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Motanka Doll: a family guard of Ukrainians or a great interior toy

Posted on June 11 2018

It is known as a Ukrainian folk doll with embroidered design around the world, but for Ukrainians it has always been a real amulet and a symbol of authenticity and feminine wisdom. Its rich history proves (a doll has existed for over 5,000 years) that the motanka was not only a toy but a reliable guard for the Ukrainian people, because our ancestors believed in its miraculous power and protection from misfortunes and disagreements.

ukrainian doll

Traditional Ukrainian doll has started with Vikentii Khvoika

Well, it is a famous archaeologist who first discovered Trypillya civilization, and therefore the first samples of dolls-motanankas. It is possible to assume that the Trypillians gave it a sacred meaning, because found remnants indicate that the toy was made of threads of flax or hemp. An interesting fact is that they sculpted figures of clay, then wove threads on them and decorated with grain, herbs and flowers.

Even a modern doll has the features of Trypillya. Pay attention to the cross at the base of its head. This is Trypillian swarga or a circle. It is thought to be a symbol of protection and a guarantee of the welfare of family. It replaces faces of dolls, because Ukrainians believed that this way the toy would not tie the soul of the person who it belongs to.

Motanka Doll: A Family Guard Of Ukrainians Or A Great Interior Toy  green motanka

Motanka Doll: A Family Guard Of Ukrainians Or A Great Interior Toy   Motanka Doll: A Family Guard Of Ukrainians Or A Great Interior Toy

ukrainian traditional doll  Motanka Doll: A Family Guard Of Ukrainians Or A Great Interior Toy

motanka with jar   yellow doll

Motanka toy - how and why is it used

Doll-motanka was endowed with magical properties, no wonder it was called a sorceress that was able to manage the weather and heal from illnesses. Ukrainian women used it to call for rain or sun, in some cases, a thunderstorm and a rich harvest. Healing herbs were put inside, which seemed to take away childhood illnesses and make people healthier. There was a tradition of putting a motanka in a cradle if the young couple were waiting for a baby.

The process of manufacturing is also special as the doll itself, because every detail is important. Masters work only in good mood and with positive thoughts, because they are transmitted to toy. Actually, this affects how well the toy will protect.

Motanka Doll: A Family Guard Of Ukrainians Or A Great Interior Toy

The doll must be dressed in national clothes, because it has a certain symbolism without which it will not be so unique. The skirt represents the earth and fertility, the shirt symbolizes the connection between past and future, and the embroidery and red necklace are symbols of prosperity. A scarf and colorful wreath may be beautiful headgears for doll and they represent a connection with heaven and natural spirits.

The decoration tradition of sewing has been constantly improved, the materials have changed, and the designs become better every time. Ukrainian craftswomen tried to embody their fantasies in life, giving the toy a powerful force and incredible inspiration.

This element of the interior will definitely draw attention of your guests and will be a great gift for your friends and relatives.

small motanka doll

ukrainian talisman

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