Hand carved wooden figure of a mother and child. The sculpture is hand painted in basic colors of red, green and yellow. The woman is wearing a green dress with a very long red veil. The child is dressed in yellow. The doll was purchased in Poland. Tag: “Hand Made Jerzy Chodorowski.” To learn more about the culture of Poland, read the story.
Location: Eastern Europe
Main language: Polish
Construction: carved wood
Height in Centimeters: 13
Height in Inches: 5
Reading Level: 5.60
My name is Jerzy, and I live high in the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland. We live in an area called the Podhale, but it is often referred to as the “Polish highlands.” The people of Podhale are hard-working folk, called highlanders.
Every morning I get up early to help my dad on the farm. We raise lots of sheep and goats. During the summer, we milk the sheep 3 times a day! It’s hard work, but I like being outside. The milk is then used to make cheese, and it’s delicious.
On Sunday, we go to Ludźmierz, which is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Podhale. There is a shine there (called Our Lady of Ludźmierz) that is very famous and very old. Even the Pope has visited it.
After church we visit with friends and family. My grandfather loves to tell stories about the area. My favorite story is a legend about how the mountains and people around Podhale were formed. The story goes like this:
When God created the world in seven days, it required a lot of careful planning. To help out, one of his angels offered to design the Podhale region. God was thankful for the offer, and went off to create another region of the world.
“Ah” the angel thought, “In Podhale, I will make mountains that reach to the heavens. That way everyone will be close to Heaven.”
So he created very high mountains with many ridges. “Oh no,” he thought, “The rocks are quite sharp. I will cover then with a thin layer of very fertile dirt.” When he was finished, everything looked fantastic.
He couldn’t wait to show the Lord, and quickly went to find Him. Proud of his work, the angel said “Lord, wait until you see the Podhale region – I’m sure you will be pleased.”
Unfortunately, while the angel was away, a big rain storm washed away most of the good, black dirt in Podhale. The area was now bare cliffs and craggy mountains.
Thinking quickly, the angel said “I have a solution. I will create tough, hard-working people who can thrive in this environment. I will give them strong legs, sharp eyes, gentle spirits, and lots of energy. We can call them highlanders. They can tend their flocks of goats and sheep on these rocky mountains.