Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Hand-woven history

Ukraine’s longest ever towel, woven on an antique loom, has been put on record in Bohuslav
27 September, 2017 - 17:30
Photo by the author

Recently, the city of Bohuslav, Kyiv oblast, celebrated the 985th anniversary of its foundation. Residents had been carefully preparing for the occasion, and spent as much as nine months in daily work, weaving a towel by hand. Over 1,500 people, including both adults and children, created a unique masterpiece of Ukrainian culture. The towel is covered in patterns reflecting the almost thousand-year-long history of the city – 45 momentous, positive dates related to landmark events that occurred in Bohuslav or prominent figures of Ukraine.

“On December 23 last year, we submitted an application to the National Register of Records of Ukraine. We decided to compose a description of our land’s story and weave on the cloth its thousand-year history. The design came spontaneously, reflecting momentary impulses. Regular people inspired us as well. While the dates themselves had been already laid down by Bohuslav researchers, the colors and patterns were invented by our visitors. For example, Marusia Bohuslavka and Oksana Bondarivna have brought fame to our land. We had established that they lived in the 15th century or so, and symbolically wove two female figures divided by a garland. Its colors were chosen by the participants of the project, and they include salad, light-blue, and pink,” we were told by director of the Bohuslav District History Museum Tetiana Kutsenko.

The clergy was the first to join this project, namely priests of all the main denominations of Ukraine, and then everyone who wanted to join did so as well. Even foreigners from seven countries were weaving the towel. According to the initiators, it is as long as 98.5 meters, with the figure symbolizing the age of Bohuslav. “The Bohuslav towel has surpassed the previous record holder from Pereiaslav, the length of which was only 30 meters. The Bohuslav towel is a unique product. It was woven by hand from double cloth on a 70-year-old loom. Strikingly, people of many ages and occupations who came from various places worked on it. According to international rules, a register was made of all persons who wove the towel. This is the so-called big book. It includes photos of all these people, their contacts, personal signatures and, of course, information about how many centimeters each participant has woven,” we were told by head of the National Register of Records of Ukraine Lana Vetrova. Interestingly, this work of art even has its own name – the Bohuslav towel. The record-long woven product will be kept in the Bohuslav District History Museum.