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Elena Beňušová: Infused Folk Jewellery in Orava

Leather bracelet with infused bucklesOne of the widely used techniques for jewel production in Orava and northern Slovakia was metal inlay. This technique was preserved in Orava up to the 20th Century. Brass was most commonly used for inlay, and old damaged buckles, decorations and metal waste were infused. The infused product was decorated with favourite and traditional techniques – by carving and minting. For a long time, the producers preserved old shapes, which were often also applied to new types of decorations. The craft production of folk jewellery in Orava ceased to exist after WWII when private trade was ceased. The ring, as personal jewellery of a symbolic character, was very popular in Orava. It mainly consisted of a thick band at the top, significantly wider, and with a risen circular section. Bracelets have never been widely spread or popular jewellery in the folk environment. It is therefore very interesting that they became a regular and typical part of decoration for young people in southern Orava. The happened for practical reasons. Young people made excuses for their vanity by saying that by tying up their wrists, the little belt makes hard work easier. This practical element was over time developed into decoration. Buckles are jewellery connected with the development of clothing. Male folk clothing required many of them, mainly on belts, bags, trousers, shirts and jackets. The oldest universal buckles are inlayed brass ones, massive and very strong. In Orava folk clothing two-part infused buckles similar to filigree were used, but these were not domestically produced.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2004:


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