Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Russian Dolls - Kouvadka

Hello everybody,

It looks that these are the shiny days that make me want to blog :) With this I risk to give you a wrong image of Belgian weather.

Today I tell you about Kouvadka, or Кувадка in Russian.
This is one of the basic Russian Traditional dolls. By "basic" I mean both its meaning and its making.

It is one of the first dolls of the childhood and it is tightly linked to the birth.

Before the birth, a future mother would make several Kouvadki out of her old clothes to be put in the cradle to warm it up for the future baby.

Kouvadki would be placed around the place where the birth has to happen. This served to attract the attention of bad spirits away from the birth giving mother and the just born baby.

And finally, when the baby is already here, Kouvadki would be suspended in the cradle not only to to attract the attention of bad spirits away from child but also to distract the child himself, a sort of ancient traditional version of modern mobiles.

It is known now that the just born babies have a very strong sense of smell, so imagine how much a set of Kouvadki made of mother's clothes should reassure her child. Isn't it how the science confirms the people's wisdom?

It is simple yet it demonstrates all the essential elements of the protective dolls making techniques: no scissors or needles are used , the tissues are not cut but torn by hand, no nodes are made on the doll's body.

This is a first doll I show kids during the workshops. It is simple to make and yet it requires a dose on patience, hand ability and taste.

And my curiosity makes me seek for new not-so-traditional applications of Kouvadki.
Still today put them in a cradle, a buggy or ... a car (depending on your age) in a bunch or as a garland, they make a fancy mobile. They are so nice to decorate the kid's room too.

I like to attach them to anything, would it be a baby play mat, a bag, a hat or a pullover, or even a hair ring. The last one is especially popular with my daughter and her girl friends.


1 comment:

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