The pysanky on this page are from Odarka Onyshchuk’s 1985 book, «Символіка Української Писанки» (Symbolism of the Ukrainian Pysanka).  In it she has photos of 21 traditional pysanky from Kyivshchyna, with their traditional local names.  The photos, unfortunately,sometimes have an odd color cast, making it difficult to know the exact colors the eggs had been dyed.  I have done my best to recreate them, but the colors may not be exact reproductions.

I have placed the pysanky in the same order as in the book, and translated the names as best I could.  Note that the names are traditional ones, and do not necessarily reflect their original meanings.  Over time, and after the transition to christianity, the pagan meaning of the symbols were forgotten, and names given to them that reflected their general appearance.  For example, the «Шулька Круторожка» is a berehynia (goddess) motif, which apparently resembles a cob of corn.  And «Космічна Сила» (Cosmic Strength) is an ancient serpent motif; the serpent was a pagan water and earth god.

  Elyjiw        Zielyk

Odarka Onyshchuk

Одарка Онищук

  Elyjiw        Zielyk

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