O Noble Heart, consider thine end
(Pennsylvania-German needlework motif)

For Pennsylvania Germans the heart has pictorial and symbolic significance derived from biblical study, devotional literature and German folk poetry. Many Germans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in Pennsylvania in the late 17th century. In the late 18th century, many Mennonites among them migrated to Ontario, bringing with them their beliefs, craft traditions and art forms. Depictions of the heart symbolized the “whole person,” reflecting biblical allusions to the heart as the seat of belief, emotion and love of God. The symbolic heart crafted onto humble household objects conveyed love of home and craft, artistic inspiration, human love and Christian devotion.
O Noble Heart, consider thine end
(Pennsylvania-German needlework motif)

For Pennsylvania Germans the heart has pictorial and symbolic significance derived from biblical study, devotional literature and German folk poetry. Many Germans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in Pennsylvania in the late 17th century. In the late 18th century, many Mennonites among them migrated to Ontario, bringing with them their beliefs, craft traditions and art forms. Depictions of the heart symbolized the “whole person,” reflecting biblical allusions to the heart as the seat of belief, emotion and love of God. The symbolic heart crafted onto humble household objects conveyed love of home and craft, artistic inspiration, human love and Christian devotion.

© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Touching Hearts Hooked Mat

Touching hearts are flanked by stylized floral motifs, symbols frequently used in fraktur documents memorializing weddings, births or family anniversaries in Pennsylvania-German culture. This mat, symbolic of welcome and domestic harmony, probably memorialized a Mennonite couple's wedding.

Photo Credit: Doon Heritage Crossroads
Gift of Mrs. Ruth M. Witmer
1884
Ontario Mennonite
101 x 52 cm
977.069.039.
© Doon Heritage Crossroads.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Explain how symbolism is used to represent romantic emotions in Valentine’s greetings
  • Describe the types of symbols traditionally used to represent feelings of love and affection

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans