UKRAINIAN MOTANKA DOLLS
Instructor: Nataliya Chabanyuk
Traditional Ukrainian Motanka Dolls
According to historians, Motanka dolls appeared in Ukraine several thousand years ago, dating back to ancient Trypillia times . Our ancestors believed that natural threads and materials used to create these dolls are magical and protect the family from evil spirits.
The Motanka doll is faceless; the cross symbolizes the unity of heaven and earth, four cardinal points, four seasons, and the sun. The doll is an amulet, so it cannot have a human appearance, protects its owner(s), and brings fertility to the homestead.
These dolls are usually made of the natural materials such as hay, straw, wood, herbs, dry leaves, grains, seeds and are filled with fragrant herbs and decorated with traditional ornaments and embroidery.
Today, Motanka dolls have became a popular gift idea for various holidays and weddings, baby showers, engagements, and even funerals. The wedding Motanka doll helps brides turn away the evil eye and supports them during their marriage. At the birth of a child, relatives often offer a Motanka doll that lies in the child’s bed in order to protect the newborn’s sleep and health.