Poppy seed (mak) is one of the main ingredients for kutia, the quintessential Ukrainian Christmas Eve dish that is usually served at the beginning of a meal of 12 meatless dishes. Preparing the mak is a labour intensive process, traditionally requiring the use of a makitra and a makohin.

Makitra And Makohon
Early 20th century, Oseredok’s permanent collection

A makitra is a large earthenware mixing bowl used for grinding poppy and other seed, mixing dough and sometimes for storing flour, even warming up milk for making cheese. Makohin is the wooden club-shaped utensil used in a makitra to grind or pound poppy, millet, salt etc. The root for both words is mak – the Ukrainian word for poppy.

This particular makitra was brought from Ukraine by Sophia and Ignatius Dankiewicz in 1903 from the village of Pomirtsi in the Buchach district of the Ternopil Region. The makohin was probably made in Canada some time later. It was donated to Oseredok by the daughter of Sophia and Ignatius, Katherine Dankiewicz, Sr., who was 91 years old at the time of the donation.

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