The Charming Slavic Faceless Dolls: Folk Dolls, Charms & Talisman

By Phoenix (hers and a collections of various writings) – In ancient times, the Slavic people took traditional folk doll making seriously as their talisman, (Russians call them Amulets). Dolls are also called Charms and each one were either ancestral in nature, a talisman to bring happiness or prosperity or protection from evil.

Mostly Ukraine and Russian people make these dolls as a major part of their traditional craft, but other Slavic countries here and there, also do them. Most identified with the image of female deities and goddesses, dolls like Zernushka was “responsible” for a good harvest. But to grow and harvest food is only half the battle. The harvest should provide a comfortable life and prosperity in the home and to do this without the doll Bogatka (Great song bird) does not work, our ancestors believed this.

Patchwork dolls, Charm dolls, and Rag dolls were in every village house. Some were for playing and some were for rituals. Vepsian dolls had been found in the Babaevo and Vytegra areas of the Vologda region of Russia and made from mothers old clothing and textiles. Northern Russian dolls were called Stolbushka (picket-doll), zernushka (grain doll) and rvanka (wrench doll); some talisman were for protection against malignant forces and others were to bringing wealth and good luck.

Bird Dolls by the Yurak - Samoyed, Northwest Siberia, 19th c, woolen cloth, cotton thread, tendon thread, bird nib, bird skin. The Forest Yurak and the Tundra Yurak.
Bird Dolls by the Yurak – Samoyed, Northwest Siberia, 19th c, woolen cloth, cotton thread, tendon thread, bird nib, bird skin. The Forest Yurak and the Tundra Yurak.

First Four Folk Dolls on Halloween 2019.jpg

The base of many of the dolls are rolled up linen or a thick material, this base is called the Wand (or Column), and also called Stolbushka (same as the Motanka Doll). For full prosperity in the house it was necessary to ensure that the doll was not bothered with chaos or disruptions in order to fulfill its “duties”, it was hidden from prying eyes and could even be kept on an altar.

Slavic doll talisman were not only for decorating the interior for holidays or played with by children, they have always been very strong helpers in everyday life, in the social and personal life of our ancestors and the ancestral traditions handed down. Some dolls were made on the occasions close to seasonal traditions, like the Spring Equinox, Shrovetide or the day of the Summer Solstice (Ivana Kupala).

These doll have no palms, this was done so that she could not grab anything. Our ancestors said: No face – so she can’t see, no hands, so she doesn’t grab, no legs, so she can’t go anywhere. This keeps the doll pure and safe for both adults and especially children…

Traditional dolls and motanka dolls were faceless and still are. The face was not originally designed as a particular person in mind when makiing the doll and thus the faces remained plain white or a lighter material color. A doll without a face was and still is considered to be an “inanimate object” and for some a sacred inanimate object. The reason is because the doll is inaccessible to any negative or evil forces into of the unseen world. Nor was it able to be used as a spell casting instruments of unkind forces into it and so it remained harmless to people and to children.

Today some dolls do have faces, but not intricate, a very simple design with the pink cheeks. They were and still are made as gifts or ceremonial symbols for celebrating family events, family ancestors, the winter holidays, weddings or the birth of a child, as well as simply made as guardians for peace, health, wealth, protection and love. Also they are seasonal dolls that go with the seasonal year. In ancient times, dolls had a different purpose than they do in modern times (the last two hundred years).

Dolls were only made as a protected from diseases, misfortunes, evil spirits and it was a slavic indigenous tradition. For those who were folk healers, medicine women or grandmother shaman women, they would make a doll for a specific sick person, that it would take the sickness or be the container for the sicknesss. They would gather the sick or negatve energy, transfer it into the doll and then the doll is burned and sickness is released from the person or child. That is the main reasons they were faceless.

When the doll was made to take care of the person and bring joy or happeness or guardianship, it was called a Talisman or Charm. As a rule, the most protective traditional dolls were and still are made without needles and scissors. They tried not to cut the fabric during the making of dolls, but to tear the material (sometimes they called this type of doll, a “Rvanki”). Slavic Dolls are intended only to bring only well-being, health, abundance and joy to the adult or to the child.

Bubble Doll Kupavku
Bubble Doll, Kupavku 

The character of the doll was transmitted from several cloths, without arms, without legs, without a designed face, and yet represent the characters of any loving and protective mother or grandmother. While fairytales in Slavic traditions demonized grandmothers because of Christian Fathers and their issues of power, dolls were made, side by side, with the positive woman’s perspective of her grandmother and powerful ancestral grandmothers.

Панки делались с помощью топора. Причем ударять топором можно было строго определенное количество раз. Каждый удар сопровождался заклинанием.THE DOLL SEASONS

March – Spring Equinox, Burning Marzanna Dolls
March 9 – Magpies, Soroka, Soul Bird Doll
April 23 – Fat Kostromushka Doll
April May Dolushka  Doll
May – Mapta Mother Doll

June 3 – Happiness Doll
June Summer Solstice – Travnitsa Maslenitsa Doll
August 15 – Zernushka Krupenichka

October – Ten-Handle, Philippovka,
November 27 – Filippovka

December – Winter Solstice – Spiridon
January – Orthodox Christmas
February – Shrovetide or Maslenitsa

RULES OF TRADITIONAL DOLL Talisman, Amulets and Charms
In order for a simple motanka doll to create magic, it is required to fulfill a variety of conditions, for example, the use of sharp cutting tools, such as a knife and scissors, are not allowed. The fabric for the doll should literally be from a persons clothing, imbued with her spirit and strength, and the necessary intentions read into the doll during the making. The master doll maker must have excellent health and mood at the time of making a charm doll. Entering the “State of Kudes” (half-trance state) for the most happiiness and prosperity for those who wll recieve the doll for health, protecton, happiness or blessing.

The preferred time for making a doll is the growing moon (from new moon to full moon) to attract something, Waning moon Dolls are to cleanse the negative. Make the dolls on your knees, the symbolism of the “giving birth” woman-creator with a doll being created on her lap. If the doll is a Motanka, then it is prohibited to use needles, scissors, pins or other piercing and cutting objects. Only string and textile.

When tying on each knot, a desire is implied. Usually three turns around the cloth and three knots. Natural dolls are made from branches or cloth as the base of the doll underneath her dress. Use only natural materials in the creation of Oberezhnyh or Motanka  dolls. Synthetic fabrics and threads are not suitable.

doll 1Our ancestors life was built on the cycles of nature, living with nature, and merging into one with the conditions of the flow of agricultural activity. Rituals were made for various events, such as the new harvest, the departure of winter – some doll are burned as a symbol of purification, and some for the end of a season.

Dolls can be filled with harvest seeds, flax, flower seeds in the cloth bag that some of the dolls hold, and put in a prominent places  in order to attract wealth to the house. The pupae were very different, not only from the fabric and from the clay which they were made, but were made from straw, and even from the ashes.

Slavic Folk Dolls for centuries has served as a faithful assistant to all genera. She taught, guarded, healed, helped us to know ourselves, our capabilities, to develop and improve, to achieve our dream. The creation of dolls is older than a few centuries, it has roots deep in ancient prehistoric times.

Our ancestral wisdom in cloth, clay and stone effigies, which we now call folk dolls were an important sacred art, as a mirror of what we desired to be. With the help of these dolls, ancient grandmothers helped their clan to build up their own destiny, to play family and life situations as children. As they matured into teens and young women, the example of the strength, power and creativity grew with the teen or young adult.

The cycle of making dolls began from childhood and went to old age, accompanying its owner throughout life. They “fit” their dreams, desires, events and love into the talisman making practice. In Russian folk tales they also brought to us figurative knowledge about doll assistants, that a simple motanka doll can create magic (fairy tales of Baba Jaga and her understudy Vasilisa the Beautiful teaching the maiden how to be cautious about the underworld.

Today in the modern world, the history of the national doll has been preserved and has found its rebirth. The doll began to be used in such a modern direction as art therapy, because it is akin to the best healing or medicine women, who shows us our problem areas and helps them to begin to un-structure or let go of our issues through the dolls, especially when burning them, the ultimate fire purification of letting go. The doll is also preserved in the folk craft work of women, transforming and still performing its invariable functions of assistant and caretaker.

Times change, and true legends preserved and multiplied in the modern world, we so need help in filling and structuring our life energy and our destiny.  One example is Berehini, a motanka doll and turn it on, for example, to fulfill a desire for health and well being. To accomplish this, the principle of making a doll of a kuvadka as a basis (in ancient times there was a protective rite of the Kuvada, from which the obregnaya doll was called the kuvadka.

Materials and fabric, and thread, braid, scissors (we will only make cuts on the fabric at the break), paint on the fabric with a brush or floss with an embroidery needle (we can embroider the character on the apron or paint it on the fabric ).  We also take the rules of making a doll during daylight hours, we can take fabrics from our own clothes, we take all materials of natural composition.

We don’t use scissors and needles when we construct the doll’s body (we tear fabrics and threads), we make an odd number of thread turns and an odd number of knots (usually three), and create one doll in one sitting in a state of peace, harmony and joy.

On Shrovetide week in Russia, mid February, such a doll was hung outside the window. It was a sign that the mother-in-law was waiting for her son-in-law and daughter to visit with the celebratory pancakes. Most often, these dolls were made of straw, the face was covered with linen fabric and dressed in a traditional outfit. And burned on the Spring Equinox to release the Goddess of Winter (sometimes Baba Yaga) so Spring may return,

For Health – “Kubyshka-Travnitsa” 

For a Family – “Nerazluchniki”
For a Women’s Happiness – Zhelannitsa “Happiness Doll”
For Marriage – “Manilka” or “Bride” 
For a Man or Woman – “Sunny Horse”
For Motherhood – “Fatty-Kostromushka” or “Pregnancy”
Guardian of the House  – Ryabinka “Little bit” 
For a Man -“Spiridon-Solstice “

When the doll charm is made as a gift, it is just as necessary to fill it with the lightest thoughts and good wishes. Moreover, it is desirable to present, as the good that you desire, the future owner of the doll will hold that for the person. Slavs believed that for harmony you need to compensate for an empty space. So, the creator of the amulet put a part of herself in the doll, it turns out, she gave something to herself also, when giving. This means that the person who accepts the amulet must give something in return to that person that made it.

When parting with a doll that brought a lot of love, joy and good luck, you need to remember about these rules when you are ready to let her go…

Mentally, you need to be thankful for your doll;
Carefully and slowly let go of all the elements, shreds, threads;
Sharp objects cannot be used when disassembling the doll;
Threads and shreds are burned;
Do not use things from the doll or recycle it;
The rest of the doll is burned with gratitude;
Ashes need to be dispel in the wind (outside).


Fabric Motanka Doll

Bell Doll (a Motanka Doll)
The story of the origin of the Bell Doll Historians agree that Valdai was the birthplace of the doll. It is here that the large church bells, familiar to us, got a new look, turning into a small ringing Talisman Bell. The bells became an attribute of the coming of good news, because the coachmen, carrying letters and parcels, hung them to the horse drawn wagon. The exact time of the appearance of the amulet has not been established. But many experts are sure that it originated in Novgorod when the Veche bell was broken.

The Folk Doll of good news, the birthplace is Valdai is where the Valdai bells are from. There is also a Matryoshka Bell Doll. This is a very ancient doll and the ringing of the bell protects people from dangerous of plague and other terrible diseases and evil spirits which causes these terrible diseases in larger numbers (rather than personal karma). The kukeri are a more modern pagan version of this, as they are life size and wear bells and ring during the winter solstice time to clear negative souls and spirits.

