Flowers are a very common motif on traditional pysanky.  They are usually quite abstracted and stylized, often to the point of barely being recognizable.  Flowers are said to symbolize the female principle denoting wisdom, elegance and beauty.

The flowers found on traditional pysanky are often given names, and sometimes resemble the names.  Many are referred to a “tulips,” even though tulips are not a native plant and were rarely seen in Ukraine until quite recent times.  This is thought to be a generic term for odd, fancy, exotic flowers, as few of the traditional “tulips” actually resemble the plant in question.  (In Vira Manko’s book there are examples of “orchids” which may have a similar provenance.)

The most common floral motif is the «ружа» (“ruzha”) or «рожа» (“rozha”), which is often mistranslated as “rose.”  (In Ukrainian, a rose is a «троянда» or “troyanda.”)  A rozha is a mallow (see print above), and is usually depicted with 4, 6 or 8 petals. It often resembles an eight pointed star, as shown here in a figure from Selivachov:

The pysanky on this page are a mix of diasporan, traditional, and modified traditional.  Many of the traditional-looking designs are on this page because I don’t recall their places of origin.

3 Fruits and Berries         Fancy Flowers 4


Simple Traditional Flowers

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