MORE than 5,000 textile dolls in folk costumes of various sizes have been produced and sold since 2002 by their only Slovak producer, the Osoh – or Benefit - association from the community of Hrušov, in the district of Veľký Krtíš.
Dolls clad in the colourful costumes which are typical for this region are mostly bought in the village, which lies in the south of central Slovakia, by tourists from the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria, but also from America or Japan.
While most of the dolls produced are clothed in the traditional Hrušov folk costume, the workshops there also make dolls in the folk costumes of other regions of Slovakia, the TASR newswire wrote.
“Apart from the ones we offer to tourists who come to the village, our dolls are also on sale in about 35 souvenir shops around the whole of Slovakia and in some tourist information offices,” TASR was told by Hrušov’s mayor, Pavol Bendík.
The dolls are made by skilled Hrušov women in three sizes: the smallest are 18 centimetres tall and the biggest, with porcelain bodies, measure 40 centimetres.
They are most popular with tourists as a symbol of local folklore to take home with them. Another market is Slovaks who take them abroad as gifts.
Many dolls are sold during the famous Hontianska Paráda folklore festival, but also at other shows of traditional culture around the country.
Last year, Hrušov’s income from sale of the dolls was almost €5,000, Bendík said. But currently, sales and production have plateaued.
The women who normally make the dolls as a part-time job have not done so this winter because of a lack of bigger orders. “Better marketing is required. But with our chances and conditions, it is very difficult,” Bendík concluded.
26. Jan 2009 at 0:00 | compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports