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Folk Crafts

Not All are Chieftains and Captains on the Don, but There are Ploughers and Carpenters,Too

The life and traditions of Cossacks made for development in the Upper Don the arts and crafts necessary for the local population.

In old Vyoshki half of the population were nonresidents, migrants from different parts of Russia. Nonresidents worked as farmhands for the well-off Cossacks, but mostly they were artisans: carpenters, stove-makers, farriers, locksmiths, roofers, tailors, sheepskin-makers, fullers, cobblers, saddlers and potters. Among the artisans there were high-skilled craftsmen: cabinetmakers, house-builders, church-builders, mill-builders.

Being mostly engaged in military service and being no good at crafts Cossacks were in need of good masters, so they did not mind non-Cossacks opening their workshops.

In the district of Vyoshenskaya pottery was prevailing. Potters used clays mined near the villages of Merkulovsky and Alshansky. The skilled craftsmen made glazed and unglazed pottery.

Many other crafts were developed, which are currently preserved in the Upper Don and arouse much interest in the Museum visitors.

Alexander Tyapkin