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Members $20, Not-yet-members $30. 90-minute performance. Register below.

Join the Museum and the Grunya Ensemble for a special Easter concert featuring religious songs, Easter greetings songs (волочебные), St. George day’s greeting songs (егорьевская), and spring ritual songs (веснянки). Grunya will bring shepherd’s horns and string instruments and will also perform comic songs with puppets designed by Ksenya Litvak. The audience will be invited to participate in round dances of khorovod.

This Boston-based ensemble performs traditional songs from different regions of Russia, as well as from Ukraine and Belarus. The ensemble members are not professional singers; among them are people of different occupations, backgrounds, and ages. But through singing, Grunya develops a language environment for the families, supports language skills for the children, examines the Slavic people’s culture and history, and practices a joyful way of celebrating holidays and important life events.

Grunya will also have on exhibit and for sale traditional Slavic embroidery, painting, rug dolls, and handmade cards in collaboration with Nina Vinogradova (doll makers), Tatiana Shpotova (embroidery, doll maker), Katya Popova, Ghilyana Dordzhieva, and Polina Vikova.

Rug dolls (Krupenichka)
Rug faceless dolls were considered to be home protectors. “Krupenichka” comes from the word “krupa” which means grain. In the old days, the first grains of the harvest were poured into the doll and kept in houses for well-being and prosperity. Grunya made the dolls filled with grain and lavender. Traditionally, dolls did not require sewing. The clothing was layered on the dolls, and they were tied together.

Mezen’ painting
The Mezen’ painting (Мезенская роспись) is one of the most remarkable folk crafts to decorate wooden household items in red and black colors. It was preserved in villages along the Mezen’ River in the Kola Peninsula in Russia on the border with the taiga and tundra. The origin of Mezen’ painting was connected with the ancient art of the Finno-Ugric peoples, particularly the Saami, indigenous people of North Europe. Every single detail of the ornament, like the square, diamond, leaf, twig, spiral, zigzag, feather, and wave, is deeply symbolic and should tell the story of the forest, the wind, the air, the fire, the earth, the stars, and the sky, as well as the artist’s thoughts and ancient images of the northern Slavs. Three layers represent Upper, Middle, and Lower Worlds, filled with flying and swimming geese, swans, ducks, cranes and other birds, elks, moose, deers, horses, and fish. Fertility and abundance wishes were expressed through the images of the plowed fields, seeds, roots, flowers, and leaves.

Red on white, white on red – this is a traditional combination of colors for Russian embroidery. One of the most ancient and often used in traditional dress was the “painted” stitch, also called the “long-standing” stitch. The pattern lies on the surface of the canvas with the finest lace, and the pattern is the same on both sides of the fabric. Paintings embroidered images of female figures, horsemen, birds, animals, geometric ornaments, decorated clothes, and household items (towels, valances). This seam was widespread in the northern regions of Russia.