Photos of the Day for December 21, 2014

Three crosses, Machul’ 2014.  Тры крыжы, Мачуль 2014 г.

No one in Machul’ seems to remember whom or what these three crosses commemorate.  Здаецца, што ніхто ў Мачулі не памятае каму былі узьведзеныя гэтыя крыжы.

Photos of the Day for December 20, 2014

Master Boatwright-Cartwright Mikalaj, Machul’ 2014.  Майстар Мікалай, Мачуль 2014 г.

Having just finished replacing the sides on a horse-cart, master builder Mikalaj was working quietly on a marsh boat as I approached.

Photos of the Day for December 19, 2014

Traditional Polesian marsh boats, Machul’ 2014.  Чаўны, Мачуль 2014 г.

Polesian villages, hamlets, and homesteads were historically dependent on water transportation when the Pripet Marshes, Europe’s largest expanse of wetlands, were still pristine.  The old section of Machul’ retains the feel of such Polesian villages from before Soviet a post-Soviet “amelioration”, a series of drainage campaigns which has degraded the ecosystem of major parts of of the Pripet Marshes.

Photo of the Day for December 18, 2014

Traditional Polesian boats, Machul’ 2014.  Чаўны, Мачуль 2014 г.

Photos of the Day for December 17, 2014

Machul’ 2014.  Рака Моўства, Мачуль 2014 г.

A prolonged 2014 dry spell in central Polesia caused many tributaries of the Pripet (Prypjats’) to fall to extraordinarily low levels.  Nevertheless, Machul’ retains a timeless Polesian atmosphere.

Нягледзячы на тое, што засуха на працягу 2014 года рэзка знізіла ўзровень вады прытокаў ракі Прыпяць, у тым ліку ракі Моўства, вёска Мачуль захоўвае сваю прывабнасьць.

Photos of the Day for December 16, 2014

Orthodox Christian graves with footstones, Babtsy cemetery 2014.  Праваслаўныя надмагільлі, якія нагадваюць мусульманскія магілы, Бабцы 2014 г.

It is unusual to find Christian graves with footstones and stone coverings above the coffin.  These graves have a form similar to traditional Muslim graves, but are Orthodox Christian.

Photos of the Day for December 15, 2014

Wooden grave enclosure, Babtsy cemetery 2014.  Драўлянае абгароджваньне, могілкі ў Бабцах (Докшыцкі р.) 2014 г.

Grave enclosures are a standard feature of Orthodox Christian cemeteries. However, it is now exceedingly rare to find wooden enclosures.  Note the craftsmanship in the details of this fence, which would have been locally-made.

Photos of the Day for December 14, 2014

Headstones, Babtsy Cemetery 2014.  Надмагільлі, могілках у Бабцах 2014 г.

Babtsy is an Orthodox Christian village whose cemetery, aside from the remarkable number of hewn-stone crosses, has an unusually broad variety of headstones.

Hewn-stone headstones from 1873 and 1933.  One does not often find hewn-stone (field-stone) Christian headstones from as late as the late-19th or the 20th centuries in Belarus.

It is an Orthodox Christian custom — pre-Christian in origin — to leave food on graves on certain dates in the liturgical cycle of the year.

This couple’s graves have no crosses.

The Babtsy cemetery contains many field-stone headstones with wrought-iron crosses.

Photos of the Day for December 13, 2014

Headstones, Babtsy Cemetery 2014.  Надмагільлі (надмагільныя валуны), могілках у Бабцах 2014 г.

Babtsy is an Orthodox Christian village whose cemetery, aside from the remarkable number of hewn-stone crosses, has an unusually broad variety of headstones.  Indeed, the shapes and placement of some headstones in older sections of the Babtsy cemetery remind one of Tatar (Muslim) or Jewish cemeteries.

Early-20th-century graves.

Mid-20th-century graves.

Photos of the Day for December 12, 2014

Wrought-iron crosses, Babtsy cemetery 2014.  Каваныя крыжы, могілкі ў в. Бабцы (Докшыцкі раён) 2014 г.

One is struck by the masterly simplicity and variety of wrought-iron crosses in the Babtsy cemetery.

Акрамя надзвычайнай колькасьці каменных крыжоў на могілках у Бабцах, іншыя асаблівасьці звяртаюць увагу наведвальніка.  Паміж імі – выразныя ў сваіх сьціпласьці й простым майстэрстве каваныя крыжы над помнікамі.