According to legend, he not only broke, but scattered into hundreds of small bells, which later became a folk amulet. Following the charm bells, dolls appeared with the same name and the same meaning.

The bell rang at many festivals, and even the more shamanic festivals where one dresses in animal skins and has large bells attached to the waist to clear out shadows in the village. The Bell Doll has three overlaying skirts that symbolize copper, silver, gold. Happiness also consists of three parts, a healthy body, the joy of the soul and emotional body, and a calm mind, then the person is quite happy.

After you make your three bell doll, activate her with this ritual:

Lada, Lada, come to our house, come in,
Bring happiness and love with you.
Hand out a piece to everyone,
Protect your family from troubles
and problems.

Lada, Lada, give us good news,

Let the house become warmer, more fun.
May everyone be happy
And in the winter, as in the spring.

This doll is also cheerful, playful, and brings joy and fun to the house. Preserve a good mood. Giving the Bell, a person wishes his friend to receive only good news and supports in him a joyful and cheerful mood. Maidens made this doll for when she grows up. Putting it on the window, and the young men knew she was open to a matchmaker.

Characteristic features of the Bell and their significance
This doll has always been easy to distinguish from others. Instead of one, she has three whole skirts that are layered. Such a quantity was not chosen by chance. For the Slavs, the number 3 was sacred, because it combines three worlds: Reve, Reign, Nav.

These three words mean Harmony is expressed in a healthy body (no medications, drugs, plants, alcohol etc); 2. a Joyful Soul by always speaking the truth in a positive manner to face your personal fears, and 3 which results in a calm spirit.

Motanka was always dressed up as for a holiday
Outfits of eye-catching flowers with colorful patterns symbolized well-being and happiness. The doll needs to be dressed as brightly as possible, then it will soon bring joy to your home. Unlike other Slavic motanka, this doll could make a sound. This sound was clear, sonorous, and it came from a bell hidden inside.

The ringing warned that someone had entered the house, clearing the space, attracting joy. Sometimes additional small bells were hung on a stall. They adorned the figurine’s hands so that she seemed to call, inviting fun and fun. Another meaning of the doll is to receive good news. People gave each other such a toy amulet to wish good news and happy events.

Video to make a 3 Bell Doll:

Народная кукла. Мастер-класс кукла КОЛОКОЛЬЧИК

Bereginya Hearth Doll 2
Bereginya Mokosh – A Hearth (Fire) Doll

North beregin.jpg

Traditional Russian doll Bereginya, by magic

Traditional Russian doll Bereginya by Magic Lace Dolls on Etsy

Bereginya Dolls
Bereginya is one of the Great Slavic Goddesses and Supreme Goddess and there are many different kinds of dolls. She created all things, even the goddess and is basically a combination of  “Hearth Fire Mother,” associated with guardianship, which is a trait of Mokosh, and the Sea Goddess (Rusalka was a demotion of the Sea Goddess, like all sea and ocean goddesses were). She is more appropriate then the Mother Ocean Goddess where all life is born and all life shall return.

Bereginya rules over water (thus our connection to emotional energy, and the soul). Older traditions say that Bereginya is a Spirit, and because the Oceans cover 75% of the planet, Spirit is more appropriate. She is from the great realm of protection in spirit form, who later became a Slavic Goddess. If we take her to be a spirit (nature), then she is much greater in our Slavic and Ukrainian folklore. In dolls, she is a protector of the family, and a protector of women – which is another trait of Mokošh.

Something similar can be found among South Slavs. Ukrainian independence in 1991, she has undergone a folkloric metamorphosis, and is today identified as a combination of the “hearth-mother” (associated with the guardianship) and a Rusalka (water nymph and mermaid in her youth or maiden aspect of the triple goddess).

This name is already “speaking”, that is, a doll responsible for the safety of all people living in the house.  The shape of this doll resembles a rattle and broom. The first Slavs frightened off evil spirits, and the second drove the evil spirits out of the house. The layering of the doll is the personification of the plurality of the surrounding world.

Кукла Берегиня (Северная)
Bereginya (Severnaya) Doll – Кукла Берегиня (Северная)

North Bereginya or Bereginya (Severnaya)
Doll from the North, a Safeguard Deity – This doll’s face should be white or the color of burlap. She is traditionally placed in front of the front door, sitting higher above the head of people, so that it meets all the incoming and does not let the evil forces into the house. It is a talisman doll for protecting the family from dark forces, quarrels, diseases. This is a talisman for the house. She guards and brings well-being to the house.

We placed such a charming doll somewhere in the northern corner of the hut. Despite the simplicity of the technology of making traditional dolls, each one turns out to be different, with their own character, so you need to choose from several dolls what works best for you. A soulful gift is a wish for good, joy, comfort, well-being, happiness when you gift this doll as a gift. 

Bereginya Mokosh – Hearth Doll or Fire (purification) Doll
Bereginya is from the word “protect”, “charm” and since ancient times it was believed that the column keeps the house from the evil eye. This is a rag doll without eyes and ears. She does not see or hear anything; it was believed that when she acquired facial features, such a doll becomes independent and loses its magical and protective properties. The hostess – the Prosperous is a small and very cute doll. Such a doll was given with wishes of wealth and prosperity.

bird of paradise, fortunetelling happiness 2
Motanka Bird of Happiness мотанка птица счастья

Bird Dolls
The Bird of Happiness Doll Motanka is an amulet. In pagan and peasant times, the Bird was an ancient light symbol of the Soul associated with heaven, the Sun and its associated with Spirit, specifically the Winds. It is considered the guardian of family happiness and prosperity.

Today its called Bird Joy – a doll of the Spring in ceremony, associated with the arrival of Spring. There was in the province of Tula, the rite was held in March. Married women participated – they were the main participants in the ceremony, but girls could also participate. Women dressed in bright, elegant clothes. Especially decorated headdresses in the form of birds.

Decorated with feathers, fur edges. Women themselves took the images of birds. There is also the Soroka Magpie spring bird doll, see below.

Bogatstvo Кукла Wealth Doll
Bogatstvo Кукла Wealth Doll

Bogatstvo Кукла or Wealth Doll
This is an abundance doll and not just money, she is a multi-component composition of wealth, which is a healthy family and or children, shelter from the storm and respect. A lot of children who made these dolls, tied her to the body of the main doll-Mother by a belt. It means that in a house where there are many who work together, there will always be prosperity.

Unlike most ceremonial dolls, Bogatstvo is never burned when her time is done, but kept in a house somewhere higher on a cupboard, on a shelf, without letting anyone else touch her. According to folk beliefs, such a doll helps to realize the desire to have a healthy relationship or partnership or marriage, and if one so desires, a healthy child. This doll also symbolizes the affects of the relationship between children and parents.

Changeling, Pinwheel Doll
It can be called a doll because it contains 2 heads, 4 arms, 2 skirts. The secret is that when one part of the doll is visible, for example, its a girl, then you turn the skirt and a woman is hidden under the skirt; if you turn the doll, the woman will open, and the girl will disappear.  She looks more into herself and protects her home.

Comforter Doll 
The Comforter doll was not in plain sight, it was delivered only as a comfort if a person is sick or has an illness, especially if a baby. The Comforter was made of the brightest fabrics, candy was hung on the arms and on the belt. While the child is sick and inconsolable, the doll was with him. When calm, the doll was removed until the next time behind the stove, perhaps for an image.


Day and Night Russian Doll

Devka Doll or Day and Night Doll
Traditionally older goddesses were sisters in many cultures and so too the Slavic, Balkan and Baltic people. The Sun Goddess and her sister the Moon Goddess, these are older or earlier goddess cultures before paganism. In the southern provinces of Russia this doll is a guardian of our dreams at night and our walk in the day. She is literally called “Day and Night”.

As a rule, this is done for the New Years, and the doll has both dark and light tones which is on the Spring Equinox. In the doll, the light fabric symbolized the day, and the darker cloth symbolizes the night. Early in the morning, every day the family members turned it, in accordance with the day time. Bright side for a day, and in the evening, or night – dark side. They said: “The day has passed, and thanks, so let the night pass.”

Desyatyruchka Doll
A doll designed for a young woman (who recently married). Often given to the bride for her wedding, it meant she could do everything, and everything went well in the family. Traditionally, made from grass and straw and beautifully decorated, this doll decorated a prominent place in the room where the woman spent her time working. The doll was burned usually at the spring equinox and it wasn’t a long term doll, for it could be made many times with the emotional, physical and spiritual growth of the woman.

doll insomnia.jpg

Slavic Dream and Sleep DollDream, Sleep, Insomnia Doll
This is a magical lullaby folk doll. The Insomnia doll serves as a Talisman that protects the baby from shadow forces, the evil eye. The doll’s head was sometimes stuffed with mint, lavender or any other soothing grass or plant. The doll has a simple knot made of two square flaps of fabric or two scarves. Like all traditional folk dolls, the needle and scissors are not used. Insomnia dolls are made from square pieces of cloth.

When, for no apparent reason, a baby begins to cry, the mother, to calm her down and protect her from evil spirits, will quickly roll up the fetish doll and put it in the cradle, saying:

Insomnia, is a difficulty
to dream and to sleep,

so don’t play with my baby
but play with this doll instead.

The Russian people’s knot was a defense against dark witchcraft, and an echo of this belief has been preserved to this day. “Tie a knot in memory” means not to forget about something, to keep it in your head.  If a child takes a doll and pressing it to him or her self, they breath the aroma of soothing herbs, then it will have a beneficial effect. Now the child has already stopped crying and peacefully and calmly fell asleep. To make this simple but magical doll, you need two square pieces of cloth or two ordinary scarves or clean handkerchiefs.  The Insomnia doll can be either large or small.

 Grove Doll
A symbol and family perseverance, unity of united clans, where roots are ancestors, and branches are a new family and its descendants find harmony. Previously, this doll was used in the decoration of a wedding loaf, in the center there was a stuck birch slingshot decorated with pupae. Like other Magical wedding attributes, a wedding loaf robe had a deep symbolic meaning – it is a figuratively growing tree from the earth, and the young will need to cultivate the earth – life, raise the harvest – children.

The doll is made on the spear, the meaning of which is also symbolic: this merger putting together two destinies, two genera, which are now becoming one, stronger than two separate twigs. The basis of the doll is made of dried birch and do not remove bark. Rohatin gently break out without using a knife.

Grace – Slavic guard doll
The doll “Grace” is made and presented with the words: “Do not be sad, do not be depressed, do not give up.” Doll from the blues; the wish of well-being and healthy children – this is indicated by the big breasts. This doll is made for health and the “good of the giver”, it helps to understand what is good for us and see it for ourselves in a changing world.

Svitlana Serheyeva Handmade Art.jpg
Happiness Doll

Happiness Doll
Pupa Happiness is a folk doll charm. This little girl with a very long braid and handles raised to the Sun. The doll’s spit is thick – health and long life. The doll stands firmly on its feet, leaning on the braid. This speaks of her strong support in life and the happiness she brings to her master. Spit, as a symbol of femininity and feminine power, symbolizes health, wealth, beauty and long life.

doll-of-happiness.jpgThe main power of this doll is her Hair and her long Braid. Whether the happiness doll is done with straw, twine or textiles, small or large, she must include the very long braid, which is the feminine power. The twists up and serves as a support for the doll, making it stable. Few traditional folk dolls can stand alone. The doll for good luck has peculiar best if worn shoes that help it on the way to search for your happiness, because the path is long. In the house, where they very much expect and wish for a child, there was this doll.

