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At the Cossack Farmstead of the Sholokhov Museum

19.12.2012

A Cossack farmstead of the XX – XIX centuries in Kruzhilin Village is very popular with the tourists from different parts of Russia and foreign countries. One can get a unique opportunity to learn about everyday life of the Upper Don Cossacks and the peculiarity of the household management a hundred years ago.

The Cossack farmstead was opened in 2006, near the Sholokhovs’ messuage, where the future writer was born and spent the first five years of his life. The reconstruction faithfully reproduces a typical structure of the Cossack farmstead of late XIX – early XX centuries: a house with a summer kitchen, a well, a summer stove, an icehouse, a barn, an enclosure for cattle and a tool shed. In the enclosure there are oxen, horses, cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, geese, ducks, hens and a dog called Volchok. One can ”rule the roost”: feed the poultry, milk the cow and give milk to the goats.

The guests will see old tools and agricultural implements. An old plough –bucar, a bullock-cart, a threshing stone, flails, rakes, scythes, a riddle, millstones are things hardly known today. The guides will explain, show how to use these implements and let volunteers try to use them.

Recently, the farmstead has been replenished with new interesting exhibits: a quern of the early XX century and a replica of an old machine for cabling ropes. Now the tourists will be able to learn how to cable ropes and grind flour “in the old way.”

On seeing the farmstead the tourists are invited for dinner. They taste Cossack dishes – jellied meat, fried eggs with bacon, pancakes with original Kruzhilin honey, authentic stewed fruit drinks.

Annual literary and ethnographic festival “Kruzhilin Gathering” takes place in the farmstead to show the country life of Cossacks “before the Revolution” to the guests and give them an opportunity to try doing the household and agricultural field work.

It was not by chance that a Cossack farmstead was reconstructed in Kruzhilin Village, the home country of Mikhail Sholokhov. Here, among Cossacks the future writer spent his early childhood, acquired the folk habits and traditions, which he later brightly depicted in his wonderful works. Near the Cossack farmstead, at the homestead of the writer’s parents, there is a cherished memorial Cossack house with a lower ground floor; in this house Misha Sholokhov was born. In the yard there is also a grain barn, a bathhouse, an ice-house, a stable, a shop, a garden – everything that surrounded him in his childhood.

On the way, seeing a bronze Cossack on horseback peering into the distance, set up on the hill (The author of the sculptural composition ”To the Cossacks of the Quiet Don” is N.V.Mozhayev) the tourists turn to the right road leading to famous Kruzhilin Village. Cossacks live here. Sholokhov was born here.

Valentina Abramovskaya
Taisiya Khramenkova