Lada is the name of a Slavic deity of harmony, merriment, youth, love and beauty. She is represented as a girl with long golden hair sometimes with a wreath of ears of grain braided into her hair, which symbolises her function of fertility deity thus making her an aspect of Mother of Wet Land. A symbol of Sun, a mark of lifegiving power was sometimes on her breasts. As a fertility goddess, Lada has her annual cycles, which can be shown by the belief that she resides in the dwelling place of the dead until the vernal equinox comes. This world of the dead is called Iriy, and here, besides Lada, dwells Veles, the horned god of cattle. At the moment when Lada is supposed to come out into the world and bring spring, Jarilo opens the door of Iriy letting the fertility goddess bless the earth.
April 6, 1973: “Russian Lada with model sporting sable bikini,” explains this image’s unpublished caption, printed on the back, reading like a Nabokovian pun. “The 17th International Automobile Show opened yesterday at the New York Coliseum with a heavy foreign accent,” announced The Times, going on to report that imports dominated that year’s show. There was also a display of specialty cars called “Parade of Power,” which included “a 32-foot-long rocket-powered motorcycle whose inventor says will allow him to jump a mile in the air.” Photo: Neal Boenzi/The New York Times