They put her in a bedroom in a prominent place. The task of this Talisman was to return fertility to a woman. It was believed that the doll has the ability to lure the soul of a child with its long braid. A doll should show a rich, rich life, should be dressed smartly. Her legs are very thin, always in shoes, hands in mittens, body – plump.

The obligatory part in this doll (actually, why it is called the “female essence”) is the hole left below. From which the filler sticks out – mochnashka. On the apron is embroidered Rozhanitsa Lada, giving birth to Lelya. In addition, the sign Ogniyvitsa, which burns women’s diseases, the Vseslavets symbolizing a strong family, symbols of the Sowed Field, crosses of the Moraine, symbolizing the Transition was used.


Kuvadka dollKuvadki, Kuvadka is also a Slavic Amulet Happiness Doll
Kuvatka – warms up the cradle of a newborn and expels all evil spirits. The name was given to the doll as it resembled a child. The role and appearance of this charms is very similar to Pelenashka’s. The Kouvadka doll should be done and given to pregnant women 2 weeks before labor begins. Then the doll was with her everywhere, even in the bathroom. Then the doll was placed in a cradle to the baby.

Kuvadka – the first Slavic doll that man has encountered in our world. The father of the infant used it. While giving birth to a woman, it was her father’s job to protect her and her baby from evil spirits that could affect childbirth. That’s why the father of the family “played” with mugs and scattered evil spirits.

kuvadkaIn ancient times, there was a rite of “Kuvada”, the magic of which was associated with the mystery of having a child. In some provinces, two weeks before the child was born, the expectant mother would place such a doll — a charm in the cradle so that the doll would heat the cradle for the infant. When the parents went to the field to work, and the child remained alone in the house, he looked at these little dolls and calmly played. As a rule, these toys were small in size and all different colors, it developed the infant’s vision.

Previously, this doll worked as a talisman, because Kuvadka is one of the more ancient ritual dolls and unfortunately, the actual ancient ceremony is gone, but the doll stayed with us. The name of the Kuwadka doll comes from the word “Kuwak” meaning the child’s first cry.

So they made the doll before the baby was born so it was in the room during childbirth, to make sure one was protected from evil spirits (by performing Kuwada rituals during birth). The folk healer or shaman sits on a basket with eggs and yells as if she were giving birth to a child to trick any village evil spirits and distract them from the mother.

The Kuwadka doll also plays the same role as an evil eyes and distorts evil spirits in the vicinity. Now dolls like the Kuvadka can be put on the bed for children for protection. And when the baby grows up the tradition continues into the next generation.

After the baby was born, Kuvadki played the role of a talisman for the baby. The doll was never alone. Most often, this was a series of multiple amulets (there must have been an odd number. Otherwise, the doll was not only useful but could also cause damage).

Beregini first hung on the cot. As she grew a little, the amulet then became a toy. There are different methods for creating Kuvadki, but they differ a little. Each host takes the traditional way as a basis and complements it at their own discretion. In addition to Kuvadka, our ancestors used the doll Zernovushko, Zhelannitsa, Greenhouse, Travnitsa and other Lyalka motanki 

To make the coast, you need the following attributes:

  • natural fabric;
  • multicolored thread;
  • tapes.

When Kuvadki is made, do not use scissors. The fabric should be torn manually. Our ancestors were convinced that this sound scares the evil spirits and women cannot make for a doll. First, measure the amount of body material you need. The piece should not be larger than the size of your palm. Now tear off a piece of the required size. You should have a small rectangle ..

Then measure a small square. Keep its sides as long as your cursor. This cut is suitable for making handles. It is important that the threads are aligned with the finished material. Take a small square and rotate it. This should make a small tight roll. Tie it on both sides so that the handles are firmly attached and do not dissolve.

Now take a large piece of fabric and fold the sides in the middle. The band formed a strip of fabric in half. Pull slightly back from the fold line and form a neck and head using a thread. Do not break either. Insert end feathers under the neck and thread them. It is best to do it crosswise. So fasten your arms and mark your belt. Multicolor strips can be used as a belt.

Each hostess adds some of their own to the process of making Bereginia. For example, according to old traditions, they make several dolls at one time and tighten them together (by the hand) with the help of a thick thread. Sometimes women used to decorate small dolls with multicolored threads, beads (they were hung on dolls but not sewn), ribbons. You should carefully prepare the product if you get a torn doll, repeat it better.

To make a Tula Kuvadka , women turn that part of the work piece from which the head will form, into a straw and wrap it in a ring. The rest of the method is no different. In the production of Vyatka Beregini, the Small Square (used as a standard for arm shaping) is bent diagonally and only then turns. The end tube is wrapped in a ring so that small handles project on both sides of the ring (heads).

A rectangular tab is attached to the ring, which is bound by a thread (a body is formed). A coastal cross is used to design the neck and waist.

Try hand curved fabric. It will symbolize the unity of generations.

  • Used only in natural materials.
  • Do not use needles, the doll should not be ‘stabbed’.
  • Use it to make protective complications of your “happy” clothes.

Do not paint eyes on face, mouth, nose. Homelessness – the main difference between ritual puppets. In the old days, people were afraid of making faces because they thought that the doll would be like a human being and an evil spirit could move in it. A ward driven by an evil spirit can hurt a child.

The size of the Kuvadki should be small – no more than 7-8 cm . It is desirable to include three basic colors: white, red, black. These little tricks will help you to make not only a doll but a real amulet that will fill all the canons and really save your baby from all evil.

The Kuvadka doll is one of the most important departments in a person’s life, so her creation must be approached with love and responsibility. The more positive emotions you put into creating a cuvadki, the stronger your child’s protection will be.

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Folk Doll Mothers Blesssing.jpg

Motanka Wealth Dolls:
Krupenichka, Travnitsa, Zolnitsa Doll (charms)

There are many names for this short and stocky mother folk doll: Zernushka, Zernovushka, Krupenichka, Sweetpea, Pea, Mother’s Blessing and Goroshinka. Also known as the Krupenichka Tenderness of Dawn, a Russian talisman folk doll, sometimes called a charm doll is a doll that is for prosperity in the family (the household).

Zernushka dolls are a bag filled with grain: buckwheat, millet, etc. It symbolizes wealth and well-being in the family. After harvesting harvest, the pouch doll was again filled with selected grain of a new crop. She dressed up and baa -bank kept until the next sowing in the corner of the hut. The peasants believed that only then would the next year be hearty and happy. Such dolls were otherwise called grains and grains.

My name is Mother’s Blessing I’m a twisted doll, and what my mother twisted into me, then her daughter will get it. I strongly advise every woman to learn how to spin her blessing in a chrysalis and, most importantly, to realize why this is necessary. Modern people have forgotten how important a parental blessing is for a person’s life,that it helps to live in harmony with oneself, surrounding people and the whole World. 

The great mother period of life is her adult stage, not maiden under 30, nor elder over 60. This a time of the all powerful creative potential of creation in a woman’s life (whether she has children or not). She comes into this time with the power of the circle, in her friendships, relationships,, partnerships and service to community, to family, to the world. Its the sacred meaning of fertility.


Travnitsu charm
Kubyshka-Travnitsa Doll

Kubyshka-Travnitsa Doll
Kubyshka Herbalist is a do-it-yourself folk rag dolls helps with sicknesses and diseases as a talisman, from penetrating into the house, to the individual. These dolls give off warmth, like a caring hostess or nurturing mother. Also, a protector from evil spirits of illness, and good comfort maker.still makes sure that the disease does not penetrate into the house.

From her emanates warmth, as from a caring mistress, she is a protector from the evil spirits of the diseases, and brings good comforter. Happiness, peace and harmony among family members will settle in the house when she is there.

Folk doll Kubyshka Herbalist is an aroma doll, as her skirt is full of fragrant herbs and if you squeeze her, her wonderful smell only becomes stronger. Kubyshka Travnitsa doll serves as a charm for health, as various aromas well affect one’s well-being and purify the air (for example, the smell of lavender).

Russian folk ritual doll Kolyada

Russian folk ritual doll Kolyada by Magic Lace Dolls on Etsy






Kolyada & Kolyadnik Doll
This is a winter doll, a Hearth Fire Doll that is made and given during the Winter Solstice or Three Moon of Winter. During Christmas, the celebration of Folk Singing (Kolyada) is a part of this dolls symbol, a symbol of the warmth of the youngest Sun in balance with the cool winter Moon. Its a doll of good relations in the family. She was a portly woman dressed in everything new and elegant and on her behalf women, she sing a joyful song. Together with the charm there is a special basket, in which there are 3 sacks: red, white and yellow …

Red bag – is filled with fragrant Herbs. Carries the function of caring for the physical health of its hostess (gives you good health, vigor and strength).

Yellow bag – filled with Grain. Designed to take care of the material well-being of the mistress (a house in abundance).

White bag – filled with Salt. This pouch is special. To take care of the mental state of the hostess of the Amulet (to harmonize the inner state of the woman), secondly, this bag has a protective function (removal of unkind thoughts aimed at the hostess of the amulet), thirdly – the bag helps to get rid of sadness, pain and sadness (takes away the pain of loss, offense, quarrels and disputes).

In some places, folk songs ended near a fire with wishes of good blessings to themselves and their loved ones.  She can be made of textiles, straw or wood as the base underneath. There bread and salt in the bags that hang from the Doll’s belt. A broom can be stuck behind the belt, with which Kolyada drives away shadow forces. The sign of the young Sun, means the beginning, the potential that must be revealed. It can be a Talisman for children, it gives health, luck, spiritual and physical growth, reveals the ability. This doll is also made for women. It has the function of cleansing the female soul, remove sorrow and sadness, as well as to pacify the dark sides of the soul, such as anger, envy and dissatisfaction.

This Charm helps the woman to find and define her inner essence, her mission, harmonizes the inner the state of the hostess (this charm is especially good during the period of mental torments, connected with the search for inner harmony / sensual, love sphere). With the same broom you can sweep the evil out of the house (illnesses, evil eyes, negative energy) and “sweeping good into the house (prosperity, success, health).”

Depending on what a woman wanted during a certain period (spiritual harmony, physical health or material well-being) – she took one of the bags in her hands and held for several minutes (they say sometimes it was possible to put some of the bags into bed and sleep together, especially when it was necessary to health or was suspected of damage or the evil eye.)

Fat-Kostromushka Doll
This is a Female essence doll from the Oryol and Kostroma provinces. It can be both a maiden and a mother doll. The doll has six children tied to a belt or fastened with a belt. The history of the doll goes back to the time of the formation of the Moscow principality, which acquired new lands. Moscow is a mother, a new principality is a new child. In the doll, this historical process focused on the number 6.

This doll is a symbol of motherly care and love. She is a guardian against loneliness as the doll’s task was to return fertility and joy to a woman, or to lure the soul of the child forth. If within a year after marriage a woman did not become pregnant, they would make this doll and put it on a prominent place on the side of the door. 

