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Centuries old handicrafts tradition alive & kicking in the Baltic

17
Dec '08
The Baltic States compromising of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and which split away from the erstwhile Soviet Union have a rich heritage of arts and crafts going back by many centuries. But it goes to the credit of the street vendors of these states who peddle their handicrafts to locals and tourist alike, in keeping the traditions humming and alive.

The products are still created in a way they were made a century ago. The main traditional handicraft markets are located in the old quarter towns of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania respectively. The markets have different products like pottery, amber jewellery, leather goods, mittens, socks and other fascinating items.

The most interesting part is the way amber jewellery and works of art is created. Amber stone pieces are collected from the surrounding areas. The amber stone bits are then struck on a painting to depict or highlight leaves on a tree or even sand on a beach. The rims of the painting are also sometimes pasted with amber to give it a colourful look.

The other handicraft items that are popular are pottery and products made from clay. One can see exotic looking cups, candle holders and clay devils. Another popular and important handicraft is those that are made from wool. These are available more so in the old quarters of Tallinn in Estonia. Woolen mittens, hats, scarves engraved with the local symbols are very popular.

Other products with varying degrees of popularity among locals and tourists are items made from linen like table cloths which are embroidered with flowers, animals and other motifs.

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