A kitchen witch, sometimes called a cottage witch or a "Scandinavian" kitchen witch doll, is a poppet or homemade doll resembling a stereotypical witch or crone displayed in residential kitchens as a means to provide good luck and ward off bad spirits.
The poppet is supposed to depict a "good" witch who inspires productivity and safety in a kitchen, but also counteracts any ill-will directed to the home. It is considered good luck to give a kitchen witch to a friend or family member. So that those unfamiliar with the kitchen witch can understand its meaning, sometimes a note will be hung around the witch's neck stating something similar to:
"The Legendary Secret of Goof-Proof Cooking: The Famous Kitchen Witch
For centuries, Norwegians have hung this good witch in their kitchen. They believe she has the power to keep roasts from burning, pots from boiling over, and sauces from spilling."
Although largely unknown in modern England, the Kitchen Witch was known in England in Tudor times. The will of one John Crudgington, of Newton, Worfield, Shropshire, dated 1599, divides...his belongings amongst his wife and three children, "except the cubbard in the halle the witche in the kytchyn which I gyve and bequeathe to Roger my sonne."
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