It has the function of cleansing the female soul, remove sorrow and sadness, as well as to pacify the dark sides of the soul, such as anger, envy and dissatisfaction. This Charm helps the woman to find and define her inner essence, her mission, harmonizes the inner the state of the hostess (this charm is especially good during the period of mental torments, connected with the search for inner harmony / sensual, love sphere). With the same broom you can sweep the evil out of the house (illnesses, evil eyes, negative energy) and “sweeping good into the house (prosperity, success, health).”

The Fat Kostromushka carried the image of a girl who combined several ages at the same time: 7–9 years old (nanny girl), 10–19 years old (teenage girl). Today, few people know the rite of “Kuvada”. In the middle of the 19th century it, like a half-worn trail of dense old, still existed in the Oryol and Kostroma provinces. These ceremonies are called “Kuvada: a basket with eggs was set up in the waiting room. The man sat on a basket, pretending that he was hatching eggs (according to beliefs, the egg was the primary basis of life), again, a Christian rite, not the original Pagan rite where Women (Hens) hatch the egg as the primary life force).

In times of Labor, loud furious screams, imitating the cries of the woman in labor, the man lured the evil spirits into a waiting room. So that the deceived and angry spirits did not return to the woman in labor, ritual dolls were hung in the dressing room. They believed that these inanimate images of the first people caught my eye and evil spirits infused themselves. 

The baby itself was hidden and a man was put under a ripe doll. After giving birth, the dolls were burned during the purification rite. Magic tried to provide and conceive a child. Thus, in some localities during the wedding, after the bride moved to the groom’s house (a relgious rite, not a pagan rite), a swaddled doll was laid on the knees of the newlywed bride. It was believed that after this a maternal force came to the young wife.  Another name for the doll is “The Seventh I” (family).

horse russian

Phoenix Dusk Spirit Horse (front side)
Phoenix’s Folk Horse Doll

Horse Folk DollHorse Folk Dolls
Most Slavic doll horses are made of straw. A horse is a friend and companion of a person in life. He is the conductor of human souls to this world. In ancient times, much in people’s lives depended on the horse. Neither a sowing campaign, nor a trip, nor a wedding could do without this animal. Everywhere a man was accompanied by a faithful horse. Since that time, the phrase “to be on horseback”, meaning success and luck, has been preserved. Settle a solar horse in your home, and it will bring happiness and good luck.

Horses in many Slavic traditions of folk and pagan mysticism represent the four directions and water and fire elements. Usually in the terms of the Mare, not the male horse. The spirit of the horse has been in great service to people over time and although abused in war scenarios, the essence of the non war horses and its service to humanity has been more spiritual, agricultural and ritual like parades or the connection with young girls, women and even brides.

Sunny Horse
In many Russian fairy tales there are dolls, to which heroes trust their sorrows and joys, and share their thoughts. Besides, the small dolls-assistants do not leave their owners in trouble. A horse is a friend and companion of man in life. It is the conductor of human souls in this world. In ancient times, a lot of people’s lives depended on the horse.

Without this animal they could not do, no sowing, no trip, and no wedding. Everywhere a faithful horse accompanied him. Since that time, the preserved expression “to be on horseback” means success and luck. The Sun horse dates back to when the directions of north, south, east and west were marked by the symbol of the water horse, the air horse, the earth horse and the fire horse. In modern times, the Horse at home brings happiness and luck.

As is well known, a broom has always been considered a talisman against evil forces and even Baba Yaga is beloved. That is why the broom is successfully used in the rites of purification of the house. The little sushi are one of the few ancient wards that have many meanings and are used for different occasions. The first and most necessary guard in any house: Broomstick for cleansing the house. The guard is made on a reduced broomstick.

The protective properties of the broom, its ability to counteract the evil forces are associated with its utilitarian function of cleansing, eliminating evil. When the mistress of the house decided that the house was “clogged” with negative (quarrels, evil eyes, damage, illness, sins, bad deeds and thoughts of residents and guests who somehow got into their own lair during this time), she took a clockwork the arrow, moving from the edges to the center, swept away the “garbage” -negative in one pile (on a rag or piece of paper).

After that, a rag or piece of paper was collected in a ball and thrown away or burned. Usually the purification rite is performed on a decreasing moon (ideally, before the new moon). Before the rite in the house it was necessary to get out. After the ceremony, you can walk around the house with a lit candle (especially carefully in all corners).

It is especially good to have such a guardian in the office, especially in those groups where disputes and quarrels between employees often occur where negative energy is felt. After the house / office cleansing ritual, the atmosphere is immediately discharged, it becomes easier to breathe and the relations between the family / team members also become harmonious.

The rite can be held every month – then in the house / office will not accumulate negative energy. Usually the purification rite is performed on a decreasing moon (ideally, before the new moon). Before the rite in the house it was necessary to get out. After the ceremony, you can walk around the house with a lit candle (especially carefully in all corners).

It is especially good to have such a guardian in the office, especially in those groups where disputes and quarrels between employees often occur where negative energy is felt. After the house / office cleansing ritual, the atmosphere is immediately discharged, it becomes easier to breathe and the relations between the family / team members also become harmonious.

Kupavka – Ritual healing doll
The Kupavka personified the beginning of swimming season, summer. This is a doll of the holidays Agrafena Kupalnitsy and Ivan Kupala. The kupavka is a healing and ritual doll, a doll of one day. Kupavka made on birch branches with ribbons – ribbon on the hands. Ribbon tied illness, illness, ailments that have happened to the owners for the year. The doll was lowered into the water and the doll, floating away, carried off with it illnesses and adversities. Water had a great cleansing power.

Kukolki Lihomanki obereg na zdorove ot vsjakoj hvori avtor verba.png
Likhomanki Sisters Doll, 13 Moon Dolls
Decrepit, Fool, Staring, Leney, Nemeus, Ledey, Trembling, Dormania, Fire, Wind, Yellow, Avea - Karelian Folk Dolls, photo Nikolay Smirnov.jpg
Karilean 12 Moon or 12 Sister’s Folk Dolls, Photo by Nikolay Smirnov
Likhomanki Sisters Doll, 13 Moon Dolls

Likhomanki Sisters Doll, 13 Moon Dolls
Куклы Лихоманки (Лунные куклы) 
Lihomanki obereg na zdorove ot vsjakoj hvori The Likhomanki guardian of health of any ailment or sickness. In late autumn in every house there is 13 dolls called Likhomanki and according to legends, these fight diseases.

These are very powerful healing and protection dolls used to keep the home free of roaming shadows which carry diseases for the inhabitants of the home. Charms and Talisman for such protection rites were made of clay like the Venus of Willendorf and the thousands of others around the world. These folk dolls of cloth must have the right intentions for them to assist and work for us against darkness and evil.

Each doll-sister had a name in accordance with the scourge that had to drive away:  Kumokha, Avvaraush, Glazey, Glukheya, Zhelteya, Karkush, Ledey, Nemey, Ogneya, Otpey, Puhleya, Shaking, Snoring. By order of Kumokhi. Nevea (dead), Ogneya (causing fever), Ledey, or Znobuha (causing severe chills), Gneteya (deprived of the patient’s appetite), Breast feeding (causing agonizing cough), Deaf (brought congestion and ear diseases), Lomea Kostolomka (caused pain and aches throughout the body), Secret (caused hidden and secret diseases), Puhnya (caused severe edema), Zhelteya (caused bile diseases), Korcheya (caused pain, causing torture and writhe), Frowning – (tormented and insomnia). The thirteenth, Kumoha, the largest doll – the oldest and in the center and takes care of all the sisters.

In Slavic mythology, in the summer the warrior Perun drove the evil fever into the fiery depths, and therefore they were not dangerous nor would evil men rise to hurt the people. With the onset of winter, when Perun fell asleep, Chernobog reinstated him self, letting the diseases (demons) go free. As the day began to decrease and give the night its time, so in each hut there appeared 13 Sister dolls capable of protecting the family from illnesses and misfortunes of roaming souls that were evil.

These Moon sisters could walk on the grounds, either all together or alone, could fly into a house at night through a chimney or window and call out to a sleeping person. Each doll process must be given a name of their particular moon cycle, when making a doll with a certain protecting quality, you need to mentally imagine the disease from which she will protect you from.

In the old days, each doll name and its protection was read out loud and then a blessing was given to the doll. When all 13 were together headed by the 13th and eldest moon, they are fastened on a ribbon or rope, or tied to a long stick in the form of a garland. They are hung near the Hearth Fire (fireplace and chimney) or if you don’t have one, the at the front door from where, it seemed, evil feral (stoned or drunk men who were out of body) could fly into you home.

Place them closer to the place where, in your opinion, it is easiest for sick soul’s could get into your house (window, ventilation hood, etc.). Let them flaunt there until spring and do not let the disease into your home! Fastened all the dolls with a garland on a grape branch (it bends well).

From the Christian beliefs to later times men were very disrespectful to Folk Healer Grandmothers and Shaman Grandmothers who were to project the villages from evil. So I make the moon dolls as part of my honoring of medicine women, folk healer and shaman grandmothers of ancient times, I honor them with the 13 Sister Dolls.

You can make the dolls from wood chips or a sticks, wrapping them in bright cloth, symbolizing the face and waist, and then dressed up, more beautiful, brighter. The sticks inside each doll and a minimum of clothes are apparently an unspoken condition for the convenience of quickly burning these dolls in the spring with your Marzanna or Maslenitsa effigy.

Traditional rag dolls Likhomanki dolls are special and different than all the other folk doll. This doll is a doll that traps unwanted spirits and roaming dark souls in the home or near your bed when you dream, if you feel things or have scary dreams. It is a kind of trap for evil spirits. These 13 doll’s role is to attract the attention of the villain disease carrying souls that belong to living people. Much of the Autumn and Winter ceremonies were and still are done to clear the village on the outside of the home works the same way. Once a shadow is inside your home, it was invited in, or belongs to one of the shadows of the people living there.

I would suggest to also hang a bell on the her waste, as bells also clear shadows. Those who have flown into the house, the grandmothers believed that these evil spirit of diseases (addictions, sex addictions, power addictions, control addictions, hateful person’s living souls) would fly into the house in search of its most innocent victim, usually children, or empaths, sensitives or those who could see. She is as bright well-dressed dolls to attach and catch or warn the dark soul and move into one of them. Therefore, Likhomanok dolls are made of very bright, very eye-catching fabrics that are joyful looking because light attracts dark.

13 Sister Dolls Materials: 
1. one or several smaller sticks tied together, 15 cm long and one, the eldest 13 moon sister should be a little taller (complete set: 12 + 1 stick); 2 flap of stitched cotton to give volume to the body of the doll, because I have a wand in diameter of only 0.5 cm (if you have a wand of a larger diameter, then you can take a thin winding cloth); 3 square white cotton fabric for the head – 12×12 cm;  4 cotton fabric colored for a sundress – 15×15 cm; 5 a strip of colored cotton for ochelya (part of the headdress) – 2×15 cm;  6 colored cotton fabric for a scarf – 15×15 cm; 7 colored cotton fabric for apron – 6×8 cm; 8 tapes for a belt and a bell;  9 strings “iris”;  10 scissors.

Martinichki – Slavic Spring Ritual Doll
The martinics are two pupae strung together, twisted of threads — white and red, male and female. Red and white – personify the ardent power of life and the will of the gods for this life. United male and female figurines of different colors – the unity of the two, the Slavic analogue of Yin-Yang. The name Martinichki already indicates that this doll was made in March. She “called out” Spring, brought her beginning, celebrated and rejoiced in her arrival.

