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16 March 2020The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree & Traditional Arts in Kosovo.
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The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree & Traditional Arts in Kosovo. Elizabeth Gowing. Monday 16 March 2020

Elizabeth Gowring is co-founder of a charity working on education & cultural heritage projects in Kosovo.   She is an author and broadcaster on Radio 4 and BBC World Service.

From the early Kosovan silver mines which are mentioned in Dante, through the twentieth century politics over Kosovo’s mines which resulted in both a war and a golf course, a silver thread winds through Kosovo’s history.

Its most intricate tanglings are in the country’s cultural capital, Prizren, where a seventh generation of filigree artisans use ‘filum’ and ‘granum’, zigzags, ‘mouse-tooth’ designs and other twists and turns to magic lacy creations from dull sticks of raw material. The results – in boxes, buttons, jewellery, religious ornamentation and the talismans of superstition – are a fine narrative of Kosovo’s history and traditions.