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From rituals to art

Diana Némethová

From rituals to artTraditional culture preserves a number of ancient customs related to using eggs as cult or magic objects. These customs might have taken the form of ceremonies, others were expressed within cults or rituals, following a specific aim of achieving some or other gain. For this reason, the folks used to engage in various amplifying practices: immersing eggs in beeswax, colouring them, inscribing them with signs, rolling them in ash, boiling them in water (the resources being rivers or springs), boiling them in infusions of herbs and so on. An important intensifying role constituted so called znakovanie, i.e. inscribing eggs with gain-bringing or protective signs or symbols, depicting protective objects or at least their parts. Znakovanie followed a particular aim and the Easter egg in question inscribed in this way was used for that particular purpose, being: buried in a field, placed in the attic or under the threshold of a household, in stables, in shepherd’s chalets and so on. Egg decoration per se became important when its original ritual function as a means of protection (against evil or demons) was, gradually, abandoned.


Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2017:


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