One of the most ancient handmade items, the name, “Motanka”, means that everything is wound or spun, and therefore needles are not necessary. In Ukrainian culture that were Initially fashioned as a domestic symbol of fertility & household guardians and they played an important role in the everyday life of Ukrainians in the old days. They have been made for thousands of years and the dolls acted as amulets, guardians, symbols of wisdom; protecting your home, while taking away illness, & safeguarding one from evil spirits and ghosts.
The face is left blank, which comes from the belief that if the Motanka has any facial features it may become attached to the soul of the person handling it, which could be detrimental to their well-being. Instead of a traditional face a cross was wrapped around the head of the doll which symbolized the sun and good fortune. The dolls could and would be made out of natural materials such as hay, straw, wood, herbs, dry leaves, grains, seeds and are sometimes filled with fragrant herbs.
The clothing the doll wears may be put together with a needle and thread, and even decorated with embroidery, but the doll itself is made without the use of needle and thread by winding fabric in a special way. The belief is that using a needle to make the doll may result in both good and evil thoughts and intentions being sewn up in the doll. All items of this talismans clothes are symbolic: the skirt represents the earth; the shirt – three times: past, present and future; headdress – cap, ribbon or scarf – connection with the sky.
Handmade in Ukraine from colorful traditional woven fabric, yarn, & ribbon