Latvian Jewelry: Maras Cross or Cross of Crosses
This time I would like you tell about my country. I am from Latvia, a small country located in the North East of Europe with tragic history, but rich with traditions and love for crafts. Designs of our traditional craftsmen are adorned with symbolic ornaments. In many cases, the exact meaning of those seems to have slipped our minds yet we still have a hunch what it’s all about. Many signs had particular significance in a more ancient era, and some symbols even had magical power. Signs were also used to protect homes and living beings from witches, evil, fire, and thunder.
Ancient Latvians come to believe that Mara rules material world, including bread, fire and its process of keeping. For this reason, the cross of crosses was drawn on the top of fresh baked bread and in the evenings also into the ashes of fireplace, and this cross was named Cross of Mara. If crossing the ends of cross lines, we obtain sign that points closeness, completeness and also death. Sign is close related to fire, house and productivity (fertility).This cross is also widely used in women’s clothes and jewelry.
This bracelets is made from the seed beads in the colors of the Latvian flag by using peyote stitch technique.