Medeinė statue

In the courtyard of Vilnius’ Stiklių Street stands a bronze statue that depicts the Baltic goddess Medeinė. It was crafted by artist Marius Grušas in 1988.

Medeinė statue

In the courtyard of Vilnius’ Stiklių Street stands a bronze statue that depicts the Baltic goddess Medeinė. It was crafted by artist Marius Grušas in 1988. Medeinė is a significant figure in Lithuanian folklore.

For centuries, Lithuanians maintained a profound connection with nature, standing as the last pagan nation in Europe. Legend has it that even the mighty King Mindaugas would offer the first spoils of his hunt to Žvėrūna-Medeinė, highlighting the reverence for the wilderness ingrained in their culture. The statue depicts Medeinė seated upon a bear, symbolizing her dominion over the untamed realms of the forest, portraying her as a ruler of nature.

Medeinė was believed to protect the animals from harm, a belief embedded deeply within the cultural fabric of Lithuanian society. Observers of the statue may also discover a hidden detail—the bear sports a ring on one of its fingers.

Known by various names such as Medeinė or Medeina, derived from the Lithuanian words for “tree” and “forest,” she holds a prominent place in Lithuanian mythology as the mistress of the woods and its creatures, with the hare as her sacred animal. She is similar to Latvian Meža māte (Forest Mother). Historical records provide glimpses into the reverence for Medeinė in ancient times. Slavic transcripts of Johannes Malalas’ chronicle from 1261 mention Žvorūna alongside other gods, while the Hypatius Chronicle recounts King Mindaugas’ continued worship of pagan deities, including Medeinė.

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