THE KASHUBIAN CROSS

The crucified Christ, is shown with his arms nailed to the cross as though gesturing that He wants to embrace all humanity. At the four extremities of the cross, which are trefoil-shaped, are rich decorated motifs of Kashubian region folk art, which symbolize the nature of Kashubian Lakeland province abounding in hills and shores, rich in thousands of lakes, enchanted forests, wild flowers, in time buried villages and small towns. The Kashubian decorative art includes seven main colors: three shades of blue, from light to dark - symbolizing the lakes, than yellow, red, green and black. The Kashubian art motifs consist of flowers, leafs and insects adopted from rich, native Kashubian nature.

The center of each trefoil-shaped end of the cross is decorated with beautiful, oval shaped, transparent, yellow-brown, precious amber. Amber is important in the history of Poland and Kashubian Region. It is treasured as a gem that is used for art objects, jewelry, and amulets for warding off evil spirits. At one time amber was so precious that was available only to nobility. The very best amber came from the Baltic coast, near Gdansk where it could be found in abundance. Amber has been called "the golden gem of ages."

The Kashubian Region is situated in the North eastern part of Pomerania. It is the Baltic Sea area and Poland's window to the maritime world. Because it is so picturesque and has numerous lakes and hills, the Region is also called "Kashubian Switzerland."

This cross is dedicated to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, to Kashubs in Poland and Kashubs around the world, for their determination, history and culture. It is dedicated to the Canadian Kashuby Region of beautiful lakes scattered between Combermere, Wilno and Barry's Bay. The unique atmosphere of the Kashuby Region brings a special part of Poland to Canada.

The icon by the hand of Janusz Charczuk. Egg tempera on wood, priming ob textile, background 23 K gold leaf. 56 x 51,5 cm (22 x 20.25 in).