The “Ancient Rus” programme will introduce the guests to original Russian traditions. During the programme the participants will have a chance to take part in handicraft workshops, games and entertainment. Our guests will learn how their ancestors used to live in the period of Ancient Rus State establishment in X-XI centuries. Any visitor can see with his or her own eyes how the ancient magic was cast, because nothing can be more fascinating than our ancestors’ handicraft which let them make unbelievably beautiful things from what the nature had given them (iron, glass, bones and clay).
1. Theoretical part (guests take part) “Prince’s judgement”. A general acquaintance with the museum in the “Ancient Rus” room. A prince or a man-at-arms meets the guests and tells them about the “Viking Epoch”. This part also includes the games “Get the item right” and “Dress the knight”. The short story is based on the example of an archaeological expedition. Duration 15 minutes.
2. Photos with museum showpieces and art objects. Tour over the exposition. Guests have 15 minutes to take photos in costumes, armor, and interior.
3. Theoretical part — duration 30 minutes.
4. Active part — duration 30 minutes.
Tour price is 16 000 roubles. The maximum group size is 25 people. Programme duration is 1 hour 20 minutes (it is possible to increase the programme duration by virtue of an additional part)
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Workshop “Making a toy of straw/cloth”
The Russian peasant toy researcher N. Tsereteli noticed that straw dolls were made everywhere bread was grown in Russia of the end of XIX – beginning of XX centuries. Adults used to make such dolls as averters for their children. These dolls didn’t have faces so they were considered a soulless object that could not do any harm for a child as it was impossible for evil to inhabit such dolls. Besides, straw doll was made for fun and entertainment not only for children but also adults. Straw dolls are called “strigushki” (means “an item you have to cut”) because the straw they are made of have to be cut straight from below.
Workshop “Writing on birch bark”
In ancient times birch bark was used for writing letters, it substituted paper; besides, birch bark could perfectly preserve the texts as water can’t damage it. When writing on birch bark people used a stylus (not ink) to scratch the letters deep into birch bark. During the workshop you’ll have a chance to learn to write on birch bark with the help of stylus as ancient Novgorodians did.
Ancient Rus board games. Interactive part
This entertainment part has been created for the guests to get acquainted with different kinds of board games which are known for many years and learn their history and how to play them. We have various kinds of dices, tavlei (kind of old Russian chess), mill game, chess, kubb (Swedish traditional game) and many others. We own some easy games that will be interesting for children and also some very difficult ones that will make adults rack their brains. With the guidance of an experienced gamer you’ll easily master skills needed for games and you’ll be able to take on our game master of other guests.
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Carrying a fortress. Fight with chambaras (sparring swords)
Chambaras are soft and safe sword moulds. Each participant of the fight is given such a sword, group is divided into defenders and assaulters. The fortress is built of hay bunches. A small tournament is held as a part of the battle.
Interactive part: ethnographic games (optimized)
We will not understand folk games of the end of XIX century nowadays; moreover, we’ll consider them cruel. Taking the modern perception into account, we have transformed some of the games, but some have stayed the same as 200 years ago.
Medieval shooting range (bow, cross bow, sulitsa)
Here you can shoot an arrow from a bow or cross bow; you can also hurl a javelin (sulitsa, traditional Russian javelin). It is also possible to held a contest in a game form.
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Women handicraft in Ancient Rus (workshop “Weaving with a reed, knitting with a needle”)
Our guests will master skills of knitting with a wooden needle, weaving on a high loom and with a reed or small boards like ancient goddesses of fate.
“Music of Ancient Rus (gusli, zhaleyka, Scandinavian lyre, etc) – making and playing”
Our guests will get acquainted with the world of ancient music. They’ll learn about musical instruments’ origins and ways of playing them. Then they’ll have a chance to try playing musical instruments themselves.
Armor maker‘s workshop
During the workshop guests will get acquainted with the process of making a medieval armor such as chain armour or lamellar armour. Museum visitors will be able to weave a part of chain armour themselves.
During the workshop guests will sew a small leather purse and then take it home as a small souvenir. Museum visitors will get acquainted with the process of skinner’s work in the Middle Ages.
Workshop “Drill training”. Different kinds of battle order, interaction and dismounted battle
Guests of the museum will take part in a drill training of Ancient Rus warriors. They’ll learn the origin of a Russian idiom “the feeling of elbow; also they will master skills of covering with the shield. In the end of the workshop there will be a comrade battle.
Workshop “Printing textiles”
A thousand years ago colored cloth was made with the help of colors and stamps. Museum visitors will be able to create their own pattern based on Ancient Rus motives.
Workshop “Painting a dish or a toy made of wood/clay”
This workshop is suitable for any age group. Guests of the museum will be able to paint wooden or clay toys or dishes.
Workshop “Making a toy/a dish from wood or clay”
Our pottery reconstructs the process of pottery crafting as it used to be in the IX century. Anyone who has a wish can learn the secrets of making medieval pottery under the guidance of our master. Children can try making a clay toy.
You’ll be fascinated with realistic and dynamic battles, their beauty and fury, ringing of swords, shining of armor and battle-cries. Eight Ancient Rus warriors will show their skill: Vikings’ trial by battle, order against order, sword juggling, etc.
You’ll enjoy a performance of a folk music band (zhaleyka, flutes, bouzouki, balalaika).
Workshop “Folk dances”
Workshop on ethnographic folk dances of XIX century is held accompanied by a phonogram.
Field camp of Ancient Rus warriors/Vikings
Guests of the museum will see a prince’s pavilion and simple warriors’ tents, voivode (war boss) outfit and weapon rack. They’ll also have a chance to settle at the camp territory in the men-at-arms pavilion. Costume rent and meal service can also be organized.
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