HANDICRAFT AS THE FORM OF COMMUNICATIONS. A Series of Articles. Article 3
Humans are known to be social beings that must communicate with those of their kind. But speaking in particular on us, women, as the best half of the mankind, one should emphasize that having no contacts with our friends extremely adversely affects our general condition, depresses our mind and even negatively impacts our looks. Let's acknowledge – we fade away without communication, and this is how it has always been.
Our wise forebears concerned with the issue of arranging female communications have invented a wonderful remedy, namely, doing crafts together. While the handicraft provided women with the opportunity of expressing themselves through artwork creativity, another advantage it offered was the form of social contact acceptable even according to then-current strict rules.
As the hand labor, handicraft did not restrict verbal communications and enabled information exchange during the work process. That is why female communications during handicraft were recognized in cultures of many peoples of the world.
For example, young and sometimes middle-aged women of Slavic villages had the widespread tradition of joint handicraft during autumn and winter seasons – get-togethers, evening parties, young people's gatherings, sit-rounds, during which they used to gather in a hut to spin, stitch or sew together. The work proceeded better during conversations or signing. Older women entertained young girls with exciting stories, legends and fairy-tales. By the evening, young bachelors used to visit such get-togethers, often with balalaika or accordion, and the evening turned into dancing and dating party.
Joint handicraft was also typical of monastic life, and of urban residents of different social strata. An interesting point worth mentioning is that during this pastime women could also perform joint work, and not only do crafts individually. For example, in the USA and Great Britain, patchworks, starting from arranging certain elements up to the final assembly, were made by women of different generations of one family, sometimes with their friends engaged. Up to twenty people gathered around the table talking to each other, telling jokes and signing while doing their work.
Communications during handicraft were usual and natural for women irrespective of their nationality, religion, wealth, social status, education, occupation, age or state of health. The work did not impede communications, but on the contrary, often became a topic for the conversation. Let us remind you the episode of Lev Tolstoy's War and Peace, where Princess Bolkonskaya, having visited Anna Pavlovna Scherer, takes her handicraft in the velvet reticule embroidered in gold, and does crafts while having conversation with the salon guests.Throughout millennia, the essence of the real woman has not changed. Just like in the days of old, invigorating communications with friends are necessary for us. Of course, today’s forms of handicraft-related communications have been somehow renovated. Nowadays we make contacts in the handicraft stores, through master classes, creative contests, club leisure based on the common hobby. However women’s get-togethers with the handicraft in their hands are still in force!