Sodai. Lithuanian Straw Gardens
Traditional Lithuanian straw gardens (sodai, sing. sodas) are not only a phenomenon of Lithuanian folk art that is alive in the present, but also a meaningful Baltic cultural heritage, whose geometric structure and symbolism attest to the tradition of an archaic worldview. The sodas occupied a very important and revered place in Baltic customs. It was imbued with a sacred and apotropaic significance, and provided divine protection. The multifaceted form and symbolism of sodai contain many meanings, one of which is the image of the ideal Garden of Heaven.
The articles in this book highlight and reveal the special character of this phenomenon of visual culture. They analyse the symbolism and ornamental form of straw gardens in local and cross-cultural contexts and examine the genesis, development, and circumstances of their creation. The authors take different points of view and interpret the history and symbolism of sodai in various ways. The material published in this volume opens new avenues for a better and deeper knowledge of sodai, encouraging international attention and further research. This book is richly illustrated with examples of sodai and includes an instructive diagram of how to make a straw garden.