Krikstas. Photo from the archive of the Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board
Krikstas. Photo from the archive of Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board
Krikstai. Photo from the archive of the Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board

 

EXHIBITION "CHRISTIANITY IN LITHUANIAN ART"
(28 December, 1999 - 31 December, 2003)

KRIKSTAI OF LITHUANIA MINOR 
Lithuania Minor History Museum 

Krikstai are wooden burial markers typical for Lithuania Minor. Most of them have survived on Curonian spit and in the fishermen’s cemeteries of the Nemunas estuary area. The Lithuanian Protestant believers put such markers on the graves for their dead ones. It is very probable, that Lithuania Minor inherited this tradition from Eastern Prussia. Similar to krikstai grave markers were put in Latvia, Germany and Switzerland. The earliest data on krikstai is from 16C. Krikstai in different shapes were put at the foot of the grave. They were made of groove-and-tongue boards and decorated by hollow patterns. Most often they were painted in one color, like blue, yellow, red or green. The ones made of birch, maple, ash and oak were put on the graves of men, those made of aspen, fir-tree or pine tree, marked female graves. Often, a Latin or a Greek cross was a part of a decorative pattern of these burial markers. Otherwise, ornamentation of krikstai was dominated by floral motifs. Birds, most often, a coo-coo, also a shape of the heart frequently adorned these memorial markers.

Krikstai. Photo brom the archve of Samogitian Cultuaral Association Editorial Board Krikstai. Photo by D. Mukiene

 

  Lithuanian Art Museum, Fund of Samogitian Culture, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics 
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     Page updated 2011.08.12