House of Crafts
Crafts Workshops
Pomor Kozuli Studio
Rye Dough Animals
       The leader of Studio - Anna Krukova

        Pomor Kozuli are animal figurines, made from rye dough and then baked. They can be dated as far back as the 12th century where annals detail the baking and consumption of ox and cow dough figures. Originating in Pomorje, on the southern part of the Kola peninsula on the White Sea, Kozuli remain famous, and the tradition of baking these bread toys continues to this day in the villages of Chapoma, Pyalitsa, Chavanga, Teterino, Strelna and Varzuga.
          The word Kozuli probably originates from  koza, which in Russian means 'a goat', or, probably,  'any horned animal'. Traditional forms include small deers, rams, oxen, cows, seals and grey-hens with chicks on the back. 
        In ancient times Kozuli had a magical and ritual meaning for the Pomors' (inhabitants of Pomorje), however, nowadays it is a folk toy closely connected with children's everyday life. Children were given Kozuli as toys, which they then enjoyed playing with, nibbling on, and eventually consuming altogether. 
        The word Kozuli probably originates from  koza, which in Russian means 'a goat', or, probably,  'any horned animal'. Traditional forms include small deers, rams, oxen, cows, seals and grey-hens with chicks on the back. 
        In ancient times Kozuli had a magical and ritual meaning for the Pomors' (inhabitants of Pomorje), however, nowadays it is a folk toy closely connected with children's everyday life. Children were given Kozuli as toys, which they then enjoyed playing with, nibbling on, and eventually consuming altogether. 

        The dough was made of rye flour, salt and water and was hard enough to ensure that the shape remained and the animals could be sculptured by rolling the dough in the hands. Normally, men were involved in the arduous mixing process. They worked hard, often until their shirts were soaked through.
        Traditionally, Kozuli's preparation takes place in the winter, especially on Christmas night, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and the festival of Kolyada. A family made Kozuli together, with each member making their animal of choice.

Просмотреть увеличенную карту
Varzuga is on the map
        Traditionally, Kozuli's preparation takes place in the winter, especially on Christmas night, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and the festival of Kolyada. A family made Kozuli together, with each member making their animal of choice.
        The ready-shaped Kozuli were put out overnight in the frost. Only the unbroken figurines that survived the frost and retained their form, were then baked. The baking was done in a very hot stove. A brief immersion into sweet, hot water gave a glossy and shiny finish. The Kozuli were kept with great care all year round until the next Christmas when fresh ones were baked. The old Kozuli were made soft in water and then fed to house animals and poultry.
        Every type of Kozuli has its own name. The small deer with branched horns is a Spring Deer. The horned deer with a sun-like form around his head is the Sun-Horned Deer-Warrior. The deer with a pair of joint horns is the Wedding Deer. There were also Grey-Huns with chicks on their back, Horses with Riders, Turs, Steals and Phocas. 
Decoction.
Photos by
Frozen.
Photos by
In an oven.
Photos by
© Zapovednik of folk life (Russia)