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The fantastic world of Kargopol

Глебко Надежда
МБОУ СОШ №29, г. Коломна Московской области
ученица 7 "А" класса
Учитель: Ермолаева Наталья Евгеньевна

The town of Kargopol, Arkhangels Oblast, is one of the centres of the old Russian folk art handicrafts. In the old days Kargopol was a well-known cultural centre of the Russian North. Nowadays it is a reserved place where the original Russian culture, arts and crafts have remained. Painted clay figures of people and animals are produced there. You can see the figures of a bearded peasant who sat to rest after work, a fisherman on his boat, a hunter in the forest. There are not a lot of details in all figures, the master emphasizes only the most important. People are depicted as strong and stocky, with short arms and legs, a thick and short neck, a big head and almost always at work. But the celebratory themes such as quadrille, playing the harmonica or balalaika are not forgotten. As a rule the Kargopol toys are single characters, but there are some compositions of two or three figures connected with a common plot. There are also fantastic toys. The masters humanized animals, endowed them with their symbolical sense. These fairy characters include the Sirin bird, the Polkan, the Lion and others. The painting of toys is special. The old Kargopol toy was soft, faded. Chalk, oven soot, slaked lime and the coloured clay were used for painting. Nowadays the artists add yellow, blue and orange colours to enliven the toys. The ornamental elements consist of stripes, circles, rings, dots, crossed lines and twigs. Each element has its sense and value. So the circles and the rings with a cross inside are the symbol of the Sun, the arches and the brackets are the symbol of the Earth, the dots and the branches are the symbols of grain and sprouts. It is cold in the North and people always wait for spring and the Sun when they can sow the seeds.

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