More than 2000 devils in only one building can sound scary, right? But what if I tell that the statues are ethnographic, some of them are funny or crazy, and just a few of them are a little bit scary? There are thousands of different museums in the world, but just the only one of its kind - the Devils Museum in Kaunas.
The devil in the folk songs of Lithuania always took a remarkable place. Almost every song, a fairy tale or a story had a character like a devil. Usually, the devil was shown as a skinny man with a beard, and, in the Lithuanian folk, he was not a very bad guy, but more sly and knavish. That's why the Devils Museum has so much of devils statues with the different expressions, histories or legends. The history of the museum started with a painter Žmuidzinavičius, who begun to collect the devils figures, and, after his death, in the old house of his, the exhibition of 260 devils was set up. From the beginning, the painter wanted to collect just a dozen of devils, but when he did it - he managed one more score. Later on, more and more statues were collected, donated or somehow found the way to the museum. Nowadays, the museum takes three floors and in each one there is a different presentation of the devil.
On the first floor, the ethnographical Lithuanian devils have their spotlight. They are slightly smiling from the different household items - plates, cups, pepper and salt pots. Some of the devils are fighting with men, some of them are dancing with their wives. Devils are made from the wood, stone or ceramics, painted on canvas or silk. So, the first floor is perfect to see how the devil was imagined in the Lithuanian folklore.
The second floor of the museum is full of natural things that look like devils - stones, tree branches or stumps found by people from the different parts of Lithuania. People donateed almost all of them because they believed that the devils could bring the negative things in their lives. On the second floor, together with the devils, there are figures of witches as well.
The last floor is dedicated to the foreign devils, from all over the world - from Japan to Latvia (there is a set of cups decorated with devils faces from the ethnographical legends and stories of Latvia). Also, there is a nice tradition that some of the visitors bring the traditional devil’s figure from their country to the museum.
So, do not be scared to visit more than 2000 devils. If you want to see how this character was presented in the old Lithuanian stories, and other countries, come and visit the only one its kind in the world - the Devils Museum in Kaunas.
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