Mansi dolls (North people). Patchwork dolls by Russian artist of applied art Marina

Mansi Doll (North people)
The Mansi are an indigenous people living in Khanty–Mansia, an autonomous okrug within the Tyumen Oblast in Russia. In Khanty–Mansia, the Khanty and Mansi languages have co-official status with Russian.

The Mansi language is one of the postulated Ugric languages of the Uralic family. Their dolls use the round rolled up face. In the photo below, Russian artist Marina Alexandrovna Mishina from Yekaterinburg became fascinated with traditional folk dolls of many indigenous and Russian folk dolls, these dolls are her artwork.


Maslenitsa Folk Doll
Shrovetide Folk Doll
Daughter of Shroventide Folk Doll
Daughter of Shrovetide Folk Doll

Maslenitsa Doll / Effgy – Shrovetide (February)
An obligatory attribute of this holiday. The ritual doll Shrovetide was made of straw or bast, but it was obligatory to use wood, personifying the lush force of nature. On the hands of the doll hung ribbons, tying which make a wish. Charms for children are sometimes very necessary. Children, especially small ones, are very sensitive to the effects of someone else’s biofield. Therefore, what we call the evil eye often happens to them.

Often, after talking with people, friends or strangers, the child begins to cry, act up, sleep badly. To protect the child from the evil eye and from any other bad influence there are amulets for children. Many charms for children have long been known. So, our ancestors put a doll in the cradle of the child. It is believed that it is better if this doll is made by hand. Then the guests admiring the baby, bending over his bed, will not be able to harm him in any way. After all, the doll will take all the negative on yourself.

Shrovetide Folk DollMaslenitsa is a very ancient Slavic holiday inherited from the pagan culture, preserved after the adoption of Christianity. Much like Marzanna Dolls made of straw and dressed in traditional folk dress. These dolls have an older and more ancient ritual that is connected to shamanism cultures before pagan eras.  Maslenitsa was perceived by the Christian church as a religious holiday and was called Cheese or Cheese Week, Pancake Week and Shrovetide. But this did not change its internal essence.

Maslenitsa falls on the week preceding Lent. Therefore, at this time, a person devotes his soul on the eve of a difficult and long Lent. Maslenitsa is, above all, plentiful and nourishing food. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with this, at this time to feast on, try a variety of dishes and not deny yourself anything. In traditional life, it was always believed that a person who had a bad and boring carnival week would be unsuccessful throughout the year.

Unrestrained Maslenitsa gluttony and fun are seen as the magical forerunner of future well-being, prosperity and success in all business, home and business endeavors. Even pancakes, an indispensable attribute of carnival, had a ritual meaning: round, ruddy, hot, they were a symbol of the sun, which grew brighter and brighter, extending the days. Centuries passed, life changed, with the adoption of Christianity in Russia, new church holidays appeared, but the broad carnival continued to live. She was greeted and accompanied with the same uncontrollable boldness as in pagan times.

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The Metushka Cleaning Charm Doll

Metushka Doll – Cleaning Charm
Little Birch Doll and Sunny Horse Doll
Our house is our fortress where love, happiness, peace and comfort reign and unfortunately, this is not always the case for everyone. When the owner of the house decided that the house is blocked with negative (quarrel, evil eye, damage, illness, sins, drugs or alcohol, bad deeds and thoughts of residents and guests), then opening the windows and doors, sweeping away those things from the house, could help with a Cleaning Doll. This doll plays the role of a symbolic broom: taking away all bad. This Charm dolls purpose is to absorb the bad thoughts and energy, and when it has too much of the bad, it should be burned on an open fire (stove or fire).

The doll’s place is in the kitchen, so that it is always at hand and helps to quickly “sweep away” all bad things. It is well known, a broom has always been considered a talisman against evil forces and even Baba Yaga is beloved n Slavic Culture. That is why the broom is successfully used in the rites of purification of the house. The little sushi are one of the few ancient wards that have many meanings and are used for different occasions. The first and most necessary guard in any house: Broomstick for cleansing the house, the guard is made on a reduced or shorter broomstick.

The protective properties of the broom, its ability to counteract the evil forces associated with its utilitarian function of cleansing, thus eliminating dark or bad energy that lingers. When the woman in her house decided that the house was “clogged” with negative (quarrels, evil eyes, damage, illnesses, alcohol, drugs, sins, bad deeds or dar thoughts of any resident or guests who somehow got into their own lair in the house), she took a clockwise arrow direction, moving from the edges to the center, swept away the “garbage” -negative in one pile in the center of the room (onto a rag or piece of paper) and then burned it. In some tradition when the energy is not as heavy, a bowl of water is in the center to collect bad energy.

Kuvadki, Kuvadka is also a Slavic Amulet Happiness Doll 1
Usually the purification rite is performed on a decreasing moon (ideally, before the new moon). Before the rite in the house it was necessary to get out. After the ceremony, you can walk around the house with a lit candle (especially carefully in all corners). t is especially good to have such a guardian in the office, especially in those groups where disputes and quarrels between employees often occur where negative energy is felt. After the house / office cleansing ritual, the atmosphere is immediately discharged, it becomes easier to breathe and the relations between the family / team members also become harmonious.

The rite can be held every month – then in the house / office will not accumulate negative energy. Usually the purification rite is performed on a decreasing moon (ideally, before the new moon). Before the rite in the house it was necessary to get out. After the ceremony, you can walk around the house with a lit candle (especially carefully in all corners).

It is especially good to have such a doll guardian in the home, office especially in those groups where disputes and quarrels occur where negative energy is felt. After the house / office cleansing ritual, the atmosphere is immediately discharged, it becomes easier to breathe and the relations between the family / team members also become harmonious. Place this doll to help keep that cleansing strong. Burn the doll horse in the spring and make a new one. I wish peace and peace to your home, so that you need this doll as rarely as possible. Materials: cotton, wool, wooden beads, fallen birch twigs.

Moskowka – Slavic Guard Doll
The Moskovka doll is a charm of a strong friendly family. She was kept in a house somewhere higher — on a closet, on a shelf, and not given to anyone else’s hands. The basis of the doll is a birch log or “rolling pin” made of cloth – a symbol of masculine power in a female, and she herself is the archetype of the mother and symbolizes motherly care and love. If a woman could not give birth in a family, then a doll was made. Moskovka, in order to help her to bring and embody in her family the spirit of happy motherhood and fatherhood.  According to popular belief, this doll helps to realize the desire to have a healthy child or children, and also protects good family relationships.

Motanka Višivanočka by Валентина Mírošnik.jpg
Motanka Višivanočka by Валентина Mírošnik

Motanka Doll
This is the most famous of all Ukraine folk 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. This fabric motanka doll was made with only one purpose – to attract the positive. Joy and laughter appeared in the house, which made him filled with happiness. Joy and laughter appeared in the house, which made him filled with happiness.

motanka ukraine doll 2.jpgMotanka doll is also faceless and the Ukraine cross symbolizes the unity of heaven and earth, four cardinal points, four seasons, and the sun and moon. The doll is a Talisman, so it cannot have a human appearance, because protects its owner(s), and brings fertility to the homestead.

These original dolls are 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. 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.



 Mytishchenskaya Doll 2.jpg
Mytishchenskaya Doll

Mytishchenskaya Doll (Мытыщенская Кукла)
The urban district of Mytishchi of the Moscow Region is the closest suburb of the capital from the northeast: almost half of its territory is occupied by green protected areas, noble estates and folk handicrafts are very much preserved as an art.

Russian costumed dolls of Mytishchi is part of the Russian folk costume “haute couture” of artistic wealth is created. Studying the art of Russian folk costume forms the ability to find an emotionally expressive form of clothing in the dolls.

The ability to make proportions, silhouette, rhythms, color relationships, select the texture, ornament and composition which in unity represent an exquisite work of art. It is this skill that is developed and polished in the process of creating a costume doll in a Russian historical costume and helps to achieve a variety of creative decisions.

Here is a video of the Mytishchenskaya Doll

Traditional Russian folk doll Nerazluchniki - Magic Lace Dolls at Etsy
Traditional Russian folk doll Nerazluchniki – Source: Magic Lace Dolls at Etsy

Nerazluchniki Doll 
Charm doll – lovebirds. The story of this doll is interesting. At first glance, these are male and female dolls, which seem to be just a couple holding hands. But, if you look closely, you can see that they have one hand and are made of a single piece of cloth or a wand, and therefore they cannot be separated. Such a hand was considered a symbol of unity and the fact that from now on they would literally go hand in hand, all affairs and misfortunes halving.

Nizhny Novgorod Dolls
There isn’t too much information on this doll yet, but here is a youtube video:

Oberezhnik, Oberezhnaya, Oberezhnaya Folk Doll
Oberezhnik is made of ribbons, aspen sticks, angel dolls, beads, leaves, and other various eye-catching little things. In Russia, it was important to attract the attention of a person entering the house with bright, diverse and brilliant pendants, in order to distract him from evil thoughts with which he could enter your home. Seeing such beauty, the person was distracted, lost and forgot all the bad and evil that was on her mind.

The beneficiary doll means it protects from something, it means it is a breg or border to something. If you give such a doll so that prosperity reigns in the family, there is prosperity – then the doll is a guardian of trouble, shortage, lack. A five-ruble coin (or lucky penny) is hidden inside the doll , so that the family always has money, as well as a bean (you can put a pea and a bean). You can use cloth of a tablecloth and healing grass so that everyone is healthy. The handles of the pupa are tied in a knot so that everything inside is preserved and not lost anywhere.

Slavic Folk Doll of Pregnancy.jpg
Pregnancy Doll, note the extra fabric as the pregnant belly.

Pregnancy Doll
The Novgorod Russian women had the folk pregnant doll which was considered a very good talisman for early motherhood when children were under five years old. Moreover, this talisman helped not only one to conceive, but also easier to transfer pregnancy, childbirth, averted illness, depression and post partumn blues, and to some extent, the the evil eye.

A distinctive feature of this doll is her belly, in which Pelenashka stirred. A pelenaska was wrapped in a kind of birch bark. Motherhood is a great adventure and a very powerful part of a woman’s life (if she chooses to have a child). Each step from pregnancy, to birth is a miracle and a new experience. Making this doll adds a calm to the new mother to be.

doll Podoshnitsa Often the emphasis in the guard charm.jpg
Doll Podoshnitsa often is the emphasis in the guard charm

Подорожница ДоллPodoshnitsa Doll guard charm
You can write (or learn better)
as you know the word helps.
I will go out of the house for the gate,
In the direction of hunting.

From the path, the
road is not going away.
And I will not face trouble.
Evil away go around, and I will
find good everywhere.

Do not stumble, do not hurt myself,
I’ll be back to the house with luck.

Doll Plantain Blue and Burgundy
Doll Plantain  by Little Sofia, Moscow

podorozhnica doll

Podorozhnica Doll

Podorozhnitsa Doll, Podorozhnica or Plantain Doll
This doll is a Charm and given to a man who is a family member and travelling far from home, hiding it in his clothes. Its name comes from Doroga, the road. Its also called Plantain, I am sure they mean the plant but its stated as “Plantain, small keeper”.

Podorozhnitsa, the faithful keeper of the road and is given to the one who loves to travel (not just a family member). She is a very short doll, and will not make the bag heavy, but it will always remind you of home or a companion on an interesting trip.

