« Previous | Main | Next »

From Belarus with love or Belarusian crafts

Post categories:

Veronika Veronika | 16:03 UK time, Sunday, 12 December 2010

I had already been ready to take you to Minsk, when another interesting topic popped up. Belarusian crafts are so close to Belarusian province and village that I decided not to put it off.

This is the sun and this is bread: the sun gives bread and reflects in its golden ears. Straw has been playing a large role in popular Belarusian believes since ancient times. That’s why so is the material.


After harvesting, peasants used all remains too. Not just for spreading under cattle or for feeding it, but they also did different ritual animals and decorative things from straw. To my mind, the most interesting fetish is straw ‘spider’. A lot of its tubules create magic geometrical figures that are considered to protect the house from evil spirit. They even were hanged on above cradles. Sure, you won’t find it at every place nowadays, but craftsmen still do it. You can see some of the ‘spiders’ varieties here. There are more applicable than decorative straw goods are done too: different baskets or cribs like here.
And just recently I saw a very cute straw-toys set for New Year tree. Perhaps, you’ll see it later on the picture of my tree:)


Flax is also our traditional culture and material. I mentioned weaving while was writing about Slutsk Belts, but the tradition of weaving has outlasted the belts itselves. Besides nice table-cloths and tea-cloths you can find in Belarus charming flax-dolls.




Embroidery was a very common occupation of good Belarusian girls at the XVIII – XIX cent :) They decorated both clothes and household goods like towels, dish-clothes and so on... Every pattern has its sense, that’s why every embroidered shirt was assigned for a certain case. A girl before marriage was even judged as a good or not hostess by her embroidery. Belarusian traditional patterns are geometrical and mainly of red white and black colors. Besides it you can see animals and birds among it. Thus, swans meant big love, a pigeon – faithfulness and little ducks signified hard-working woman and fertility as well as changing of day and night. Here you will find some of the traditional designs.
Pottery is another craft known for ages in Belarus. There are earthenware at every shop of souvenirs and even the potter's process is revealed at the museums in the open air or at festivals.






Belarus is rich with forest and it is natural that woodworking has been popular too. People built their wooden houses (you saw on the ‘village’ pics) and made patterned window-frames. There were many wooden things inside houses too, like big spoons for making jam or makeup boards...


As for me I really love some crafted goods that I can use in life. And I’m sure if you come here you’ll find something for you ;)



  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Veronaica , many many thanks for sharing these crafts with us . They all are lovely . I have a special passion for handy crafts . I love objects made of straw , too. The dolls are really amazing ! They are so lovely ! By the way how about to show us your traditional dresses although I think I can guess how they will be look from the frist shot . Waiting you next post .Please Don't miss the time !
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Veronica,

    I always wanted to have skills in this direction, unfortunately mother nature spared. All things are such nice. I wonder how much time can to occupy making of doll..? I suspect that folk art is transferred from one generation to the next. Such tradition is very important because forgetting about her we forget about our roots.

    Ps. Drop a line about live young people in Belarus

    Best regards,

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi, Veronika: There is always beauty in your pics. I love all kind of craft made with wood and I appreciate window frames and doors in modern buildings. Steel and glass have replaced wood in most of the cases. Wood makes houses more cozzy. Very nice the embroidery and the dolls. Thanks a lot for your work. Bye dear Veronika and looking forward to your next post. Beatriz.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi, Dear Pary! Yeah, I remember that you and Abigail were interested in the topic ;)It's a pity i missed Iranian exhibition here, just found out about it the day after it had been closed( I think, I could see there a lot of interesting things to discuss with you.

    Dear Majka, nice to see you again! I don't know how about dolls so as i have never made it, but i tried to make a spider once in my childhood:) It was not so easy, but didn't take ages as i thought:)Just couple of days ;)

    Hello, Beatriz! You are right, crafts make our houses more cosy:)

    See all of you very soon;)
    Yours Veronika

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi dear Veronica ,
    Don't be worrey . you can try it next time . I 'm sure you will like it and then you will see some similarity between two country art ...
    have a nice feast season

  • Comment number 6.

    Hello Veronika,
    I was for a little while out of the post... it is amazing for what we have read about the good things of Belarus. For us, people living on the other side of the world, is been always interesting!!
    I love the crafts as well, can anyone be as skilled as people in the picture are in your country?
    warm greetings,

  • Comment number 7.


    The red wire curtains are very common type of handicrafts also in Carelia. My mother has done such kind too.
    And the works from bark, we know the hats but we know also the shoes which are made from birches bark. And instruments.

    It is very nice to see that there is still people who has still those traditional skills.

    Good blog!


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.