old Finnish jewelry


Somewhat related to my ‘textures of home’ series, but much more personal, featured here are some very old Finnish pendants and a brooch that have been passed on to me. These styles were and still are commonly worn with the Finnish national costumes.

I don’t know if these were made by Kalevala Koru but I rather think so for the company’s designs are based on replicas of ancient Iron Age jewelry discovered in Finland and Scandinavia by archaeologists. I’ve just learned a bit more about the company’s fascinating history and that it’s fully owned by women in Finland. Some of you may know the name Kalevala comes from the Finnish national epic poem.

These may not be priceless precious jewels but I love that these pieces are made of local heavy brass or bronze and are not shiny and new looking like some of my newer Kalevala Koru pieces (though I love those too). To me they feel full of history and ancient culture as well as being family heirlooms. I do wear these often particularly the dark pendant which is my favourite.

Added January 25th, 2012: Thanks to a nice surprise — an article about a 1941 Kalevala Koru catalogue at the Finnish Kansanperinne-blogi (ancient traditions blog), I’m now able to identify two of the pendants, second from the left and the far right one, as being Kalevala Koru creations, and the date! I’m so very pleased to know this.

Added December 30th, 2012: While looking for something else on my blog, I came across this photo of my mother, wearing the pendant on the right. Read the story behind it in the comments.

November 10, 2010 in Being an Artist, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Folk Legends & Myths, Photoworks, Textures by Marja-Leena