From the age of four or five, the children started making dolls. First dolls were made from two or three pieces of material without using scissors or a needle. The mother and any elder sister would help them at the beginning, before they had learnt to make their own. The children made them from anything they had to hand, during their games. The adults encouraged these games, as the child was learning to communicate, to be part of the household and was discovering the world around him.
Girls of 8 to 10 made dolls not only for themselves, but also for their younger sisters and brothers. By expertly making the doll, they demonstrated their readiness for an apprenticeship. The girls tried their best, as the older women in the family were examining the girl's handicraft, her doll and the doll's clothes, thus they judged the girl's readiness for real trade.The doll was dressed, but her face was not painted. According to folk belief, a doll without a face was considered without animation and thus inaccessible to evil spirits and angry powers. Made this way, it was harmless for the child. That is why a faceless doll was a toy and, at the same time, a talisman. The dolls had special meaning for adults. Even in the 20th century the doll kept its original looks and purpose: it assisted bountiful harvests, animal yield, lucky marriage and childbirth. The fact that children were making a lot of rag-dolls, predicted a new child for the family. However, if the dolls were treated carelessly, it forebode illness.
The doll was supposed to ensure that many children were born, so dolls were participants at the wedding ceremony. They were given to the bride to hold during the wedding feast and later given to the newly-wed as a present, as a wish for luck and lots of children. Even today we see wedding processions decorated with festive dolls, an echo of the ancient traditions associated to family longevity.