Menu

CROSS-CRAFTING AND ITS SYMBOLISM IN LITHUANIA

Inventory / Objects / Cross-crafting

CROSS-CRAFTING AND ITS SYMBOLISM IN LITHUANIA

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Cross-crafting is a Lithuanian folk art tradition that emerged in the 15th century. It is a synthesis of craftsmanship, artistry and faith; every step of the making and maintenance of crosses matters: establishing the purpose (in honour of the deceased, God or saints, search for mercy or protection, etc.), choosing the right craftsman, the creative process, erection, consecration, visitations to crosses, chanting and other related ceremonies, the burning of a collapsed monument, etc.

The ideas of Christianity and the archaic human relationship to nature intertwine in the tradition. The monuments are built not only in cemeteries but also in villages, towns, near water areas, wells and stones considered to be sacred, they are also hung on threes. There shapes of sculptures vary, for example, they can be crosses, pillars with roofs, ornaments and statuettes of saints as well as chapels with paintings and metal parts – it depends on a region.

Even though cross-crafting was forbidden during various periods of occupation, it did not stop people from resurrecting crosses. The best examples of cross-crafting vitality are the ensembles of crosses. The most famous is the Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai region.

Nowadays there are more than active 200 cross-craftsmen in Lithuania.

Share