Folk art as a cultural heritage. Russian distaff
One of the main tasks of the Cultural Foundation “EKATERINA” is to preserve the cultural heritage in its various forms; a project connected with folk arts and crafts, in particular with distaffs appeared among others.
We traditionally associate a distaff with an integral part of peasant way of life. In old times a distaff was not only used accordingly but it was also connected with lots of customs and legends. And even nowadays we can contemplate not only simple, modest distaffs but original works of folk art as well. They are ingeniously decorated with carving, pictures of animals, ornaments, signs which sometimes have an implied secret meaning. Differing by great art variety, distaffs have always attracted attention of historians and arts critics who divide them into several types: Vologodskaya, Dvinskaya, Mezenskaya, Pomorskaya, Tverskaya, Yaroslavskaya distaff, etc. Vologodskaya distaff fascinates by its skilful ornamental carving. The outlines of beautifully bent blade of Yaroslavskaya distaff as well richly decorated with carving reminds of a floating swan. Mezenskaya distaff (the center of production was located in Palashchelie village on the river Mezen) is interesting due to paintings of traditional images of red horses herds on a gold and yellow background. An unsolved cryptography was discovered on some of Mezenskaya distaffs.
The Foundation works on creation of its own collection of various distaffs, it is planned to demonstrate them on exhibitions of arts and crafts, perhaps, the Foundation will establish a museum of distaffs and other folk life articles of artistic and historical value.