In Lithuania, paper cutting has been practiced as an art since the 16th century, and was especially popular for decorations at weddings and other special events. By the end of the 19th century, it was widely used as decoration for the home – to cover a window, trim a shelf, a lamp or a mirror frame. Today it is often seen as artwork on greeting cards, calendars and as individual art pieces.
Lithuania is not the only nation that embraces this art form – it is said to have its roots in China, and is well-known in Europe where it is practised in Germany, Poland, the Scandinavian countries and elsewhere.
According to one source, Lithuanian papercut designs use the image of the tree as a main motif, the tree being the central axis of Indo-European culture. It is used in many forms of folk art. A recurring image is of blooming trees, perched upon by birds and surrounded by stars, sun and moon. The technique of folding paper at the centre and using a symmetrical axis with branches lends itself to the image of a tree.