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Janine LaBounty, an active member of the Museum, presented her research on the Kaleva Koru and the
symbolism found in them. snake

Five thousand years ago, men were beginning to place metal bands on their
fingers, claiming it had hidden powers against evil spirits. By the 7th. century rings appeared that
were shaped like a snake with spiral cross-stitch ornamentation. Later, a design with a curled
snake symbolized eternal life. Rings with zig-zag patterns were similar to Egyptian patterns that
represented water as the creation of life. The Sami had long winters of cold harsh weather but
their designs often had tingling charms to celebrate betrothal promises.

During the Stone Age, maidens wore knots on their belts thinking that this would make them fertile.
The knot in jewelry was thought to be helpful in healing wounds. It was a symbol of union and of
everlasting love. A design that included a wave and ribbon was of a Russian influence as were the
Uskela ring and brooch.smotive

laituriThe eagle or Uhtua, like other birds, were thought to the messengers of the gods. The bird motif represented wealth, health and success. When the bird design included webbed feet, it was another plea for fertility. Birds were a welcome return each summer. They seemed to have awakened from
winter sleep, bringing their messages from the gods.

At left, FHM member Millie Laituri wears the Kaleva Koru that is modeled after the "poor boy alms sculptures" found in front of some Finnish Churches.

 

Kalevala Koru was started in Finland in 1937 by Elsa Heporauta and the Kalevala Women's Association to honor the strong women of the Kalevala, the Finnish National Epic. This wonderful association
continues today to promote Finnish culture and social activities.

 

PART TWO THE GEMSTONE: SPECTROLITE

MIKE

Mike Loovis, a former Fulbright Scholar, who has studied and lectured in Finland, presented the
second part of the jewelry program and discussed the discovery of Spectrolite in Finland.GEM 1

During the Continuation War against Russia, the Finns wanted to stop the invading Russian tanks
coming across the border in Ylmaa into Finland. (Called the Salpa Line Fortification) To do so,
they dug out huge boulders and placed them in the road to impede progress. These same boulders
contained Spectrolite. This was in 1940.

GEM2

Originally described by Finnish Geologist, Aarne Laitakari, the actual discovery of the rich deposit
in Ylmaa, was credited to Pekka Laitakari, his son.

GEM3

The stone has all the colors of the spectrum, reflecting the rich hues of Finnish scenery, all the
browns to the blues. It is regarded as the worlds most beautiful labradorite. The allure of the
Finnish variety is due to the basic black base color as compared to a transparent base of other
varieties. This iridescent quality is readily seen in the samples shown by Mr. Loovis.

Loovis has visited Ylmaa and has bought jewelry as well as cut and polished stones. The stones
have provided a basis for an industry which has grown in the area of Lappeenranta.

Mr.Loovis enjoyed his teaching time in Finland, and has adopted Finland as one of his most favorite
places and is a member of the museum.

The lunch tables were loaded with delicious salads and sandwiches served with cold lemonade and a
blueberry coffee cake to honor the 41st wedding of Linda and Heikki Penttila. Helen Hadden, Mary
Biller, Ailiin Andrews and Cathy Gillette provided the refreshemnents.

Text © FHM, pictures © Lasse O. Hiltunen

 

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