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Oh, Goat! You are on the pedestal!
The event happened at Uryupinsk on September 16 must have happened many-many years ago.

It is small wonder that a statue of the Khopyor down goat was erected on one of the central streets just on the Town Day. There is a statue of dog at Koltushy, near Saint-Petersburg, where the great Ivan Pavlov was working. There are statues of camel, donkey in many towns. Do you remember the Russian folk song "Chizhik-pyzhik, where was you? On the Fontanka I was drinking vodka". In Saint-Petersburg, on the Fontanka river, a small statue of this siskin hangs. Many cities around the world are beautified with statues of those animals who have played a historical role somewhen. Horses, cats, wise serpentines...

So much the more it applies to the famous down goat who has played a great role in the history of the Khopyor country: shawls, three-cornered scarfs, socks, pullovers have been knitted and crocheted from goat down there for many centuries. As far back as before the Kulikova battle (1380), horsemen were galloping on the Wild Field. Frost and supercold steppe wind meant nothing for them: a knitted shirt made of goat down was put on under the hauberk. Knitting down things became a traditional craft for the Khopyor cossack-women long ago. Moreover, this craft has helped the Khopyor inhabitants to survive during hard times which the Russian history is full of.

A lucky combination of climate, vegetation, goat race, and cossack-women's assiduity has made the Khopyor country a center of goat-breeding in Russia. As the statistics says, about 40,000 people inhabit the Uryupinsk region while the goat flock counts as much as 120,000 - three goats per every Khopyorian. The down market at Uryupinsk (the biggest one in Russia) is visited by customers and even second-hand dealers from the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan, the on-Volga Republics, Kamchatka and Murmansk, Byelorussia and Altay. In the past a lot of customers came from Chechnya and, in general, the Northern Caucasus. However, nowadays it promises less profit for them... Such great attention is caused by the down of the Khopyor goat being unique: down fibers may reach ten centimeters long, the awn being a half shorter.

Monument to the Khopyorian Goat at Uryupinsk

No other breed of goats can compete with the Khopyor one: 600--700 grams of down may be scratched off from one goat, some individuals give up to 2 kilograms. Only the Orenburg goats dare to compete in the fineness of down.

Somewhen the biologists decided to interbreed these two goat races to obtain better down. Before the War about 700 animals were sent to the Orenburg steppes, but the genes of the host breed have gotten those of the guest one under. The experiment has produced nothing: nature stands on guard of its treasures.

At the beginning of the XIX century the French businessman Jouber sent a thousand and a half goats to Marseilles. Only 400 of them sailed there in safety. Despite a good care of them, soon they turned into common coarse goats. England and Latin America, the distant Australia have tried to host our goats - the latters persist in their acclimatization in unusual climates. So, the goat for the Khopyor region is a true gold-mine. They are valued not only due to their down. Goat meat and milk are valuable food products. For example, goat milk treats cholecystitis and even ulcerous disease, creatures from goat leather are sound.

However, shawls are of primary interest. Especially those dove-colored (warm grey) and bluish with long down which curls in rings. A true beauty!

But knitting shawls is hard labor, rather monotonous. Arm rheumatism is a professional illness of knitters - an average cossack-woman knits up to forty shawls per year, or about a hundred with the aid of a knitting-machine. To ennoble a shawl, knitting cossack-women degrease it in a dry-cleaner's, fluff it up on a special device - a work of art appears...

Foreigners value these shawls. Somewhen a delegation of the Khopyor cossacks and cossack-women brought down shawls to an exhibition at the French Embassy in Moscow. One should see it himself how the eyes of the diplomats' wives lit up. They slipped the downy virtues just on their evening dresses and showed a burning desire to buy these Khopyor unique things.

And it is no mere chance that the famous Russian couturier Slava Zaytsev has acquired a serious interest to the Khopyor shawls as well as the down. He has ordered a lot of mantelets and some woman's trouser-suits, having sent patterns for them. A firm "Uzory"" ("Traceries") has been established to produce such suits.

I have happened to see these "peerless works of modelling art" as some people call them while others turn them down. It is really unusually. On the Town Day on the central square were demonstrated creatures of the down of the goat whose statue had raised to a pedestal.
Now you can order exclusive manual-work products from curative down of Khopyorian goats! МThe craftswomen from the Mikhaylovskaya stanitsa will knit shawls, tippets, semishawls, 3-cornered scarfs, scarfs, Russian mittens, plaids and much more exclusively for you!
Select and order any product ! The prices are quite good for everyone!

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