Baltimore Latvian Song Festival Featured Participant: Latvian Santas

Originally posted here on December 16, 2016.

 

LV version:

Ziemassvētku laiks ir jau klāt, un vislabākais veids, kā to svinēt, ir kopā ar burvīgu un tautisku “Baltic Santa” Ziemassvētku vecīša lelli.  Katra lelle ir unikāls mākslas darbs, ar detalizētām māla sejām, sašūtiem kažociņiem un adītām latviešu rakstu jostiņām. Var apbrīnot daudzās mazās lietiņas, kas atrodamas katras lelles rokās, piemēram, māla pīrādziņi, koka slēpes, kokles vai makšķeres. Lai kādas būtu Jūsu intereses, noteikti tām var atrast piemērotu vecīti.

Šīs brīnišķīgās lelles mīļi gatavo Milvoku latviete Maija Steingard (šad tad ar viņas vīra, namdara David, palīdzību).  Maija visu savu mūžu ir nodarbojusies ar rokdarbiem, īpaši ar kokapstrādes darbiem, bet pirms apmēram piecpadsmit gadiem iesāka taisīt latviešu Ziemassvētku vecīšus, kad kāda draudzene, zinot, ka Maijai patīk amerikāņu Ziemassvētku vecīši, to ieteica. Kad Maija Indianapolē pirmo reizi veda savus vecīšus uz dziesmu svētkiem, viņa ātri izpārdeva pilnu automašīnas kravu (nenopirkts palika tikai viens vientuļš vecītis). Vecīšus viņa arī pārdeva nākamajos vispārējos svētkos savā dzīvesvietā Milvokos, un, protams, viņa tos, kā arī citus skaistus rokdarbus, vedīs līdzi nākošajā vasarā uz Baltimoru.  Varēsit tur tirdziņā piestāt un satikt gan Maiju, gan visus viņas vecīšus, bet jau tagad, Ziemassvētku laikā, varat iegādāties paši savu Baltic Santa Maijas mājaslapā (www.balticsantas.com).

 

EN version:

It’s the holiday season, and what better way to celebrate than with a beautiful Baltic Santa? Each Baltic Santa doll is a truly unique work of art, from the clay faces, to the hand-sown jackets, to the Latvian belts.  Particularly charming are the tiny accessories held by each Santa, from Latvian classics such as baskets of piragi, to winter staples such as wooden skis, to occasional specialty items such as toolboxes and fishing poles.  No matter your interests, there is a perfect Baltic Santa out there for you!

These adorable hand-crafted dolls are the handiwork of Milwaukee Latvian Maija Steingard (with occasional assistance from her woodworking husband, David).  Maija has worked with wood burning and other crafts for most of her life, but turned to her Baltic Santas roughly fifteen years ago when a friend suggested that she apply her talents to create her own Latvian version of the American Santa figurines she enjoyed collecting.  They were an instant hit; her first time bringing them to a song festival was in Indianapolis, when she packed the car completely full of Santas and then proceeded to sell all but one. She returned to the next festival in Milwaukee, and will of course be bringing them to Baltimore this summer to sell alongside her other assorted crafts.  You can stop by the market in Baltimore to meet Maija and her Santas, and in the meantime grab a Baltic Santa of you own from her website (www.balticsantas.com) before the holidays pass you by!

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