Birds of Paradise

Long ago, in the Finnish province now known as Häme, a powerful woman wore multi-strand bronze chains. The chains linked two plates, shaped like church vaults, on which two peacocks guarded the basin of the elixir of life. We do not know what the symbol of paradise in early Christian art, immortalised in the piece of jewelry, signified for the wearer. Maybe the long-necked birds brought her luck. Maybe they were messengers between people and gods. Maybe something else known to her only. One thing is certain, she believed that the jewelry had hidden power. That power is still there. Paradise jewelry is modelled on an ancient piece – the “Häme festive necklace” – dating back to around 800 AD and found in Kernaala, Janakkala.

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