Kyiv region



Vadym Shcherbakivsky, Ukrainian archeologist, historian and ethnographer, wrote about pysanky in his published works, as well as publishing a short book on the subject of “The Basic Elements of the Ornamentation of Ukrainian Pysanky and their Origin.” The book was published in Prague in 1925.

Shcherbakivsky discusses theories of the origins of various symbols on the pysanka, and of the pysanka itself.  He leans towards the pysanka being an expression of sun cult worship brought to Ukraine from the Near East in ancient times.

You can download the book here.

Below are plates of pysanky from the book.  Many of these pysanky are the same ones depicted in color in a later published work, and appear to also be from villages in the povit of Skvyra, where he appears to have done a lot of field work.

Table I depicts pysanky with a svastyka (swastika) motif, and ancient sun symbol.

Table II shows more examples of the broken cross/svastyka (swastika) motif.

Table III shows pysanky with the trynih/triquetrum (three leg) motif.

Table IV shows examples of Ukrainian pysanky with star/rozhi (rosette) motifs.

And the last table gives the names of the pysanky in the previous tables, and my translations.


Shcherbakivsky: “Basic Elements of Ukrainian Pysanky”

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