Polkhovsky Maidan, located to the south-west
of Nizhny Novgorod, is another matryoshka making centre. Wooden
workmanship was an old tradition there. Many toys were made
on a turning lathe: samovars, birds, money-box, salt-cellars
and ap pies. The first matriohskas of Polkhovsky Mai-dan like
the matryoshkas of Sergiev Posad were made by poker-work, then
local craftsmen started to paint wooden dolls with floral ornaments.
The craftsmen of Polkhovsky Maidan like the craftsmen of Semionov
use aniline dyes. The matryoshkas were pasted over, brightly
painted before being coated with varnish. The colours of the
matryoshkas of Polkhovsky Maidan are brighter and more expressive
than the colours of the matryoshkas of Semionov, their ornaments
are bigger as well. Green, blue, yellow, violet and crimson
colours are used to contrast each other, to make an expressive
and bright ornament. Richness of colour is achieved by superim
posing one layer of dye on another.
matryoshkas of Polkhovsky Maidan are manufactured in the peasant
primitive style which resembles children's drawings. It is
a typical village beauty with knitted brows and a face framed
in black locks. The ringlets of hair are a genuine element
of local women's head-dress. Older women covered their hair
with kokoshniks, young girls used ribbons. Black drake's feathers
were stuck in their head- dresses. The painters of Polkhovsky
Maidan as the painters of Semionov paid their special attention
to floral ornament of matryoshkas' aprons. They ignored other
details of a matryoshka's costume. Dog-rose with many petals
is the main element of apron painting. This flower is always
considered to be the symbol of femininity, love and motherhood.
This flower is a part of each composition of the craftsmen
of Polkhovsky Maidan. Sometimes this theme is developed and
a painter adds to the main rose its buds on the branches.
Craftsmen of the village of Krutets, located
in the same area, started to paint wooden turned toys including
matryoshkas as well. The matryoshkas made in Krutets differ
by greater variety of themes and ornaments. They are quite
experimental. This applies not only to decoration but also
to the shape.