Gotic letter M in a ring brooch98,1B
All bronze jewelry is protected by a special lacquer. A "malje" was an ancient pilgrimsign from the Middle Ages. During the time when Norway still was Catholic, people made pilgrimages to monasteries all over Europe. At the monasteries they got a special pilgrim sign as proof of their successful journey. Some pilgrim signs were formed as a Gothic "M" with a crown on the top, a symbol of Virgin Mary as the Queen of Heaven. There are other Gothic letters like our "A"and other signs of which nobody knows the meaning any more. The loose ring on the front of the malje was probably decoration and had no practical or symbolic meaning. In Southern Norway the ring on the backside was used for attaching silver chains to the National costume. Thereby this kind of jewellery was named malje. The Sami attached the maljes on the collar of the sami national costume, or they mounted them on their skin belts. Nearly all the maljer were gilded at those times. The superstition of the sami people surely connected some magical powers to the malje, long after the original religious intention had been forgotten. Today a malje is a decorative jewellery without religious meaning.
- B X H mm 36 Ø