Exhibit Of The Month 11

Martenitsas

It's getting near that time of year again when we're frantically scanning our horizons for some sign of spring.

Here's an interesting tradition from Bulgaria that's been in existance for more than one thousand three hundred years, Martenitsas. People hang them in trees on the first of March and they are left at the mercy of snow, wind and rain until the first sign of Spring is seen, traditionally a stork returning from its winter feeding ground.

These beautiful red and white tassels have a heroic story behind them too which chronicles the foundation of the first Bulgarian Kingdom in the Balkans.

The Martenitsas in the photograph were made for us by the Bulgarian myth and folklore performing arts company, "A Spell In Time" when they visited the museum in 2005. Mythstories brought the group for a short tour of Shropshire which included a Martenitsa making workshop in Clive Primary School.

Luckily apart from leaving us with the Martenitsas, storyteller, Moni Sheehan, also left us with the story. If you'd like to hear it just ask next time you visit the museum.

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