Wheat weaving class revives Harvest Folk Art
LOCK HAVEN — A wheat weaving class will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Ross Library, 232 W. Main St. in Lock Haven.
The class is being offered by Kathryn Romani, an Olde World folk artist from Howard, to keep this traditional harvest folk art alive. No special skills are needed. If you can braid hair, you can weave wheat.
For reservations, call 814-355-4071. The class is open to adults, and children 10 years and up, who must be accompanied by an adult.
Wheat weaving is an ancient folk art that dates back centuries to a time when a person’s survival depended upon the grain harvest. Although the designs vary from country to country, grains universally represent the fertility of the earth. The harvest custom of wheat weaving was believed to bring blessings of prosperity to the farmer and his land. Therefore, the harvest’s last sheaves or best cut of grain was woven into ornate decorations and hung in homes — until next year’s harvest — to honor the Spirit of Mother Earth.
By the 1700s, weaving grains into harvest tokens was widespread throughout Europe and Scandinavia. A century later, when Christmas trees became popular, they were also used as tree decorations. This tradition was brought to America by new immigrants, who passed down the techniques to younger generations, especially in the Midwestern grain states.
Today, the ancient art of wheat weaving — like so many other folk arts — is dissipating. It is the mission of K. Romani to revive this, and other Olde World European folk arts, through her seasonal classes offered in our community. Join this class to see how easy it is to create a beautiful wheat weaving and to help keep this folk art alive.