Guide to SKOPJE

Cradles – comfort and tradition

A baby, a mother and a cradle… The cradle is the link in the divine communication between a baby and his mother. The story of the cradle began in the 1st century AD and is still popular, although, nowadays it is used less frequently but is still a great gift for new parents.


If you do some research into the history of the cradle, you will see that it originates from 1st century AD. According to archaeological excavations, the first cradle was found in Central Asia, in Seven Waters region. Significant historical factors are closely connected with the appearance of the cradle. One of them is the migration of nomadic peoples. They tried to provide comfort for babies and the best way to do that was by using a cradle. It can easily be put on a horse or camel, a small space where the baby feels comfortable and completely protected.cradle14_balkon3

The cradle in the photo is about 80 years old. My great-grandmother gave it to her daughter after my father was born. Dozens of children in our family have grown up in it, beginning with my father. If we count the neighbour’s kids then the number is much larger. It stores a century of history. If it could talk it would certainly say the following: “80 years have been more than enough to see many things in this world. I have witnessed joyful moments, also I have faced death as part of life. Those were undoubtedly my most difficult moments. Lullabies, my sweetest songs, and bed-time stories were best friends. I’ve heard various gossips. I hope all the babies enjoyed my hugs and dreamt their sweetest dreams.”cradle8_balkon3

A few months ago, my newborn niece, a third generation of our family, started her hew life here. The cradle is the oldest piece of furniture in our home. Time will show if we will continue with the tradition.

The cradle is very useful for the baby’s health as it plays an important role in formation of normal bones. It also has particular importance in the formation of baby’s psychology. If we consider the spiritual aspects of the cradle, we will see that it enables divine communication between a baby and his mother.

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Cradles are usually made ​​of pine, birch or trees that grow near water because they are very flexible. The most expensive and highest quality cradles are made ​​of pine tree. Now there are very few cradles made ​​of pine and the demand for them is quite small. Moreover, modern mothers bring up children without using a cradle. In Ottoman times the cradle was the central symbol during ceremonies that included children. Unfortunately, this piece of furniture is now being used only as a souvenir.


Husamettin Gina