In Belarus has long engaged in weaving straw. Behind the craft more than one thousand years. It conducts its history from the age-old rituals associated with the cult of grain and straw. Our ancestors believed in the divine power of straw and grain, a live-saving power of nature and gives generously of her not only the stalks and ears of the new crop, but all who have somehow come into contact with them. Therefore, since the venerated last sheaf, tucked away from the field, which was kept in the house until the next harvest. With straw farmers tied their future life by giving her a role in numerous Christmas carols Sibyl divination.
Grain showered young at the wedding, and the young seated on straw to power plants with the growing family and their future children. Countless are the beliefs and practices associated with the straw and grain.
Despite the variability of the world, they came to us from distant pagan times and continue to live with us in the form of works of the masters. Straw "spiders", horses, birds, dolls — it's not just the images, each of which is associated with the person creating it, comes into contact with it, by invisible threads of hope and aspirations which they symbolized.
Straw "spiders", one of the oldest works of straw and, perhaps, the most mysterious. Their shape, built on a combination of a set of identical modules that affect the harmony. Chaos sets of straw tubes in the hands of those who create the masters into a cosmically ordered outlandish designs, though in the hands of masters, created the world.
Modern research has largely confirmed this analogy. "Spiders" in peasant families hung out on New Years Eve, the place of honor at home — the Red corner.
His strict harmony of shapes and movements were designed to protect the house and its owners. Taking in its web design everything negative that could stop the flow of life a happy family. Each year, the cycle is repeated. Old "spider" was burned and replaced by a new hang out. "Spider" was hung over the cradle of the child and over the heads of the young during the wedding. To protect, to bring happiness and at the same time to decorate, to give an opportunity to admire — is the purpose of these amazing structures.
Horses, goats, birds, dolls of straw — it is also the deity and backs: horse — the hero of many tales and superstitions, he was always accompanied by a man and he was a friend and counselor, and protector; Goat — a symbol of the harvest and fertility; doll — Mother -Proroditelnitsa, the protectress of women, the birds — the souls of ancestors who protect and help now living on Earth.
Throughout the history of their existence could not do without hope of help and support them to the end of the misunderstood, supernatural forces. He granted them the images that accompanied him throughout his life. Figures were given to young at the wedding, to each other in the relevant parties, large images Shrovetide, madder made during public ceremonies, sacrificing by burning or drowning.
Ancient custom manufacture of straw ritual animal puppets come into our lives. Became the theme for the creative work of many contemporary artists and painters. Modern humans have largely lost faith in the divinity of the images they create. However surprising strength and power of traditions stepped through the centuries and continue to exist.
Say that the fate of the Belarusian Straw evolved all the time happy, of course, impossible. Like any fate she knew and periods of prosperity and decline. Belarusian straw can be proud of its highest periods of takeoff in the late eighteenth and early XIX centuries. At this time, the Belarusian masters were created, unique in the history of art, thatched Royal Doors.
Has survived three Imperial gate, two of them are kept in the Museum of the Belarusian Popular Art Raubichi village near Minsk, Grodno alone in historical and archaeological museum. It is assumed that the straw had the whole design of the iconostasis in the Uniate churches.
The decline in the straw, after taking off in the early XVIII-XIX-th centuries, began in the mid XIX century. Straw pictures of animals and birds lost their ritual significance and gradually moved to the level of children's toys and trifling amusements, the time for the production of which is not always found in the hard daily life of peasant life.
Straw household products for food storage, grain, which were indispensable in country life for centuries, though slowly, but also began to force a new product. Although the strength they could compete with any of them. Capacity, in the technique of spiral weaving, had a variety of sizes and shapes and are widely used in the household. The largest can accommodate a ten kilograms of grain. They were hygroscopic, they do not gnaw mouse. These invaluable quality straw utensils made their lives for country folk longer than plastic. And even in the 1940-1950-ies some farmers produced such products for themselves.
From the middle of the 19th century began to decline and production of clothing items from straw. The most common were straw hats. A straw hat was a mandatory part of the national men's summer suits. Gradually, the villagers began to prefer headwear factory production, and continued to wear hats for sun protection while working in the field or when herding cattle.
A new rise in the history of the Belarusian Straw began in the 1960s. Since then, straw was extensively enriched by new techniques of weaving. Vividly and variously developed artistic side of straw products. In today's straw appeared Names. And this is one of its distinguishing features from last straw — nameless, left no stories for a single name wizard.
Straw is the ancestor of the modern belief Ilinichna Gavrilyuk (1904-1986). It revived the ancient techniques of making straw figures. Faith became the founder Ilinichna art craft at Brest arts factory. This was followed by a master from Mogilev Catherine Artemenko. Masters was a spectacular example for the younger generation of craftsmen and artists.
Amazing seemingly incongruous, quality straw: recalcitrance and resistance to any violence stalks and straw incredible braided plastic and straw belts opened up artists who grasp the secrets of straw, incredible room for creativity. They developed techniques and decoration, hitherto unknown in the straw. Names Taisii Agafonenko, Lydia Glowacki, Eugene and Galina Solomyanko, Tamara Pavlov, Larissa Elk, Faith Soldatova, Anna Ivanova, and many, many other artists are the treasure of the Belarusian art of straw.
The work of three generations of the modern masters of straw are on general pages and personal galleries. They — our modern history. Take a walk through the galleries of the site, and you will marvel at the skill and imagination of his contemporaries.