Ukrainian Pysanky


On the following pages you will find photos of pysanky that I have collected during my travels in Ukraine.  They are predominantly from Kyiv, L’viv and the Carpathian Mountains (Hutzul region). I collect them for

two reasons: as a resource for new patterns, and to enjoy their beauty.

I have divided them up into two sets of albums.

Traditional Ukrainian Pysanky

Traditional Style: pysanky that have largely traditional motifs, although using modern techniques and dyes (more vibrant colors). 

Hutsul: pysanky from that Carpathian mountains of Ukraine.  The style is distinctly different from the rest of Ukraine, using different motifs and a simple yellow-green-red-black color scheme.  The eggs are also “reconstructed,” reinforced to preserve and protect them.

Reconstructed” pysanky are created on eggs which have been reinforced to make them a bit sturdier.  This technique was originally developed to preserve pysanky at the Museum of Hutsul Folk Art in Kolomyia (Коломия), but is now universally used in the region to produce pysanky for sale.

Nontraditional Ukrainian Pysanky

Hutsul: pysanky that utilize traditional motifs and divisions, but in unique, non-traditional arrangements.

Blue Pysanky: pysanky created by Hutsul pysankary but utilizing a mix of Ukrainian and Romanian motifs and divisions, with traditional blue Romanian color schemes.

Etched Pysanky: the pysanky in this collection incorporate an etching technique which  removes a layer of shell and gives the design a three dimensional aspect.  On brown-egg pysanky this revels a layer of white.  On goose eggs it allows inscription of a white on white raised pattern.  These eggs are quite beautiful.

Trypillian: pysanky which utilize Neolithic colors and motifs.  The patterns are pottery  patterns, but have been applied to pysanky.  They are non-traditional (the first such pysanky were created by the diaspora in the 1970s), but very pretty. I’ve added photos of an ostrich egg I purchased in 2005.

Авторська Роботa: “Avtors’ska Robota,” a Ukrainian term which means that something is  the original work of an artist (not copied from another source, or a traditional pattern). These pysanky are absolutely non-traditional, and have their origins entirely in the imagination of the individual artist. (Note: the last album is in a different section of the site.)

Village Life and Folk Tales

Artistic Expression

Ukrainian Traditions

Maryna’s Pysanky 


Icon Pysanky: someone in Ukraine has come up with a way to create small  Byzantine-style icons on pysanky.  The result is quite nice.

Remember, click on the underlined links in the text (or on links in the toolbar) to go to those pages.


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