creativity,  Lifestyle,  Motanka Doll

Motanki and other magical dolls around the world

In the world of Barbies and princesses the healing properties of a doll have been almost forgotten. The doll is considered merely a toy, yet in remote parts of the world, the magic of doll-making has withstood the pressure of time and deteriorating belief systems, and dolls have been used there to bring love, luck, prosperity, and protection.

Being on a path of self-healing, I have used many techniques to bring wholeness to my life, Medicine doll-making being one of them. Creating a doll has proven to be a gentle and profound way of tapping into the hidden subconscious patterns, and connecting with the higher self, the Godself. The most well-known magic dolls are the voodoo dolls, which got a bad wrap in time as the original meaning of these ritual dolls has been disturbed by pseudo-witchery and low vibrational magic. Africa is in fact extremely rich in beautiful and profound creative doll magic

African Fertility Dolls © African Creative


There are also somewhat well-known South American “worry dolls”, also known as Guatemala trouble dolls. The tiny figurines are placed under the pillow in order to take away the worries and troubles of the dreamer.

‘The Worry Doll Clan’
www.market.unicefusa.org


CREATING DOLLS FOR HEALING
I first encountered the idea of medicine dolls when I was reading James Seam’s book “The 13 Original Clan Mothers”. The Author has published 16 pictures of her own self-made magical katchina dolls. I was in owe. Those weren’t for show off or to play with in a customary way, they had a mission, they were a statement and they definitely had the spirit of their own. I loved them but wouldn’t even know where to begin creating such a doll. My longing for my own doll grew deeper. One day I saw a picture of a Slavic Motanka doll, a picture that captured my entire being. There was something very touching about this beautiful, handmade doll, I wanted one and I had to learn how to make her!

Motanka entered my life, but there was no one to teach me, as I lived in the United States where this art is rather unknown. I dived deep into research. I found out that this doll is of Slavic origins, that mostly Ukrainians make her still, and that there is not much info about her outside of a few websites in a language I couldn’t read.

I watched countless videos created by Ukrainian ladies, in Ukrainian, and with the help of a YouTube translator I learned the magic of creating Motanka. It took me about 2 years of constant practice to figure out how to put her together.
The three most important principles of creating a motanka doll are:

  1. The doll has no eyes or facial expression because eyes are a mirror of the soul – that would give our doll a mind of her own. And since we want a doll to do something for us, like protect us during travel or bring wealth and abundance, her face is blank.
  2. There are no sharp objects used during the making of a doll. We don’t sew on her, don’t cut with scissors or knives, because puncturing our doll might hurt our destiny.
  3. Intention and ritual increase the doll’s magical properties

Ritually made Dolls are believed to be infused with life energy of their makers. They are a symbol of what lies buried in humans that is numinous. They represent a little piece of soul that carries all the knowledge of the larger soul-Self. In fairy tales, dolls represent a deep throb of wisdom within the culture of the psyche.
In this way the doll represents the inner spirit of us as women; the voice of inner reason, inner knowing, and inner consciousness. The dolls serve as talismans. The talismanic numen of the image of the doll reminds us, tells us, and sees ahead for us. This intuitive function belongs to all women, and in modern times, to awakened men.

Traditional Ukrainian dolls

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