People of Ukrainian ancestry wish the whole world to know and enjoy Ukrainian art and traditions and thus to keep them alive.
Along with the famous Ukrainian Vyshyvanky, the Pysanky, the dances, the songs, the ceramics, the tapestries and the woodwork, the Motanky (plural of Motanka) rag dolls are dear to the hearts of Ukrainians as an ancient talismаn in Ukrainian culture. These traditional Ukrainian dolls descend from the images of ancient Slavic goddesses Rozhanytsyas. The goddesses havе been worshipped as guardians of the family, the fertility and the women’s destiny since the times of the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture (ca. 6000 to 3500 BC).
The image of the traditional Ukrainian rag doll Motanka is cross-shaped. The vertical and the horizontal lines symbolize the male and the female origin of the world.
The diagonal cross on Motanka’s chest is a symbol of their unity.
The doll is either faceless or has a thread cross, representing a solar sign, instead of a face.
These “three crosses” stand for the origin of life and fertility, the succession of generations and the protection of the ancestors, the model of the universe.
The Ukrainian rag doll Motanka, one of the most ancient symbols of the wisdom of generations and the family bounds, has been a family guardian for thousands of years.
Presented as a gift, made hastily,- to calm down a child or thoroughly,- to protect the family from evil spirits, to allure a groom, to take away illness,- the Motanka is a part of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people.
То get acquainted with the rich heritage and to get congratulations on your creativity you can try to make a Motanka of your own. What about Manylka (Lure) at St. Andrew’s Eve in the Hague?