Pajaki from Poland

Pajaki are traditional paper and straw chandelier-like decorations from Poland, and with my himmeli obsession, it was probably only a matter of time, before I stumbled upon these. I have noticed them here and there, and not long ago I did a little research. I feel very inspired, and I have to try making one of these, since they seem very spring and easter-like to me. Let's see if I find the time, that is kind of doubtful, but in the meantime I have been gathering images to study. Maybe you feel inspired?

The term 'pajak' or 'pajaki' (is that plural, perhaps?) means spider, quite simply. I had a Polish friend dig a little deeper, since my old, but not always trustworthy friend, Google translate, came up with quite a lot of nonsense, and here is what we have come up with, between us: They are sometimes made for christmas, and also made as easter decorations, sometimes with an egg as a kind of centerpiece - and though they are seen in all of Poland, they are known especially from the Łowicz region, which known for its rich folklore, by the way. The reference to spiders are to do with the way you typically string the round, horizontal part of it, from the center and outwards - but is also, some say, a biblical reference; apparently it is good luck to have at least one spiderweb in your house, since Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were protected from discovery, while hiding in a cave, by - a spiderweb! (that was news to me, but I usually have no shortage of spiderwebs in the house...)

Traditionally they are made with straw and tissue paper, but I can see that colorful plastic straws, candy wrappers, yarn pompoms and perhaps paper flowers or petals made super quickly with a figure punch, if you have one of those, are a great start for the modern day Pajaki-maker.

You can get all the materials needed in any little hobby shop or even supermarket. You will need a sturdy metal or plastic hoop - and if you can't come up with any quick fix (they sell plastic ones in hobby shops for making mobiles), take a wire hanger and a pair of pliers, clip off the handle, and use the remaining bit to make yourself a nice, strong hoop.

Giant pajaki from the Folk Museum in Leczyca (photo: Magic Madzik, via Flickr)

From the blog 'Gus and other things'

Homemade mini pajaki from the blog 'WREN handmade'

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