Art Piece

We have chosen a sandal as a souvenir because in Greek mythology they represent a symbol of adventure and victory since Theseus who was the son of the king of Athens, was wearing a pair of such sandals in a series of adventures, all of which were victorious, e.g. the killing of the minotaur. 

SHEPHERD’S AXE

It is a long thin light axe used in past centuries by shepherds. In the Slovak culture, the shepherd’s axe was popularized by local historical legend Juraj Jánošík. A small metal head-piece is sharp on one side while the other side is flat and can be used as hammer

LAZARUVANE
Lazaruvane is an ancient ritual for fertility. It began with the legend about a girl who was going to a fair in the nearby village with her parents. She was thirsty and stopped to drink water from a well by the road. Then a dragon appeared and promised her incredible riches. She was tempted and married the dragon. After a while the girl felt sad and wanted to see her family and friends. The dragon let her go to visit them. But while she was living with him she had grown a tail. She tried to get rid of it but in vain. She was so horrified that her friends will see her with the tail that her heart burst and she died. She was buried near a well and in her memory every year the beautifully dressed young girls perform a horo dance near the well. According to the belief a girl who has danced it can’t be kidnapped by a dragon. The pictures in the exhibition present beautiful LAZARKI girls.

This piece is one of the traditional black pottery centennial art, created in Bisalhães, a small village near Vila Real. The way the artists still make this handicraft pieces is ancient and unique so it was classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage, by UNESCO, in 2017, in need to be protected as it is, in its complete pure form. We choose this piece as a symbol of our project as it represents our oldest local traditions, our cultural identity, that gain some extra value when UNESCO named it as Cultural Heritage. It is also a symbol of the
value of diversity, as its peculiarity is a contribution to de cultural diversity of our country and of all Europe.

Students in Lithuania have decided to use wool to prepare some art works as it has been widely using in Lithunia

Wool and linen were the most important fibers for clothing and household textiles. Linen, because it is so difficult to process and took up so much of women’s time, became a central part of Lithuanian culture, rural society, and mythology. The “suffering of the flax” is a common theme in folktales and songs, and rituals surrounding the cultivation and harvesting of flax and the production of linen were built into the annual cycle of life. Even laumes, mythological fairy-witches of the Lithuanian countryside, were said to spin and weave with linen, and they took special interest in this area of women’s work in the community. If a woman who is spinning calls the laumes, they may come to help her, but they may end up spinning her guts and veins, in addition to flax. There are rarely happy endings in these  mythological encounters. The realm of laumes is dangerous, just like Faerie, in Ireland.

Wool was used in Lithuania when sheep breeds were still primitive and fiber was plucked or combed from molting sheep and wool was spun in a worsted style, which created strong, if not especially soft, yarns. It was only later that domestic sheep stopped shedding their wool in springtime and shearing became a necessary part of shepherding and carding–which causes the wool fibers to be arranged in a more fluffy orientation, and creates a softer, but weaker, yarn–came into use. In fact, the wool from Lithuanian sheep breeds is quite coarse, and worsted yarn was spun to knit and weave sturdy, if not cuddly, accessories. In many cases, knitted and woven wool items were also fulled (or felted) for extra warmth and endurance. In times of poverty and when everything is made by hand, longevity is often a more important consideration than comfort.

Polish students chose the drawing of the dragon. The dragon as the strong and brutal ancient animal represents the trouble which we can face everyday in our lives. The dragon was killed by the small but clever shoemaker. That means that cleverness is much better than the physical strength and in order to achieve success we need our intelect.

The message which comes from the legend is also  that the most boastful person is not always the bravest one.