Updated: Jan 27
Latvians all over the world recognise each other with this distinctive ring.
The ancient folk legend is that during the 13th Century invasion of the territory of Latvia by the German crusaders, Namejs, a military and political leader of the Semigallian Tribes was one of the last warriors left. He had to flee into exile to the territory of Lithuania leaving behind his son. As a parting gift he gave his son a twisted metal ring by which he would be able to recognise his son when he returned from exile. The Germans discovered this and went on a hunt to find Namejs' son to make him surrender and Christianise him. In order to protect Namejs and his son all Semigallian men and boys made and wore similar rings.
The NAMEJS ring represents Latvian independance, friendship and trust.
The legends state that the close braid weave symbolises the unity of the 3 lands of the ancient Latvian nation (Kurzeme, Latgale and Vidzeme).
During the 1930s the ring grew in popularity in Latvia. Fathers gave their sons this ring on the day of their coming of age.
The ring is traditionally made by hand by a silversmith and so is individually twisted and unique but still similar to others - a close relationship, possibly connected with NAMEJS motto
“One for all and everyone for one.”
The NAMEJS ring is an icon of Latvian jewellery.