Barylka Division

The Barylka division is the one, and probably the one most familiar to non-Ukrainians and diasporan Ukrainians, as it is a favorite among North American pysankary.  Barylka designs are often, but not always, fairly intricate. The barylka division is also frequently found
on traditional Hutsul and Bukovynian pysanky.  

This division is created by dividing the surface of the egg with a series of horizontal bands.  Most commonly, as in the pysanka above, there will be a main, wide band around the middle, two smaller bands on either side of it, and then end motifs on the top and bottom.

Barylky usually feature some amount of “resheto” (“sieve” in Ukrainian, it refers to areas, usually triangles and squares, with hatchwork in them). Hutsul pysanky favor gold resheto; Bukovynian use a variety of colors, and smaller amounts of the hatchwork.

The bands are usually divided into an even number of segments (4, 6 and 8 being the most common), and motifs are placed into these segments.The motifs commonly include crosses and eight-pointed stars, and they are usually placed in a repetitive or alternating pattern. The segments are usually of uniform size, but occasionally you may see bands which have alternating narrow and wide segments, with the narrow segments acting as “dividers” within the band (e.g. Балан 21). The narrow segments often contain “Hutsul resheto,” which is yellow hatching with every other square colored in red. Sometimes the pysankarka will lose track or miscalculate, and will end up with an odd number of non-symmetric divisions (e.g. Балан 56).

The pysanky on this page are varied and numerous.  Some have experienced cracking, fading and other sorts of damage. The colors of some seem quite odd and garish due to the lack of availability of good quality dyes in earlier times. I have included multiple views, including the occasional slightly out of focus picture, so as to make it easier to reproduce them.

(Note: the numeration of these eggs, i.e. the  “Балан - №,” simply reflects the order in which they were photographed and their data recorded.  It is just my bookkeeping system.)


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