Ukrainian Folk Reeled Dolls Motanky

    Ukrainian Folk Reeled Dolls Motanky
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Ukrainian Folk Reeled Dolls Motanky
Ukrainian Folk Reeled Dolls Motanky

Ukrainian Folk Reeled Dolls Motanky have been talismans and vital part of our lives in Ukrainian families since ancient times. Dolls were made either hastily to calm and amuse the child, or carefully as a gift for a festivity, wedding, or birthday.

Traditionally the dolls are not sewed, but are only done with strings and straps by winding them. That's why it has such an allied name ‘Motanka’ with the word ‘motaty’ (to wind). Usually made of those materials available at the household like straw, grass, fabric, tree branches, clay, wood, cane, etc. to be used to make a doll.

Elaborated, lavishly dressed doll is valuable household property being at the same time magic talisman for prosperity, happy family life, symbol of wisdom and motherhood and protection from evil forces.

Ancient Ukrainian Motanka had strong ritual meaning – a girl looking for a groom would make her Motanka while singing wedding songs. A Motanka would be given to a child whenever child got sick. Ukrainians used to believe that the doll would take away the illness.

Traditional Ukrainian Reeled Dolls haven't any faces because it was believed that dolls that have faces, eyes, and mouths could attach to the soul of the person who handles it with undesirable consequence. This is why the faces on Reeled Dolls feature a cross symbolizing the sun, wealth and charm.

Among the whole variety of modern dolls folk dolls made of fabric are of a special kind. The image of a young ‘flowery’ girl, ‘Duchess and bridesmaid’ in some villages of Poltava, Cherkasy and Kyiv regions symbolizes fertility and life. While other villages of these regions are dominated by the image of the doll-mother.

While still in use today, the tradition has become one more concerned with style and décor than anything magical.

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