Kyjatice Toys

Kyjatice Toys

Libuša Jaďuďová

In Slovakia, the production of folk wooden toys was concentrated to three large centers, which gradually emerged at the turn of the 19th and 20th century in Stará Turá, Kunešov, and in Kyjatice. Over different time spans, numerous smaller shops originated in Slovakia however these did not acquire any significance or major roles in the toy industry.

Among the collections of the Museum of Folk Art Production is a set of wooden toys sourced from Kyjatice, distinguished by their originality and uniqueness above other traits. The production of these toys had branched from the local production of folk furniture such as “susek” (portable grain storage jars) and cabinets. The characteristic principles of technological production and decoration of this furniture is what found its way into the distinguished toys. The toys were produced exclusively from the finest beech wood and it was typical for them to be engraved with circular ornamentation. In the past, toys were stained with natural dyes of domestic origin; obtained by boiling blackthorn or wild plums. In more recent years however, the natural dyeing process has been replaced with chemical preparations. Horses on wheels or with carts, wheelbarrows, various animals on wheels, dolls, cradles, cribs, and miniature pots were all in produced in this way.

Manufacturing of toys in Kyjatice gradually began to diminish after World War II. Several producers however had maintained their business till the 70s of the 20th century. In later periods, in order to preserve and rebuild traditional production of Kyjatice toys, ÚĽUV began to work with several Slovak toy producers. Currently, ÚĽUV is in cooperation with four manufacturers who are dedicated to the producing of Kyjatice toys.