Veps doll: how to make a charm with your own hands?
Veps doll: how to make a charm with your own hands?

Crafts and toys in the style of folk crafts can be a good keepsake or an unusual gift for a loved one. Bright and beautiful Vepsian doll, no doubt, will please both the child and the adult. In addition, such a gift is considered an old talisman. What does the Veps doll symbolize? How and when did the tradition of this unusual needlework originate? How to make a Veps doll with your own hands?

Vepsian doll

What is a Veps doll?

The toy got its name from the Vepsians - one of the small ethnic groups of the Finno-Ugric group living in the north of Russia. The history of the Veps doll dates back to the Middle Ages, when the Veps (Chud) lived in the territory of the Onega forests, engaged in agriculture and hunting. Their traditional beliefs and superstitions are reflected in the manufacture of a talisman in the form of a rag toy. The Veps doll-amulet was present in almost every family, symbolizing the energy of a married woman, mother and nurse of a child.

Later, the tradition of making such dolls from scraps migrated to the culture of other Slavic tribes. For many centuriesthe Vepsian maternal amulet has become a familiar item in any peasant hut. Today, in every locality, this doll has its own name: Rozhanitsa, Housekeeper, Feeder and even Cabbage.

the history of the Vepsian doll

What is the Veps doll for?

Rozhanitsa was considered a talisman for wives and mothers, the personification of satiety, well-being and prosperity in the house. Many family rituals are associated with Vepsian dolls. Charm dolls could be passed down from mother to daughter, from generation to generation, symbolizing the continuity of family traditions.

An unmarried girl of the "age of the bride" could make her first Rozhanitsa. Such a doll was put on the window as a sign that matchmakers could be sent to the beauty's parents. Often, such a charm was presented as a gift for a wedding celebration: this gift promised not only a comfortable life and harmony, but, according to legend, helped the newlyweds to soon become happy parents.

Mothers made a charm even before the birth of a baby, so that the Vepsian doll was in the cradle, as if warming her. After the birth of a child, Cabbage was hung over the crib both as a toy and as a talisman for a newborn.

Production traditions

How to make such an amulet for yourself or as a gift to loved ones? Do-it-yourself Vepsian doll can be made quite simply. A person who does not know how to professionally sew can cope with this - even a child is able to “wind up” a Cabbage doll. First of all, you need to know what traditional details should be present inthe image of the Feeder, as well as the features of the manufacture of this Slavic amulet.

  • As a rule, a Vepsian doll is made from patches of natural fabric, usually linen or chintz. For decoration, you can use colored twisted cords, threads, borders, lace, satin ribbons - everything that the master's imagination tells him.
  • Like all traditional Slavic textile dolls, a Vepsian doll should be faceless: according to legend, a face on a rag toy cannot be painted so that an evil spirit does not move into it.
  • Another important detail is the large breasts of the doll - a symbol of motherhood and the mother feeding the child.
  • Earlier, cabbage was made from scraps of worn clothes, most often the material was the elements of a women's costume in contact with the ground - the hem of a shirt, skirt, sundress. Threads were plucked from the same flaps to fasten the parts of the toy. Of course, to make a souvenir doll today, they almost always use shop thread from a spool and trimming new fabric.
  • For the manufacture of this rag amulet, it is not customary to use sharp metal tools: needles, scissors or pins. This is necessary so that, according to ancient beliefs, the life of a child playing with such a doll would be “not chipped, not cut”. All blanks-shreds for the amulet were torn by hand and tied with threads. For this reason, another name that the Veps doll bears is Rvanka. For a modern souvenir, of course, it is not necessary to follow such a rule - it is easier and more accurate to cut the shreds with scissors.
  • When winding threads, it is acceptedfollow this rule: an even number of thread turns and an odd number of knots on each winding. Traditionally, it is believed that such a number of ligaments promises the owner of the amulet longevity, that is, an “countless” number of years.
do-it-yourself Veps doll

What do you need to work?

What materials will be required for needlework? Making a Vepsian doll is an interesting and completely inexpensive activity. For her you will need:

  • Square patch white or beige (head and arms). The size is determined depending on the growth of the future Cabbage, for a small doll, approximately 20 x 20 cm is enough.
  • Colored square patches.
  • Filler (cotton wool, rags, synthetic winterizer, pieces of foam rubber).
  • Threads for connecting parts (red).
  • Materials for decorative details: lace, braid, etc. (optional).

Step 1: head and hands

The detail with which work on the Cabbage amulet begins is the head and torso of the doll. It is done as follows:

  • A large piece of filler should be rolled into a ball the size of the future head of the toy. The ball is placed in the center of the white patch.
  • The flap is folded diagonally, a ball of filler is threaded inside the fabric.
  • The edges of the flap, located on different sides of the head, will be the handles of the amulet doll. The corners of each edge should be wrapped inward and tied with a thread.
  • The bottom edge can also be wrapped at the “waist” for convenience.
how to make a dollVepsian

Step 2: Chest

The lush chest of the Veps amulet is made from two identical square patches. The size of the patches folded diagonally will be the length of the hem of the puppet sundress.

  • You will need to roll two balls out of the filler, which will be smaller in size than the head.
  • Make two blanks: place the ball in the center of the flap, fold the fabric diagonally, thread the filler inside.
  • Further, both blanks are fastened with a thread at the doll's waist in such a way that a chest and the front of the skirt are obtained. Also, with threads, you should fix the detail in the form of straps of a sundress: up the shoulders, forming a cross on the back - a common element of Slavic embroidery.
making a Vepsian doll

Step 3: skirt

The back of the sundress is made from the same fabric as the doll's chest:

  • The square flap is folded diagonally, and then again in the form of a square. The top of the part will be an angle with folds, the bottom will be the cut edges of the flap.
  • The resulting blank is applied to the back of the doll in such a way that the upper corner is located above the waist, and the edges correspond to the length of the front and is tied with a thread.
Veps doll amulet

Step 4: decorative details

The main decorations of the Vepsian doll are an apron, a belt and a headdress (shawl).

  • For the apron you will need a small rectangular patch. It must be applied with the front side to the front top of the doll in such a way thatso that the edge is slightly below the waistline and fasten with a thread. Then the fabric of the apron is lowered down (right side out) and fixed with a belt.
  • For a belt, any narrow strip of fabric, ribbon, braid, or several multi-colored threads twisted together will work.
  • On the head of the amulet doll is usually a scarf. For it, you need to take a triangular patch (or fold a square piece of fabric diagonally), fix it on your head, crossing the ends of the scarf around your neck and tying it in a knot at the back.
Vepsian doll

As we can see, the technique of making a folk toy from scraps is quite simple and does not require special skills. But one should not forget about the main condition for creating a real Veps doll-amulet: as our ancestors believed, one should engage in such needlework with good thoughts, then the amulet will delight its owners for many years, bringing we alth and harmony to their home.

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