Birch Folk Art
The birch tree is a very important symbol in Northern European culture. It is represents the grace and strength of the people, as well as their closeness to nature. There are numerous folkloric songs in which the birch tree features prominently.
Culturally, branches of the birch tree are used in the banya, and other parts of the tree are used for healing and medicinal purposes. The birch tree also warms households and gardens as decoration. Birch bark items are made of pure birch, or can be decorated by cutting through birch and stamping. Stamping on birch is an old Northern European handicraft.
Birch bark has always been a traditional material for Russian masters. Due to its remarkable quality (i.e. durability, flexibility, rot resistance), birch bark has been for a long time an ideal material for utensils...such as buckets or jars and containers for dry products and liquids. The most traditional objects crafted from birch are small, decorative boxes and “lapti” (traditional Ukrainian footwear).