Immerse yourself in the original Lithuanian traditions and consider creating your own traditional costume under the guidance of artist Rasma Noreikytė (Kaunas 2022)! This post offers an overview of the original workshops offered by Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania.

Weaving and lullabies at the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
Meet Rasma Noreikytė, a Lithuanian artist and designer working in Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania. Infographic © Tatyana Garkavaya

Rasma Noreikytė works in the Open-Air Museum of Lithuania (Rumšiškės, 20 km from Kaunas), one of the largest ethnographic open-air museums in Europe (about 200 ha). It represents a huge dynamic workshop area with over 40 different educational programmes. With them, visitors can learn about the Lithuanian traditions of the five ethnographic regions.

The artist organizes seminars “Make your own national costume” for which she invites different experts in sewing shirts, weaving on an old loom, etc. Rasma represents the northern region of Samogitia the main center of Lithuanian culture in the 19th century that traditionally tended to oppose any anti-Lithuanian restrictions.

‘Samogitian people can be described as dignified, stubborn, brave, and militant, and I think all these words describe me too’, – says Rasma who works with old weaving techniques in the museum and teaches the art to others.

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania: nature, history, tradition. © Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

The Open-Air Museum of Lithuania is not participating in the program of Kaunas 2022, but it’s popular with local communities. People particularly appreciate original programs that offer insights into teaching children traditions and good manners. Most educational activities have their roots in 19th-century traditions; they were carefully researched and found their reflection in the original workshops.

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
Family photo sessions. © Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

For example, one educator bases her interactive course on the spring tradition of greeting storks, and she links it to culinary traditions, introducing participants to the dishes and recipes used at that time.

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
Interactions with live artifacts of Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania. © Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

Another popular program for children is „Infancy and Childhood in the Old House “. It covers the child’s christening celebrations, lullabies, and games in the Lithuanian countryside. Guests also can play with old wooden toys, taste “birch porridge”, participate in the workshops ‘Put the doll to sleep’ and ‘Make a “sucker”, try on the clothes and shoes of that time, and do some children’s jobs.

The bread and chocolate of the Lithuanian creativity for an Italian project

The video ‘La strada di cioccolato‘ is a Rasma’s recent work for Latitudo -Art Project (Italy). The director of the project Benedetta Carpi De Resmini invited the artist to participate in Rodari Online – Evening Readings and create a short video for one of Gianni Rodari’s tales. Latitudo – Art Projects is a smart, sustainable, and inclusive cultural project, the leading partner of the Kaunas Biennial.

‘I chose the novel The Chocolate Road because it struck me by its symbolism – the contrast of black and white: black is chocolate and white is biscuit, – says Rasma. – In the modern context, it has two important implications: constant disagreements between black and white people and the controversial role of food and conspicuous consumption. These and other aspects of this novel reflect on our irresponsibility in daily life like eating and spending in excess’.

To put more emphasis on these social problems, Rasma replaced biscuits with bread, which is daily food as opposed to chocolate epitomizes rather excessive use. This helped the artist in the best way possible to represent the main idea of The Chocolate Road: it’s unclear if three of Barletta’s brothers can eat again a lot of sweets and if there will be other lucky children.

Experimental collaborative projects help Rasma to learn the customs of other cultures and engage in cultural exchange. I have already written about our collaboration in the projects of Plovdiv 2019 (Bulgaria).

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
Cultural exchange: The team of Kaunas 2020 at Plovdiv 2019. © Tatyana Garkavaya

Another impressive project 25Milion Stitches Installation has recently been completed and presented by Rasma and her colleague Aiste at Kauno Kulturos Centras in Kaunas, Lithuania.

  • Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

Upcoming: New tapestries inspired by long walks

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
Key facts about the most celebrated work by Lithuanian artist and designer Rasma Noreikytė. © Gareth Bate, 2009. Metis. Infographic © Tatyana Garkavaya

Contrasting elements are highlights of Rasma’s art. The case in point is the tapestry Mètis inspired by a personal love story. Contrasts help Rasma highlight similarities between human feelings and experiences.

Her works are based on personal experiences but raise universal modern themes of identity, racial discrimination, social exclusion, aging, national traditions, and time. Her art expands the old traditions of weaving and enriches innovative digital art forms. The harmonious interplay of black and white is a recurring motif of Rasma’s style.

‘At the moment, I’m collaborating with my friend a photographer with whom we were taking pictures which I will transmit onto fabrics I weave, – shares her plans Rasma. – During the pandemic time we had some long walks, talking about who we are, what our roots are, and how our behaviour, and feelings depend on our ancestors’.

Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania
On long walks during the pandemic. © Rumšiškės Open-Air Museum of Lithuania

Images: Metis, Photo Credit: Copyright: Gareth Bate, 2009,,,

This post is part of the project the Month of Cultural Exchange between creative practitioners of European Capitals of Culture. More details are on my November Facebook timeline. The Cultural Exchange started with a post about a creative practitioner of Plovdiv 2019 (Bulgaria).