Russian Folk Arts and Crafts, embodying original artistic traditions of multi-national Russia and centuries-long experience of aesthetic perception, undoubtedly make an integral part of world culture. Today there is a growing interest in revived craftsmanship traditions both in Russia and abroad.
What can make a better gift or souvenir from Russia and convey this country’s true spirit better, than an authentic work of folk Russian applied art?
The point is it should be authentic craftwork, and not some pseudo-Russian kitsch, which is abundant in various touristy places. It is not a secret either, that in popular areas, such as airports and central streets (the Arbat Street, for instance) there is extreme overpricing for souvenirs, with the markup often higher than 100 percent and up to 400- 500 percent even, which is mainly due to high rents.
At the same time, cheaper articles might turn to be imitations that are made without observations of unique technologies. As a result of buying such a fake that might loose its qualities and colors in a very short time span, one might get a wrongfully negative notion of Russian arts and crafts, although true pieces of folk art prove to stand the test of time and preserve their shine and glamour for many years. Governmental policy in controlling the market of souvenirs and protecting interests of genuine craftsmen seems controversial, since it has not given quite tangible results so far. So, what to do?
The non-commercial and non-governmental association “Folk Arts and Crafts of Russia” was founded in 1990 to preserve and protect original craftworks in this country. It unites about 250 craftwork organizations located in 64 regions of RF. It means actually, that there are authentic works available, and original crafts are still alive!
To recognize them, you just need to look at them attentively and with a little more awareness (after reading our detailed articles on various Russian Folk Arts and Crafts you will surely get it!) Moreover, you have a bigger choice with on-line souvenir shops , which do not charge extra prices, cooperate with real masters and present a wide range of quality goods. You can select a stunning memorable gift from collections of Matryoshkas (nested dolls) , samovars , hand-painted trays and jewel cases, decorative dishware, birch-bark sets, Russian dolls, etc. We wish you have a great time during your visit to Russia and bring back beautiful memories of this trip along with really unique and original Russian souvenirs!