lithaz.org: home & art/culture events organizations publications
4/8/2012
Lithuanian folk art:
Straw Ornaments

Origin of Christmas-Tree Straw Ornament Tradition

The unique straw ornaments, so typical of Lithuanian Christmas trees today, have an interesting origin. Josephine Daužvardis, the wife of Petras Daužvardis, former Consul of Lithuania in Chicago (1937-1961) and Consul General of Lithuania (1961-1971), was asked to decorate a Christmas tree with Lithuanian ornaments as part of an international Christmas tree exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Wanting to distinguish the Lithuanian tree from all others, she, with the help of Sisters of St. Casimir, came up with the idea to use ornaments made of straw. Ornaments made of wheat or rye straw were used as house decorations by Lithuanian farmers during weddings and other festive occasions. Mrs. Daužvardis decided to make her Christmas tree ornaments from white paper drinking straws and with the Sisters came up with a variety of designs: stars, snowflakes, chains, cages, and other geometric patterns. The Lithuanian Christmas tree with its distinctive white ornaments became a great hit at the exhibition and straw Christmas tree ornaments became a Lithuanian tradition.

Natural Straw Ornaments


Norvilas

Drinking Straw Ornaments


cage flake
star novel
Palionis

Paper Straws

Paper drinking straws, so useful for making Christmas tree ornaments and so common in all stores a few years back, are becoming hard to find. For suppliers of paper straws search the internet for "art straws".