Thursday, August 21, 2008

How do they look and how do they feel?

Have you noticed that most of the traditional dolls do not have a well defined face features. In some cultures the dolls did not have face features at all? These are the traditional Russian dolls.

These dolls were not hard to make and very often they were made from the old worn pieces of clothes and not because of poverty and unavailability of better materials, but because people believed that the worn old clothes of family members contained pretective energy and would serve as amulets for their young children.

They do not have eyes, mouths and nose but every doll has her own identity, her unique character. Every doll was assigned her own role. For example, the doll which had a role of an old grandmother could never be made from pink colored pieces of cloth. This color was only for young girls. The doll which as been given a role of a mother or married woman had to be different from the doll with the role of young unmarried woman.

The simplicity of making these dolls is proportional to the complexity of their meaning. They reflected the human perception of the world. The dolls which have been made in the shape of a corss, pointed into the four directions of our world. The dolls which were tied around their waist and neck represented the tripple perception of the world: heaven, earth and underground.

The way the traditional dolls were made and dressed give us an idea about their places of origin. Just as the traditional clothes of people from the different regions were different, so were the dolls from different regions.

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