Lions who, in ancient times, used to dwell upon the Armenian Highland, have long since abandoned that area. But the national historic memory has for centuries retained and glorified the proud image of this animal king who once lived in the local mountains. During the Urartu Kingdom times, the supreme deity Khaldi was portrayed standing on a lion on objects of applied art as well as on glorious frescos. Images of lions can be found all over the area, from the coats of arms of Armenian royal and aristocratic families to the modern state emblem of the Republic of Armenia. The carvings on the medieval churches also contain the depictions of the lion as the symbol of the heavenly and the earthly kingdoms, the power of fairness and justice reflected in stonework.
Curiously, images of lionesses also occur quite frequently; their meaning and significance are synonymous to that of male lions. The Armenian epic poem Daredevils of Sassoun contains the following line: “Whether a lion or a lioness – it is still a lion.”
The image of the lion is also connected to the Sun. Interestingly, the Sun in the Armenian folklore is represented as a shy maiden, while the Moon appears as her brother. The maiden-Sun rides across the sky atop its guardian lion holding a bunch of needles, which she flings at anyone who dares to gaze at her for too long. However, if a needle accidentally strikes and wounds the lion’s paw, there will inevitably be a solar eclipse.
The Armenian Collection of the Anna Avakian brand is pleased to present a wide selection of jewelry, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, and pendants, with a stylized image of the lioness as the chief motif of their ornament.