Середня Наддніпрянщина

Poltava hut

The Middle Dnieper region is represented by a hut from the village of Pyshnenky of Poltava region.

This is a wooden log hut with a three-part layout. It is made from wooden half-beams connected in a simple lock, consists of two separate logs. The right log cabin is a living space with five six-leaf windows, two on the central facade, two on the right siding and one on the rear wall. The left log cabin is two-chambered and include inner porch or “siny” and a pantry. The pantry has a through passage (doors are on the front wall and rear one). Entrance roof overhang with columns opens onto the central facade.

The building was erected in 1888, as evidenced by the inscription on the girder. There is a carved Golgotha ​​near the carved date. The roof is with four sloping surfaces, covered with reeds. The floor was made of clay. The girder used to be decorated with carvings of sacred signs, often it was Jesus Cross, rarely the date of construction of the building. The girder was a carrier of information accumulated by generations associated with this particular hut.


In the 16th and 17th centuries, the production of ceramics in Ukraine reached a high level of development. During this period, pottery shops were established in the ancient ceramic centers of Poltava region. Among the numerous centers, such as Hlynsk, Zinkiv, Myrhorod, Romny, Opishnya was the most prominent center. It was here in 1786 that about 200 artisans made a variety of festive utensils for drinks: jars, jugs, barrels, pitchers and decorative sculptural utensils in the form of lambs, lions, grasshoppers, roosters, decorated with floral ornaments in the technique of multicolored ceramic painting. Pottery schools were founded in Myrhorod (1896), Hlynsk (1908), and Opishnya (1912), communities were organizing the exhibitions, taking care of the sale of works.

Pottery of this region used to have bulging belly. There ceramics are distinguished by extremely thin walls and sophisticated decorativeness. Painting was done by engobes with clays of different colors (usually two or three) on a wet surface.

Clothing tradition

In the living room we put a dress form showing the clothes typical for a marriageable girl: the clothes of girls of this age were usually bright red. One can see a festive ankle-length shirt made of factory fabrics, with stitched embroidery and predominance of red. On top of the shirt, the girl wore plakhta, a woven wraparound skirt, tied with a belt. The detail that completes this rich outfit is an unstitched quadrangular piece of coarse woolen fabric decorated with gold thread called “zapaska”. At the end of the 19th century, such a thing cost as much as half a cow. However, a good father did not skimp on his daughter, wanting to marry her to a richer boy as soon as possible, so he bought both ribbons and earrings for her at the fair.

The exhibition also presents traditional for the region shirts with “white on white” embroidery. Applied techniques are extremely time consuming, but rather beautiful: different types of stitches, drawn thread work, carvings.


The traditional ornament for towels of Poltava is the Tree of Life, embroidered with a chain stitch, crocheting and additional towel techniques on home-woven fabric with a predominance of red. An extremely interesting and rare exhibit in our hut is a monk’s towel. Similar towels have been made at the nunneries of Chornobayiv region, Uman, Zolotonosha.

In the pantry one can see a wooden textile embossing machine. It worked as follows: the fabric was evenly stretched on a massive heavy board, while the protruding elements of the pattern on the machine were covered with paint, and the variables were soaked in paint and placed in the appropriate holes. Then a massive board with a fabric was lowered on the machine and the master, lifting both handles upwards, embossed an ornament on a fabric. But in this way the consumption of paint was greater, so much more common was the method of embossing with boards of about 40*50 cm. It was even more convenient to have many different small elements that could be combined each time a new one.

Brokarivska embroidery

In the last 150 years alone, the cross stitch technique has almost supplanted about two hundred stitches of folk embroidery known in Ukraine. The first such ornaments came to us from Russian printed publications that copied Italian, German, and Dutch patterns. Pocket books and albums, separate sheets with drawings in the pseudo-folk style were published in Moscow, Kyiv, St. Petersburg, Odessa, and distributed in the cities and villages of Central Russia, Ukraine, Bessarabia.

From the city, the technique of cross-stitch gradually moved to the village. Traditions and ideas about beauty, which have been developed over the centuries in each area, began to be quickly replaced by new techniques and ornaments.

Brokarivska embroidery is also called “soap” embroidery. The rapid spread of the cross-stitch technique and naturalistic floral ornaments in red and black was facilitated by advertisements with embroidery patterns, presented to the buyers of cheap glycerin soap or cologne water. The soap and other perfume products have been produced by the Moscow factory “Brokar & Co” since 1864.

Craftswomen were attracted by the novelty of ornamental motifs, their color saturation, decorativeness. The technique of the cross-stitch provided ample opportunities for color design and a more realistic interpretation of plant motifs.

In the circles of art critics, artists, researchers of folk art, the term “brokar” for a century was a determinant of the phenomenon of anti-art, devoid of deep folk traditions, rude, eclectic; synonymous with bad taste.