In her bag she carries either a handful of earth, or a little ash from the fireplace, and you can also add a piece of bread or grain to the traveler so that the traveler can be full and not get hungry.

Doll Paraskeva

Paraskeva Doll
Doll Paraskeva is the deep Slavic vedichestve which was the female deity Makosh. This is one of the most powerful dolls of all Slavic folk dolls. The goddess of destiny and all that is connected with one’s strength  and well-being. Now Paraskeva is treated as an assistant in all works of folk art and crafts.

She is the keeper of small handicraft items and creativity. Its possible to impose pieces of braid, flagella, cords, buttons to sew and all the little things that can be useful in needlework when making this doll.

She is the mother of women’s handicrafts, folk art, and the goddess or patroness of women and women’s work or childbearing. In November there is a holiday, the day of Paraskeva, which honors St. Paraskeva in Russia and is revered as a woman’s patroness, and the patroness of folk craft.

The interweaving of St. Paraskeva of Northern Russia and the pagan goddess Mokosh have the aspect of Goddess weaver and spinner (fate and destiny), the charm dolls, or shaman dolls (folk dolls) must have weaving on her in some fashion. The Paraskev doll character and its connection with the processing of the thread is transmitted into the intention of the doll as its being made. Like all traditional Slavic mantra sewing and crafting says Natalia Konstantinovna of the Village of Sumoryevo.

Pelanashek Mother Charm Doll with Pelenashek (babies) folk doll mother and child
Pelanashek Mother Charm Doll with Pelenashek (baby)
Pelanashek Mother Charm Doll with Pelenashek (babies) folk doll mother and children
Pelanashek Mother Charm Doll with Pelenashek (babies)

Pelanashek and Pelanashek Mother Charm Doll with Pelenashek (babies)
Amulets for a Newborn – Mother and Family Charm Doll with Pelenashek (babies) in Russia and other places, are very important. For large families in villages and farms always enjoyed great respect. All the members of the family could stand on their feet only when everything was all right, therefore these charm dolls were made with balance and strength.

The adult doll was made according to the principle of making Stolbushka, that is, the basis was a small log or a twist of cloth . As for the robes, there are no restrictions, but the scarf must have been present.

What attracts the ritual puppets (dolls) of modern historians and simply lovers of Slavic culture is the great role these charm dolls have played in the daily lives of ordinary farmers. After all, a folk or fabric doll was created at every stage of life to help initiate, get a new social role, realize a new responsibility that a person assumed as an adult ..

They protected and guarded, deceived dark spirits and attracted wealth, helped young girls meet a loved one and mature women to keep a large farm. The dolls helped to live and cope with a multitude of events that were unusual for the old person …

First, the doll placed next to the pregnant woman to facilitate the arrival of a new person into the world, and then the doll was placed in the cradle by heating it for the newborn baby. In addition, the charm protects the baby.  Later, with the advent of Christianity, the doll was removed immediately after the baby’s baptism and together with the baptismal shirt, so the tradition changed because of religion.

What Peasants used to do and do now is wrap the fabric from their old clothes of the father or mother, brother or sister, or the old sheets. Worn fabric had a special force that was passed on to the baby. Therefore, no new materials were used for the amulets. In size, it should be quite small to fit the children. When making the Pelenashku doll with their own hands, the handicrafts reproduced three elements of the person: head, body and pop, considered the center of life.

For this talisman you need to take:

  • for white white cloth 8 * 18 cm;
  • for triangle-shaped fabric;
  • a wide piece of colored cloth for diapers;
  • wide colored ribbons;
  • narrow strips in color;
  • the Red Thread.

White cloth, diaper base, twisted tube. Some skilled workers advise pushing the roller out of the cylinder so that the dummy has a firmer shape. The final roll should be tied with a red thread in the middle, forming a belt for the future doll. Then we shape the head the same way. As a result, you need to get a twist in two places tied with red thread. She threw a wide ribbon over his head, strapped to his back. Now it’s the joke. A scarf tied in a feminine way, transverse.

Then the baby should be wrapped. The doll is placed so that the head is visible. The baby is tied with a colored narrow strap (swivel), the ends of the strap are hidden. Pelenashka doll ready!

Purification Doll – A Slavic Guard Doll for Cleansing
By tradition, the Purifying Doll eliminated the “bad” energy in the house. For example, after a family quarrel a woman threw open windows and doors, took a doll in her hands and, using her as a symbolic broom, swept all the negative away from the hut. Slavic doll, existed everywhere. The main thing (canonical) is the presence of a chest, legs and a protective cross in the lower part of the body.

Rvanka or Karelian Rvanka DollRvanka or Karelian Rvanka Doll
Even before the birth of the child, they made a doll and put it in a cradle so that the doll “warmed” it for the future baby. And when the baby was born, the doll stayed with him. In order the baby to sleep soundly and quietly, his mother would say: “Sleepy-insomnia, do not play with my baby, but play with this doll.”

The doll “Karelian” rvanka is a talisman. Information about her was received at a holiday in the Village of Kindasovo from resident Lidia Alexandrovna of the Karelian village Pryazha Yakovleva. The simplest dolls did not even require the use of a needle, and scissors could be dispensed with: the fabric was torn, so they were called “torn” among the people. In a conventional suit, details of the costume of the southern Karelians are discovered: shirt, skirt, front nickname, belt, scarfs.

For grown women, the doll distracted the evil spirits that lurked in villages, and also protecting mother’s children and babies. The Rag doll-Bereguinya were made by hands, the mother gave her daughter or even granddaughter one, before the wedding, blessing her and her marriage. And she gave it to her adult son, who went to travel or in the military and to her husband who traveled on the road.

Of course, there were a lot of dolls in peasant families, treasured and treasures, they protected everyone. The peasants believed that the more dolls the family had, the more happiness in the family would come.

Ryabinka by Dara (berestyshka)
Ryabinka Folk Doll by Dara Berestyshka

Ryabinka Guardian Doll
Ryabinka is a guardian of the land and home, its also a symbol of women’s Fate, motherhood, wisdom and hearth. It fights the evil eye and helps protects from negative powers and intentions. All small guardian dolls are not like the big shaman grandmothers Marzanna to protect the land, but its a start. The doll is a guardian of home – it should stand facing the entrance door so that it protects home and family.  Ryabinka doll is also called a warrior against all manifestations of evil.

The Ryabinka doll is celebrated and made it only when the fruits ripened – in the fall. A person, not knowing the true strength of the Mountain Ash, a flexible and small tree, sees in its branch the symbol of the Perunova Mace. The doll-amulet will have magical properties if it is made on a cross made of rowan branches. She will be able to relieve depression or damage from the evil eye, protect from the energy of the dead world. To do this, you need to hang a rowan tree opposite or near the front door – it, like a warrior, will protect and will not let negativity into the house.

A Rowan (Ryabinka) Doll by Pyotr Vyazemsky, “The Veveyan Rowan”, 1864
This doll is considered a symbol of feminine power, wisdom and motherhood as well as a charm against all types of evil including dark witchcraft, or the evil eye and the effects of evil will have on you. I think this is due to the magical properties of the Mountain Ash tree itself, which they attributed to it as:

Protection against damages of any dark magic. Therefore, little girls often wore bright beads from rowan berries.

I remember how, in childhood, in our freezer, in the fall, for some time, there were clusters of mountain ash. Mom then cooked tasty, pleasantly bitter stewed fruits from mountain ash and apples, and dad used berries for tincture. As a rule, berries on trees did not survive to frost, the birds pecked everything.

Rowan berries also contain a large amount of vitamin C and carotene, which is why all the preserves, compotes, tinctures, marmalade are not only tasty, but also healthy. Need I say that the rowan was loved by artists and poets to sing? Rowan leaves and clusters are often found in traditional embroidery and wood carvings. They love to photograph mountain ash; each album probably has more than one picturesque photograph with mountain ash in bloom or with ripe red-orange berries.

I found my rowan tree,
Which song I dedicated,
With which the Russian rug
Here I shared in a foreign land.
In an elegant red sundress,
Under the splendor of a sunny day,
Even more magnificent, more blush
looks my beauty.

Karelian Doll.jpg
Karelian Doll

Ignatieva Larisa Leonidovna shared the story of the Karelian doll. who she was taught to make her by her grandmother Kiryakova Ekaterina Yakovlevna. Ignatieva was born in 1905, a native of the village of Vendyury. Her grandmother in the house did a lot with her own hands:

knitted and embroidered towels, made woven rugs, and baskets of willow and birch bark. And she made dolls for the granddaughter. In their village, materials for making the doll were birch stick, linen fabric, as the basis, and chintz.

Simeon, Stylite (Slavonic Guardian)
This amulet is a symbol of the infinity of life, the masculine, without which the feminine is weak and fruitless. To protect and preserve his ROD, a man must stand firmly on the ground, be a pillar, a support for all weak and defenseless. Later, there was a tradition to give this amulet to Simeon the Stylites – to men, so that their forces would never run out. 
Simeon adds strength to men.

Slavutnitsa Doll
This doll is made based on the creation of a folk doll. The basis of twisting from flax. No needle was used tocreate the doll’s body. The Slavutnitsa is a praiser who praises the internal and external beauty of her mistress, extolling what she was able to say for the purpose of gaining Slavutity . Our ancestors were not afraid once to glorify themselves. 

Glory is that which has matured in a young woman, or a bride, still unknown, unknown to a men; that which has bloomed, and for a long time will bear fruit, giving rise to ever new shoots that will bloom and ripen to bring more and more seeds. Glorious girl , a glorious woman, possessed not only beauty, the ability to show herself to the individual, to demonstrate her abilities and skills, but also she kept in herself the knowledge of the crap of the world, knew how to be humble, complaisant, and economical.

Glory is a combination of internal and external. It was not enough to buy an elegant sundress and it was beautiful to appear in it on the bridegroom, which from time to time arranged a matchmaker, or after marriage to be able to dress beautifully. It is important that a girl , a woman, are not vessels filled with water, hiding something vile and destructive under their attractive appearance, but beaming with sunlight and replenishing with vitality.

Svyatozarnitsa or Spring Rebirth Doll (or Easter Red Doll)
The bright season and the red color always symbolized life, life force, new beginnings and the celebration of rebirth which coincides with the Spring Equinox. Once a pagan holiday in pre-Russia, which we now refer to as Easter this doll is called Svyatozar-Day or the Day-Great. The dawn is rising, or the great day is coming, beautiful, but when Christianity came, deep images were replaced by another image, which, according to one reading, is connected with the image of suffering instead of the fact that Spring brngs Joy and Love. This doll relfects the joy and love. It gives birth to a new world, a symbol of which is a painted egg during the Spring Equinox to peasants and pagans or holy week to the religious.

The doll will require the following materials: Flax of natural color or any dense light monochromatic fabric, birch bark, cotton fabric of red color, plain and patterned, linen thread, red thread (for example, “Lily”, “Iris”), some sheep wool and some cotton lace. The doll is spinning without the use of needles and scissors. Use scissors only if you need to make an incision on the fabric so that it is easier to tear and if you need to cut a strong thread.soroka burlap love love love

Soroka (Magpie) Doll or Lark Day Doll (winter ends, spring begins)
The folk belief is, on this day, from warmer countries returns various birds, and the first of them is a Lark. Thats why we usually baked “lark bird bread,” with outspread wings, as if flying. Baked larks are put on long sticks and ran out outside with them, shouting:

Bring to winter a sudden end,
Bring a warm Spring:
We are tired of winter
We’ve eaten all the bread!

