Ethnographic Cemetery And Christenings (Nida)

Nida, Neringa municipality, Lithuania

Ethnographic Cemetery And Christenings (Nida)

Close to Nida Evangelic Lutheran Church there is Nida ethnographic cemetery of XIX – XX c. The wooden tomb monuments of unique shape, typical for the Curonian Spit, called christenings (“krikštai”) have remained at the ethnographic cemetery nowadays. Christenings – the oldest forms of the tombstones in Lithuania were made of thick and trimmed boards. Its silhouette reminds of a tree which sides were carved with birdies. The functions of christening is significantly extensive than a sign to identify the decedent. It is supposed that christening is an image of mythological world tree, connecting all parts of the Universe. Spiritually, these are the manes or the way of prayer to heaven, heavenly realms. Making a christening for men there was used a tree of a male gender – oak, birch, ash, and for females – fir, aspen or lime. For male christening, horse heads, drawings of plants and birds used to be carved while at the female tombs monuments besides the birds there were the motives of plants and hearts. People from the Minor Lithuania always put the christening at the foot of the dead that “during the great account one could help him to get up”. The author of christenings restoration project is Eduardas Jonušas. The restored christenings are positioned in the farthest corner of the cemetery.
The cemetery is available for attendance. Honorable town residents– the architect Algimantas Zaviša and mayor Stasys Mikelis are buried there.

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