Trees and Leaves


Trees–and their parts–are among the most common phytomorphic motifs seen on pysanky. Trees, or parts of trees (e.g. branches and leaves) symbolized, variously, strength, renewal, creation, growth and eternal life.

The trees and leaves depicted on pysanky were usually stylized and non-specific, with two notable exceptions.

The oak was the symbol of the ancient god Perun, the god of thunder and lightning and chief god of the slavic pantheon.  Oak leaves and acorns are often depicted on traditional pysanky, and symbolize strength and energy.

The Hutsuls often write pine branches on their pysanky.  Such trees are common in the Carpathian mountains, and their evergreen nature suggests youth and eternal life.

These symbols can be found on modern pysanky as well.

  Phytomorphic        Pussy Willows

Trees, Branches and Leaves

  Phytomorphic        Pussy Willows

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