Shapavaly : a unique phenomenon in Belarusian tradition
This 2-day tour will take you to an authentic village in Mogilev region, show unique living traditions of wool felting and people who preserve it. The small village of Pakut'e for a couple of last centuries was a center of wool felting. Local masters used to felt boots for the whole region! To keep the secrets of their unique craft and reduce competition, they invented a language "Katrushnitsky lemyazen" which sounds foreign even for Belarusians!
Shapavaly are absolutely unique people who have preserved and carried their skills of wool felting through centuries and only now opened their doors to tourists. Within two days we will get acquainted with their every-day life, listen to unusual language and make a fine sauna hat using traditional technology!
Фота: belsat.eu, by-ethno.livejournal, tut.by
At 8 am departure from Minsk. We visit the lodge of Shapavaly, get acquainted with Lydia and Valentin, their craft areas. After lunch we begin our journey into the culture with the preparation of wool: we will see how the carding machine look like and learn how to prepare good quality material for future hats. Soon we begin to work with our hats! The technology of felting which is used here is different from modern, therefore, the workshop will be interesting for experienced masters as well.
After felting we will have dinner and conversations near the campfire. We are planning to camp at the territory of the lodge.
In the morning after breakfast we continue working with our woolen hats. In a few hours they will be ready! After lunch, we will have time to walk around the village, talk to locals, get to know more about beekeeping. If we have time and the weather is good, we will visit the lake next to the lodge. After dinner with our new sauna hats we are going back home. At 21:00 we come back to Minsk.
Shapavaly and their craftsmanship is on the list of cultural heritage of Belarus. They have organized camps and workshops for Belarusian culture researchers, ethnographers, received foreign experts and now invite us!
Lidia and Valentin are hospitable owners of the lodge, where we're going to stay. They both are from Shapavaly family, know and love their work and language, have the desire to share it with guests!
"The language of Drybin Shapavaly was a real revelation even for me, a historian and native Mogilev inhabitant. I think it is a miracle that in our completely culturally unified Belarus language "Katrushnitsky lemyazen" was preserved until the XXI century and its last carriers have not forgotten about their professional skills. I have the hope that it is still possible to revive and use it also as the tourist attraction of the region. And yet - have a look at my essay documentary, filmed before last winter and order valenki (woolen boots) soaked with magic of Shapavaly masters".
Included in price:
- transfer from Minsk and back (let us know if you want to drive with your own car - we will tell you about possible discounts);
- workshop from Shapavaly;
- all needed materials for felting;
- a place in a tent, sleeping bag, mat.
The listed price is relevant to a scheduled tour or a group of 10+ participants
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