Everybody has a mother. Celebrating motherhood can be traced back to early civilization. The Greeks and Romans worshipped their mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele with early spring festivals. The early Christian tradition of Mothering Sunday, which focused on people returning to their home or “mother” church at the end of Lent, evolved in Middle Age secular culture into honoring the mothers of children.
The modern holiday we know as Mother’s Day first emerged in 1908. Anna Jarvis conceived the idea of recognizing the sacrifices mothers make, and organized a formal celebration at a Methodist church in West Virginia. She successfully lobbied for surrounding towns and states to adopt the celebration, and in 1912, succeeded in her quest for an American holiday honoring female achievements when Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially declaring the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day.”
Flowers, general pampering, and jewelry have traditionally been popular Mother’s Day gifts. Any necklace, bracelet, ring, or set of earrings will be a lasting reminder of your appreciation for the Mom in your life. Pieces from The Cherish Collection will show her where your heart is and hand-stamped jewelry from the La Louisiane Collection will be a unique token of affection for the Cajun - or even the non-Cajun - Mom. No matter who you call “Mom,” give her one of these gifts in sterling silver, that will last as long as your love for her.
The fleur-de-lis is a commonly recognized symbol, even if its origins are not fully appreciated. The French word, “fleur-de-lis,” literally means “flower of the lily.” And the symbol is a stylized depiction of the lily used by French royalty, and eventually France, as well as many other countries and organizations, from Britain to the Boy Scouts. In earlier human history, the lily was often associated with the Virgin Mary, and the fleur- de-lis is seen as a Christian symbol in art depicting the mother of Jesus. With its three petals, bound together by single ring, it’s also been associated with the holy trinity. In modern society, the fleur-de-lis still connotes a sense of faith, wisdom and nobility.
Today, the fleur-de-lis is found as a decorative element on everything from flags to fences, and is prominent in areas settled by the French, like Louisiana -- especially New Orleans. The La Louisiane Collection of hand stamped jewelry features the fleur-de- lis on bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. A fleur-de-lis charm, in contrasting metals, adorns many pieces in the Luxury, Signature, and Elegant Collections, as a nod to Louisiana heritage. Whether you hail from the bayou or elsewhere, show your fleur-de-lis pride with a piece inspired by Louisiana’s rich culture.
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Since I participate as an artist every year at FIL, I thought I would share a little bit of the history of this wonderful festival.
Did you know that FIL is the largest outdoor, FREE Francophone event in the U.S? Herman Mhire, a Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is the founding president of FIL, which began in
1986 as a community-supported, non-profit organization whose goal was to produce an annual visual and performing arts festival celebrating the French cultural heritage of southern Louisiana. FIL emphasizes the connections between Acadiana and the Francophone world; each year, musical artists from Europe, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the Americas come to Lafayette, Louisiana to share their talents with the community.
The original missions of the FIL were to enrich the community with a celebration of its native cultures through performing arts, educate the public of the achievements and artistic expressions of related global cultures, to develop culture and tourism, and to enhance economic development by expanding Lafayette’s reputation as an arts center and a destination for artistic events.
Originally primarily a musical event, FIL also now features workshops, theater and visual artists who are primarily members of the Louisiana Crafts Guild. The Marché des Arts, the FIL Fine Arts Market, showcases artists from all over the country. You will find handmade artisan jewelry, pottery, and many other handcrafted items.
In the Marché du Monde, FIL’s World Market, you will find commercial imports such as sculptures, art, clothing, jewelry, ceramics, paintings, photography, instruments and much more.
Click here to see the complete list of artists for the FIL2015 Marche des Arts (handmade art/craft): http://festivalinternational.org/artists-eats/marche-des-arts/
Click here to see the list of vendors for FIL2015 Marche du Monde (commercial imports): http://festivalinternational.org/artists-eats/marche-du-monde-hidden/
This link will take you to the complete musical schedule for FIL2015: http://lineup.festivalinternational.org/events/2015/04/22/
I am Laura Teague, a metal smith, knitter and sewist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveling the western US whenever I can!