Oleksandra Bilozerska’s "Marko" as one of the first mentions of a doll-motanka in Ukrainian literature

  • A. V. Stakhurska-Kozoriz postgraduate student of the Nizhyn State Gogol University
Keywords: doll-motanka, lelia, doll-baby


The article tells about Olexandra Bilozerska’s doll-motanka. Doll-motanka is considered a jotting of Ukrainian history and culture. We need to emphasize its uniqueness to confirm this status. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough ancient dolls. The author investigated two dolls that Mrs. Lesia had. One is a baby doll-motanka and the other is a doll-motanka with embroidered elements and embroidery. These dolls are stored in Panteleimon Kulish Regional Historical Memorial Museum "Gannina Pustyn". She dreamt of becoming a mother from an early childhood. Olexandra made a doll and a crade when she was little. She cared for the doll as a real baby. The author claims that the girl learns to take care for her baby by playing dolls. Olexandra Mykhailivna called her doll Mark. The author describes that earlier dolls were made by hands. The girls are playing with plastic dolls now, but they have not forgotten the tradition of making dolls with fabric. Meanwhile, though the doll has changed, the main purrpose of the game remains. We suppose that Panteleimon Olexsandrovych Kulish mentioned in this letter exactly about Marko’s doll. Kulish called the doll "lelia". The author assumes that this word was introduced by Kulish. The term may have come from the goddess Lessia. This doll was very important for Olexandra. This is the first mention of a doll-motanka in literature. It is described in details in the article. The author also mentions the case when Taras Shevchenko made a squirrel with a handkerchief at Kulish wedding, with lasted for a whole week. The work also deals with the relationships between spouses. In the literature Olexandra Mykhailivna Bilozerska-Kulish
was included as Hanna Barvinok. The more Hanna Barvinok took the pen, the brighter the creative achievements became. The couple didn’t have children. As a result, the author concludes that the works of literature have become their children.


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How to Cite
Stakhurska-Kozoriz, A. V. “Oleksandra Bilozerska’s "Marko" As One of the First Mentions of a Doll-Motanka in Ukrainian Literature”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 97, no. 12i, Feb. 2020, pp. 219-27, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2019-12i-97-219-227.
Regional history and culture