On the Spring Equinox or the day after, you make the Doll Soroka (magpie, crow, raven). If you want, give the doll Soroka special strength. Take Soroka in your left hand so that your thumb and index fingers will lay under her wings and wiggle your hand as if Magpie jumps and flaps his wings. Expand her “face” and pronounce her on your behalf.

The water burns, you burn and I burn,
I burn you! A stone is burning,
you will burn, and I am burning,
I will burn you!

Though you are a water moon,
though you are windy, even though
you are sent, even though you are running, 
at least you’re flying. Though you meet me
on the road, all is at the threshold.

Even from the whirlwind,
even from the eyes, even from
the lessons, even from the
laughter, even from fear.
Even though you are masculine,
even though you are feminine
even though you are a youthful maiden.

Even though you have been sent,
even though you sleep, even from food, 
even from a dream, even in crying. 
Even from walking, even from the water,
even from the wind.

Magpies, Crows and Ravens grab the
lessons over the dark forests, through
thick bushes. Catch on the vine, roll
on the grass, jump in the water, 
pick it up on the hips.


Now your Forty Soroka will look after you. It can only bring good news, but also carry away unnecessary information that you picked up somewhere.

Spiridon – Guardian Ritual Doll

Spiridon – Guardian Ritual Doll
A pupa is a man’s and is presented to a man to help Spiridon-Solstice to the owner of the house to “steer” in his affairs. But he has another meaning: This doll was made to bring about the desired changes in life. Spiridon by turning the wheel can change life, sending it in the right direction. Also, this doll has established itself as a good talisman for motorists and their cars.

The holiday of Spiridon is a holiday of both the winter and summer solstices, in honor of the emerging or departing sun. Traditionally, this doll was made at the winter solstice, when there is a “twist of the sun towards summer, winter for frost”. The mandatory attribute of this doll is the wheel of the symbol of the sun.

It is generally a male doll and the festival there were rituals dedicated to the sun. They rolled the wheel off the mountain and burned it along with other symbols of the sun, saying: “Wheel, burn, roll, with the red spring come back!”.

At the end of the holiday thee burned the doll without clothes, and clothes were for the next doll. In addition, people burned all old, having a round shape, as if the doll had to take everything old and worthless from people and free up the forces for a new life. Spiridon (means sunflower), by turning the wheel can completely change your life by directing it in the right direction.

Spiridon Doll, wheel rotation can completely change your life, sending it in the right direction. Spiridon-Solstice traditionally made of flax, without a needle and red thread. During the creation of the doll, navivka and knots are used – symbols of male and female energy, thereby harmonizing these flows in themselves.

Although Solntsev did not count on official holidays, no one started serious work on this day, unless the hostess tried to look at the chicken coop once again, to feed buckwheat from the right sleeve of hens. They say that from this they began to rush faster and better, not running into the neighboring yards and not “littering” with eggs anywhere.

Doll Charm Success.jpg
Success Folk Doll

Success Doll Charm
Doll Success is a Slavic charm that helps to achieve desires and eliminate obstacles to the goal. The Successful doll is an image of a woman in whom everything is going on: she has time to cook dinner, clean the house, caress her husband, look after the children, and take time for herself.

A successful woman achieves what she wants, both in work and in her personal life. A doll helps in any endeavors, it helps to advance in a career. In order for a job to bring a steady income, a folded banknote must be put in the charm’s purse. A successful person will bring success and success to those who have concentrated on achieving their goals, having believed in success with all their hearts!

Rasschepukha-mnogoruchka (ten-armed-doll) by Russian artist of applied art Marina Mishina
Rasschepukha-mnogoruchka (ten-armed-doll) by Russian artist of applied art Marina Mishina.

Ten Arm Doll or Rasschepukha-mnogoruchka (ten-armed-doll)
A folk doll ritual is the multi-handed doll called the “Ten-hand doll” is an Autumn ritual doll. It is made of bast or straw generally on or around October 14th on Pokrov, when handcrafts were made in the Autumn. The uses of red thread is important,  which is a protective string and the only one that is used. On the bottom of the sundress around the binding is bound to necessary 9 red threads-bows. The doll was intended to help girls preparing their dowry, and women in various matters, such as weaving, sewing, embroidery, knitting, etc.

Traditionally, after it was made, it almost immediately burned. Very often the dolls are hung in prominent places in the room where the woman spends most of her time at work, like the kitchen or the living room or work room. So many hands did the doll have, that she helped the hostess in all matters.

It was also possible to sentence each pen: “Let this pen help me to spin, and this weave, this knit, and this magnificent bread to bake …” In today’s world, such “assignments” of handles can also be useful. And you can do them not only in the manufacture of dolls, but also change as needed. Yes, at least every day! Folk doll Ten-point can become your personal time manager. Outline the ten most important, most necessary things you need to do today (this week, this month). And the rest of the case? And the rest will wait!

Travnitsu Charm Doll
Traditionally this doll is filled with buckwheat grains, flax or wheat and she is the main family doll. The first handfuls when sowing grain were taken from a bag sewn in the image of this pupa. The grain in it symbolized the saved forces of the Earth Nurse. After the harvest, the pupae were again filled with the selected grain of the new crop.

She was dressed up and carefully kept in a prominent place in a red corner. They believed that only then the next year will be full and there will be prosperity in the family.

In the hungry times, they took the cereal from the pupa and cooked porridge from it. It was believed that this porridge conveys the strength of Mother Earth. The guest entering the hut could determine by the dolly whether the family lives in a satisfying way. If the doll was thin, then the family is in trouble. Today this doll will help you to have prosperity in the house.

So that the air in the hut was clean, they made a useful doll, “Kubyshku-Travnitsa”. They hung it where the air was stagnant or above the cradle of a child. This doll is filled with fragrant medicinal herb. The pupa must be dented in the hands, moved, and a herbal spirit will spread around the room, which will drive away the spirits of the disease. After 2 years, the grass in the pupa must be changed. That is what our ancestors did.

Sometimes these are made as natural Herb doll and some are made from textiles. The Doll keeps the air in the house was clean, produced by useful herbs. Hung in the air over the cradle of the child, this doll filled with scented medicinal grass, spread a herbal spirit. It drove away the spirits of disease. After 2 years, they changed the grass in the doll. That’s what our ancestors did.

twist doll single image.jpg

Twist Doll (also called Column Doll)
This is one of the simplest folk dolls as the name is clear that the basis of this doll should be a “column”. You can make such a column from anything… from birch bark, round chump, a textile wand and wrapped cloth. It is simply made from a dense linen fabric rolled into a dense column. She can wear any outfit of your choice. The size of the twist dolls may vary, it is more convenient for children to make this rag doll in a small size.

The folk rag doll the column was primarily a game, that is, it was made for children’s games. Make this rag doll for yourself, or for your daughter, or make them together and play together. This is the best Guardian Talisman against damages or the evil eye. This charm is so ancient that now no one can say who or where this first rag doll came from or into being. Twisting dolls are amazing creations for which you need to have only a few rags, pieces of braid and thread. A twisted doll is made without the use of needles and scissors.

Tolstushka-Kostromushka Woman’s essence
Ths doll is a guard against loneliness. Its task was to restore fertility to a woman, to lure the soul of a child. If within a year after the marriage a woman did not become pregnant, they made a doll and put it on a prominent place on the side of the doors. Besides, any female relative made it: a sister, a godmother, a mother or a grandmother.

Svitlana Serheyeva Handmade Art

Veduchka Doll (vedučka), Avdotya-Vesnovka or Doll Vesnianka
The Veduchka Doll was once a carved wooden doll, a characteristic of Sergiev Posad toys of of the XIX century. Bright painted figures wearing kokoshniks (head piece of traditional Russian costume) demonstrating wet nurses that were guiding a child. These doll figures are called Veduchka, which means “the one leading into life”. 

Vesnyanki began from March 14, a special signs were associated with this day. It was believed that Avdotya keeps the keys to the Spring Waters, and if he wants, he will let the water in, but not – he will either delay or freeze the frost. The beginning of the spring winds was also associated with March 14th, therefore Vesnianka was also called Whistunya, saying: Here are the ones of Spring arriving! And Vesnyanka-Avdotya was also called Plyushchikha, Plushnykhaya – because the snow began to “flatten out”, that is, to settle, to follow in the thaw of winter.

It is a type of carved toy doll with brightly painted figures in kokošnikah. Using the design of a doll doll, they turned a wooden toy into a plush textile doll. The size of the doll is the size of the doll itself. An image of a woman with a child who recently started walking. She supports the child, teaches the child, leads her or him, and brings the child to life. The special feature of Veduchka Folk Dolls are the hands of the mother and the child are one.  With the onset of Spring the girls did and gave each other bright dolls with hair of unusual colors. These dolls “Freckles” had the power of preserving youth.

A fun, playful doll that young girls made when spring came. Traditionally, it is very bright, with hair of an unusual color. These girls gave the dolls to each other. But in ancient times, the Slavs celebrated New Year on the first Spring Day (equinox). Celebrations were widespread, because the beginning of the new year was a symbol of the beginning of a new time.

From this day, it was possible to begin a new cycle of field work, to engage in other agricultural works. After the adoption of Christianity, this holiday began to be celebrated as the day of the Reverend Martyr Evdokia,  Eudokia of Heliopolis, who was the Holy image of Spring (Spring Woman).

When the owner of the house decided that the house was clogged with negative (quarrels, evil eyes, damage, illness, bad deeds and thoughts) of residents and guests, she took the Metlushku doll and clockwise, moving her from the edges to the center, swept away the “garbage” negative in one pile (on a rag or piece of paper.)

Then the rag or piece of paper was gathered into a ball and burned. Usually, the cleansing rite is performed on a decreasing moon (ideally, before the new moon). immediately felt discharged atmosphere, become It is easier to breathe and the relations between family members become harmonious. Session can be held every month – then negative energy will not build up in the house.

Doll Verbnitsa willow.jpg
The Spring Doll Verbnitsa Вербница. Кукла-мотанка with Willow
Spring or Easter Red Doll
Verbnitsa Doll (Motanka Doll, Вербница. Кукла-мотанка) 

Verbnitsa Doll (Motanka Doll, Вербница. Кукла-мотанка)
Verbnits Spring dolls always have pussy willow and the work is more complicated than painting Easter eggs. The general manufacturing techniques do not differ from the general manufacturing techniques of rag dolls. However, Verbnitsa’s face and hands are made of red cloth, symbolizing Spring and Renaissance. Since ancient times such pupae have always been prepared before the spring holidays but after Maslenitsa and Marzanna are burned.

How to video:


вепсская кукла vepsian dolls.jpg
Vepsian Dolls

Vepsian Doll
The Veps doll got its name from the name of the people who created it, who still lives in northwestern Russia (Vologda and Leningrad regions), in Karelia. From the time of the Princes of Moscow, the Vepsian people became part of Ancient Russia, keeping their traditions and rites. Therefore, its very interesting and original Veps doll has reached our time.

vepsian doll grandmotherVepsian dolls were made to protect the child from harm and the doll is a full figured older mother type of doll. The doll-amulet was made without the use of a needle and scissors from the mother’s old clothes, observing the popular belief that the baby’s life was “not chopped and not cut”. A guardian Vepsian doll was made even before the birth of the baby and placed in its cradle so that it “warmed” it. When the baby was born, the Veps doll was hung over the cradle so that it would ward off all evil power. The grown-up child was given a doll to play.

