Friday, May 23, 2014

Flax Spinning - BELARUS

Like most people on Eastern Europe, Belorussians are proud of their heritage and the unique culture they have carved out over many centuries of history and they have several ethnographic complexes and museums designed to show and spread their national identity to visitors and tourists. This card was issued by the 'Braslav Museum of Traditional Culture' and it shows the traditional way of spinning flax. Thank you very much Irina, your description of the natural landscapes of Belarus made my will to visit your country grow.  This postcards took 10 days to arrive! 
Applied Art of Belarus, Flax Spinning - BELARUS
The traditional way of spinning flax stricks is to use a distaff, but it is not required. A distaff is a long vertical pole that can be attached to the spinning wheel, or free standing next to the wheel. The long fibers of flax are tied together at one end and the rest of the fibers are fanned out. In Belarus flax has been cultivated since ancient times. Flax fibers were used to make fabrics, clothes, beautiful household items, toys for children. Seeds were used to make bread, tasty kissel (a sweet drink resembling thin jelly). No wonder blue flowers adorn the National Emblem of Belarus. 

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