About crosses
The cross is one of the oldest geometric symbols of humanity, which appeared long before the Christianity. Despite the obvious sense for believers, it is still considered one of the most mysterious universal symbols. There is a whole science that studies the forms and meanings of the cross as a sign - staurography. From the Greek "stavros" - a cross, "graphos" - I write. To translate literally - "I describe the cross." Unfortunately, in Soviet times, the study of crosses was stopped for many years. Even mentions of the word "cross" were taken off from articles and books. Therefore, there is not much information about it. Crosses are divided into different types, but the main are male and female crosses. And they are different. Usually, men wore crosses under the clothing, hidden from the eyes of strangers. And women wore crosses under and over clothing and necklaces. It was shown as an aesthetic piece of jewelry.
Romny, Sumy region,the beginning of ХХ century, Yaryna Dron photo collection
Poltava region,the beginning of ХХ century, Yaryna Dron photo collection
Romny, Sumy region,the beginning of ХХ century, Yaryna Dron photo collection
Poltava region,the beginning of ХХ century, Yaryna Dron photo collection
Men wore a cross through their whole life. There were copper, brass, and silver crosses on ordinary thread or chain. It all depended on the status of the owner. Ancient crosses were decorated with carvings of floral ornaments. A portrait of an 18-year-old boy from Kyiv region became our inspiration and information source (photo by Samiil Dudin from the series "Ukrainians", 1894). The ROOTS silver men's cross is recreated according to this sample. One-sided plant pattern diverges branches from the center to the four corners of the world. Its edges are slightly wider and rounded. It is a cross of the Zaporozhian tradition. This piece of jewelry is really special.

We have long dreamed of recreating a traditional cross for men. It seems to be a great way for them to be closer to their history and culture.
Cross for him
Portrait of 18-years-old boy from Kyiv region - photo my Samuel Dudin, 1894
ROOTS cross for him, photo by Olena Karpuk
Women in Ukraine wore both types of crosses - under and over clothing. We`ll talk about "over clothing" one. Like a dukach, it was the central element of the jewelry set and the social passport of the owner. They were made of copper, silver or white alloy. Engraved geometric patterns were decorated with openwork ornaments, enamel. The material, the method of production, the decoration of the cross - all this spoke of the owner status. The bigger and more luxurious the cross - the richer the woman. It was worn on a chain or ribbon. Sometimes women wore several crosses at once.

The women's silver cross ROOTS is recreated according to the sample from Sumy region, where such jewelry was especially popular. It has rounded edges, the lower part is slightly longer than the upper. There is a Christogram symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ and another cross inside. In addition to the four rays, it has the same number between them. This composition is formed by a combination of ordinary and St. Andrew's type crosses. The main decoration is a floral ornament below.

Looking at these crosses, you understand why they were worn on display. This is truly an aesthetic and gorgeous piece of jewelry. Moreover, this is a part of the Ukrainians' culture and worldview, in which God and nature go side by side.
Cross for her ⠀
Жіночий хрест ROOTS, фото - Олена Карпук
Жіночий хрест ROOTS, фото - Олена Карпук