The nodal design of the Vepsian doll is very simple, it is not for nothing that peasant girls from these early years knitted such dolls for their games. The doll’s head, chest, and arms are twisted, tied, and assembled from square shreds of fabric that had an untreated ragged edge, as traditionally expressed the idea of ​​wholeness. Worn pieces of fabric were torn into squares, then they were twisted and tied in a certain way.

A Veps doll was assembled from these blanks, that is, from chaos and disorder a whole new object was obtained. The technique of making a simple nodular doll embodied the ideas of our ancestors about the universe, that the primary world of chaos is connected with the real world of the earth, and that much that arises in it is repeated: both the creation and the “earthly path” of the doll, and many phenomena of the surrounding life.

The Vepsian doll was, as it were, a symbol of the union of two worlds – the other or dream world and the earthly, through it the path from life to death was shown. The doll is “born” out of nothing – torn pieces of fabric and “having passed the time allotted to it” also goes nowhere. An unnecessary doll is usually dismantled and used on the household as rags.

The doll was created as an object, a whole, and then destroyed, turned into nonexistent. For some rituals, certain ceremonial dolls were made, they had a precisely designated life. The Vepsian doll protected infancy, and then it was given to the child for games. The Maslenitsa doll and Kostroma were made for a week, then burned. Lyhomanokthey kept it in the house for a whole year, then they burned in a cleansing spring bonfire, etc. And there were ritual dolls in Russia that were made for just one day, for example, Kupavka , Lyubava , Kukushechka and others.

A guardian Vepsian doll for a child was necessarily made from worn  mother’s clothes, since it was believed that such a doll would have a very strong protective effect, transmit maternal strength and love to the child. In the ideas of our ancestors, the material and spiritual worlds were inextricably linked. For children, games were made of dolls from old things or from new fabrics.

Such dolls were easy to make, because the individual components were simply tied to the base. Vepsian doll embodied the image of a married woman. It is performed in a simple nodular fashion. Usually it was made palm-tall or less. The fabric squares were taken in a rather large size so that the straightened ends formed a skirt.

nerazluchniki chast vtoraya the wedding doll.jpg
The Wedding Doll or Doll of the Murashenskaya

Wedding Doll
Based on the folk doll of the Murashenskaya couple. An important event in the life of our ancestors was the wedding. This event was significant not only for one family, but also for the whole community, kind, because the wedding resulted in the birth of a new life. Shortly before the wedding, the bride’s girlfriends were preparing a protective ceremonial wedding doll, which is surprising in its essence in terms of content.

The bride and groom, the future husband and wife are girded with one belt – the thread of life. The doll was supposed to divert any negative from the young people and protect the future spouses. When making such a doll, the girls read certain conspiracies about a happy married life and the fertility of the bride and groom. It was believed that the more sincere wishes, the faster the bridesmaids themselves would marry and their family life would be happy.

The doll helps to successfully find a husband. “The husband is the head, and the wife is the neck.” Where the neck turns, there will be a head and look. Apparently, therefore, in a doll. On a successful marriage, the main focus is on the neck. The neck is adorned with beautiful multicolored collars, but not just like that – each collar gives the desired qualities of the future husband, who would like to see him in their future marriage.

On the apron there is an embroidered Ognevitsa sign – burning women’s diseases. The symbol doll and the charm of a strong union, therefore, it is done as if on one hand, to go through the life hand into the other hand, together in joy and misfortune. At present, the tradition has been preserved. Now, like hundreds of years ago, you can make dolls with your own hands and donate from a pure heart with the wish to never part. These dolls were very symbolic – the feminine and masculine elements were combined into an inseparable whole.

Zhelannitsa Doll.jpg

Zhelannitsa Doll or Wish Doll
This doll is to help a woman achieve what she wants. Her name shows that the doll is trying to bring your dreams to life. A woman who wants to be able to do a lot, but you only get one dream with the doll, so choose the most intimate one.

When making a doll with your own hands, you need to focus all your thoughts on what Zhelannitsa should do. After you finish making her, you need to take the doll in your hands, go with her to the mirror and say what you want out loud.

Put the doll in a place of honor, talk to her, take it from time to time and repeat what you want. The Desireess will fulfill your dream as soon as she can. According to legend, it will take some time. When the doll fulfills what is meant for it, then, your desire is fulfilled, it is then burned.

If you are going to create the Wish list, then do not forget to say thank you when she burns. In appearance, Wishes dolls are different from each other, but they always try to decorate elegantly. For this, various types of embroidery on similar garments, ribbons, beads and gizmos are used.

Every girl in a village had such a girl-doll. Not shown to anyone, if a girl wanted the wish to come true, she sew a bead as a gift on a doll’s dress or tied a ribbon, saying: “Look, what a beauty you are!” And for my gift, let my wish come true.

Cover of the book "Dolls and People" (Publishing House "Stylos", Kiev, 2011)
Cover of the book “Dolls and People” (Publishing House “Stylos”, Kiev, 2011)

and the Pillar Doll
from the history of the Yaroslavl doll
Yaroslavl Regional House of Folk Art –

Based on materials from the book by Lyudmila Semenovna Orlova “Dolls and People” (narration on behalf of the author).

I am by nature not a fatalist, but there are still rare cases that make us believe in a certain destiny of fate, that some insignificant, seemingly random episode can predetermine the further course of your life or at least indicate the circle of your main interests and hobbies in the future, to pull to the surface what was hidden somewhere deeply deep and under other circumstances would have remained buried in this depth.

|For me, dolls have become such a phenomenon, or a case. But dolls, in particular traditional, folk, I repeat once again, are doubles of people from the past, they are the embodiment of the presence of the memory of these people, their lifestyle and ideas about the world.

In a word, a person stands behind a doll, behind a traditional doll – the collective personality of its creator and creator. I comprehended this much later, when I collected a small collection of Yaroslavl, Arkhangelsk and Ukrainian dolls, worked in the funds of the Toy Museum in Zagorsk, read the relevant literature. But for all this to happen, for the dolls to become my hobby, my love and care, I needed a certain impetus, a certain movement in the form of the first, real, traditional doll. And such a doll appeared.

One can guess here – did a simple case contribute to this phenomenon, or did some regularity work here, which can be called predestination? This doll was made by the previously mentioned woman Goose. In my subsequent presentation, we will discuss both the dolls themselves and the people who created them, who endowed the dolls with their own characteristics, made them the spokesmen of their figurative vision, their plastic intuition. So, I’ll start with Baba Geese …

From the village of Kazakovo, during the war, Baba Gusya, Augusta Grigoryevna Malysheva, came running to us to look at her grandson Valera. The son of Baba Gusi, Alexander, died in the early days of the war, never learning about the birth of Valera. Baba Goose was still an old but rather strong woman.

Baba Gusi's Dolls

I became more familiar with the geese woman in 1958, when, as a student at the Leningrad Art and Industrial College named after IN AND. Mukhina, came with a friend in the Yaroslavl region. I had to stop in the village of Kazakovo, at the woman Gusi. It was then that her first doll appeared – the progenitor of my collection. Then the woman  herself opened to me, as one of the characteristic types of the Yaroslavl peasant woman.

Baba Gusya (Augusta G. Malysheva)Baba Gusya (Gusi) Augusta G. Malysheva

Communicating with her was easy. In life, she was unpretentious, perceived everything and reacted to everything with a certain amount of humor. In the evenings, she told us tales, riddled, riddled with proverbs and jokes from the time of her youth. In them, all things were called by their proper names. Riddles and proverbs were ambiguous, if not obscene, but always witty and unexpected. I was glad that these riddles are in the book “Riddles” (1968 Academic Edition “Monuments of Russian Folklore”, compiled by V.V. Mitrofanova).

Doll Baba Geese was born. One of the days was rainy. I brought a bundle of straw from the yard, and we began to make dolls – strigushki from it.


I saw such in childhood. These dolls are dancing funny on the table when you hit the table top from below. Baba Goose looked at this fun, and the next day she brought us a rag doll. It was a column with a head pulled by a thread in the middle. An archaic face looked at you with the motionless gaze of an idol.

Then, although I was happy with this doll, I was not able to appreciate its importance, to understand its significance in my life. Now I say: “Thank you, woman Goose! The doll came from the depths of centuries. Yaroslavl women of many generations kept it in their memory. This unpretentious doll, without knowing it yourself, told us about Yaroslavl antiquity, about the long-forgotten domestic, family deity of our ancestors. In it, the manifest lives in the secret and the secret in the manifest, the real earth meets the other world. ”

From the author’s description of the doll donated by Augusta Grigoryevna:

“The doll of Baba is a column doll (twist doll) with a small head, 17 cm high. The body is twisted from a piece of a tightly knitted women’s sweater; the doll is well worth what is its statuette. The head and chest are covered with white calico and tied with a white bobbin thread. The head due to ligation consists of two parts – the front and the occipital.

The face is round, protruding far ahead; the occipital part, where all the folds went, looks like a woman’s hairstyle. The head is separated from the body by dressing with thread. The thread protruding forward is cruciformly tied with the same thread. In place of the waist, there is also a dressing with a thread. The face is drawn with a chemical pencil. The features are clear and concise.

Baba Gusis Doll 3Expressive eye points. Arched eyebrows pass into the nose, under them a dash – the mouth. Clothing – a jacket and a skirt – consists of rectangular pieces of fabric narrowed up. The doll as a whole is “on hand” to a child and an adult, okay, compact, not decoratively catchy. Outwardly modest and unpretentious, she exudes a kind of inner optimism, self-confidence and her right to be present in this world. ”

The second time I turned to Baba Gusi, 14 years later, was in 1972. During this time, I was able to significantly expand and enrich my doll erudition with factual material. In addition, over the years, most of which I lived in Ukraine, I had to see several times how women made dolls in Ukrainian villages located along the rivers Ros, Tyasmin, Dnieper, Zolotonoshka.

All this gave me the opportunity to finally appreciate the doll of Baba Gusi, to comprehend its archaic essence, its connection with ancient rites.Baba Gusis Doll 2


Bereginya Folk Doll How to Video
Night of the Mothers Folk Doll Night 1 0.jpg Mother Night Doll is a series of dolls I made from the Winter Solstice to New Years Day.[/caption]

Night of the Mothers Folk Doll Night 3 1.jpg

12 Days of Christmas Folk Doll Day 10 1.jpg
12 Days of Christmas Doll
Phoenix’s Well Being Doll she made for her daughter.
Phoenix’s Spring Doll Verbnitsa Вербница. Кукла-мотанка with Willow

Siuda Baba

Phoenix’s Mol’farka Whisperer Talisman Doll.





4 Comments Add yours

  1. Caroline says:

    This is my third time reading this essay/post! Wow! This is absolutely incredible. I look forward to speaking with you about this and if you think best I would like to make. ♥️


    1. Great Caroline, write me at our facebook messenger if you have questions … and yes of course make one with us starting the day after the spring equinox. I will put up the how to videos etc. : )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Zenseer says:

    Reblogged this on *Ancient Healing Arts* and commented:
    Both masks & dolls fascinate me.
    They’ve been used since the dawn on mankind and hold so much power & possibilities both from a therapeutic & shamanic point of view.


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