EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS

Motanka Magnificence
by Katrychenko sisters
(click the image to enlarge it)
EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS
EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS
EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS
EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS

Motanka doll is one of the most ancient Ukrainian handmade household items. Initially fashioned as a domestic symbol of fertility and procreation these figurines played an important role in the everyday life of early Ukrainians. While still in use today the tradition now is more concerned with style and decor than anything magical. As such, we team up with the Katrychenko sisters to show us around the exhibition.

Natalya and Tetyana Katrychenky created their first exhibition of motanka dolls for EURO 2012. Incorporating the particular colors of each team, a doll specific to each country was created, each with its own individual style. Exhibited first in Kyiv, they were later taken to Poland to go on display there.В 

NO NEEDLE
Even before I visited the exhibition I was already aware of some peculiarity regarding motanka dolls: not a single stitch is used while making it. Its name "motanka" means that everything is wound or spun, therefore needle is not necessary. While embroidery may be included into decorating elements of the figurine, the doll itself has no seams. An old belief states that one can sew up both good and evil thoughts. It's one of the reasons the doll should never be touched with a needle.

HEAD
Traditionally, motanka doll has no face. Instead, threads are crisscrossed over one another. Our Ukrainian ancestors believed it was this symbol that protected the house, as well as the doll's owner. Today the cross remains. However, designers try to adorn the ncient symbol by including additional colors and patterns.

BELIEFS ABOUT MOTANKA
* Ancient Ukrainian motankas had strong ritual meaning: a girl looking for a groom would make her motanka while singing wedding songs.
* Motanka would be given to a child whenever he or she got sick. Ukrainians used to beleive that doll would take away the illness.
* There was time when motanka could be found in almost every Ukrainian home. It was believed that it protected the house.

Natalya shows the doll that represents Vinnytsya region. Its basis is embroidery of Klembivka village. This is "nyz" in combination with colored openwork "shabak". Ornaments from Klembivka village are complicated: they include squares, stars, diamonds. They say that Klembivka girls were born with a thread and needle, for so perfect was the women's embroidery there. The back side had to be as perfect as the front side.

Poltava region doll has a skirting of indigo color. In ancient times in the villages of Hadyach area the shirts were embroidered with blue threads. Jews brought the blue dye for threads and sold it in local markets. The dye was expensive. That is why the shirts from Hadyach area had only thin strips of blue embroidery. To this day they are called "zhydivochka". Mainly women of the so-calledВ  "old faith" made such embroidery. They carefully kept the old pattern of embroidery and techniques of their ancestors and incorporated them in their clothes. TheВ  image of Poltava area doll is completed by wreath and hand-woven belt.

For Crimean doll is used the design of Crimean Tatar embroidery. Ornaments are floral and geometric. Embroidery technique: "tatar ishleme", blank double-sided welt. Basic colors: soft and shining at the same time, from pink and blue to gold, like the sky at sunset in the Black Sea. Motanka is supplemented with embroidered headdress of Crimean Tatars - feska (photo)

Overall, for 25 dolls were used more than fifty different embroidery techniques and over two hundred colors. Also, thousands of beads, buttons, etc.... With this variety of techniques, colors and images Katrychenko sisters want to show the beauty of old Ukrainian traditions, each region separately and the whole country with common roots and talented people.

REFERENCE: Katrychenko sisters have been creating dolls since 2009. In April 2012 they presented the first solo exhibition "Motanka UA" in Kyiv. Later, in June 2012, their artworks represented Ukraine during the Days of Ukrainian Culture in Warsaw and Wroclaw (Poland) and at several festivals in Istanbul (Turkey), Tbilisi (Georgia). The dolls of Katrychenko sisters now dispersed around the world. They are almost in all European countries, they reached Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Japan, South Africa.
EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS EXHIBITION OF MOTANKA DOLLS
В В В В В В В  Crimea В В В В В В В  Dnipro & Luhansk area В В В В В В В  Zhytomyr area В В В В В В В  Vinnychyna
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July 28, 2016

 
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