The Village of Hutava
I grew up hearing relatives speak of an exotic Russian village called Hutava located in Western Tarist Russia (Now Belarus) near the city of Drognichin. Although I never visited the place, it was as real to me as New York City or Chicago. While researching my story I came across a series of color photos from Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky, the photographer for the Tsar. Prokudin-Gorskii as tasked to make color images of the Tsar's vast empire. Many of his photos, now residing in the United States National Archives, had been digitized and made available on line. From them I constructed an imaginary village consisting of a church, an inn, and several dozen izbah, Russian peasant homes.
|A color picture of a Russian village circa 1904|
|Present day church in Hutava|
I made my village exotic enough to pique the readers interest in a distant land, but familiar enough to engage memories of their home life. Who does not recall aromas of food, the smell of fresh cut grass or hay, cold rain, and warm sun?
|Tourists in exotic Hutava|
Photo by Morton Steinberg
Copyright © 2010 Debbie Kroopkin