of the house. Doll Likhomanka, made from patches of cloth and beautifully dressed, was also intended to expel disease from home.
In addition to these dolls they made Ten-Knives, they were put in a prominent place. It was believed that they help in economic matters. But for the rest, for the fun and good mood were intended dolls-bells. The Bird of Happiness was made of wood, it was the guardian of family happiness and well-being.
In every Slavic house there was a doll Krupenichka. From the new crop, selected grain was poured into it, in the spring a handful of grain was taken from it for sowing, and during the famine years – for porridge. By the appearance of this doll determined how the family lives. If the doll was thin, then the family was in poverty.
Over time, these traditions are partially lost: the bags began to sew, fill them with peas, millet. New names have also appeared, for example, Pea.
Charms dolls were done without denoting facial features, so that evil forces could not move into a faceless creature. Also in the manufacture did not use a needle and scissors – after all, friends feel sorry for them: they don’t call, they don’t cut. It was believed that the more dolls in the house, the happier and richer she was, so they treasured and cherished the dolls. In some families, there were up to one hundred amulet dolls.
For a long time, a Slavic woman, going to the field to work, took with her children. In order to occupy them, she made for them a doll Strigush of cut grass. When the child was sick, medicinal herbs were woven into this chrysalis. In addition to gaming and dolls, amulets in families for each holiday did ritual dolls. As a rule, they were placed in the red corner of the hut. There were disposable ritual dolls.
For example, Kupavka was made for the holiday of Ivan Kupala and was lowered into the water. On the Day of the Winter Solstice, Spiridon-Solstice was made. In his hands he held a wheel, a symbol of the Sun, giving wealth. Spiridon-Solstice also served as a guardian. He was given to men to hold fate in their hands. The ritual dolls include the Cuckoo doll, which symbolizes the rite of initiation into girls and carries away misfortune. A symbol of fertility and well-being among the Slavs was Kapustka doll.
The dolls made by kind, hard-working hands of a person embodied the energy, knowledge and skills of the people. Through the doll established a connection between generations. Nowadays, interest in folk art has increased dramatically, in particular, in the manufacture and collecting of dolls.