Lateral Star


The lateral star is the most classical of all Ukrainian folk pysanka types.  It is known as a “storchova ruzha/rozha,” and variations of it can be found in every part of Ukraine, from Kholm to Sloboda.

Th eight pointed star is know in Ukrainian folk art as a “ruzha (rozha).”  In theory, it is an abstracted mallow flower, but a mallow flower has 5 petals, and our ruzha has eight. In western Ukraine it has picked up the name “shterna” (from the German for star), and is often called a “zirka” or “zvizda” by people who have forgotten the old names. 

Th eight-pointed star is also commonly found in the folk and decorative art of other cultures, from the Persians to other Slavs. Some scholars have posited that Ukrainians acquired this symbol from the ancient Persians; it was said to be the symbol of their god of fire, Atar.  Whatever the origin, the symbol is found on decorated eggs in most Slavic cultures.

In much of Ukraine, the storchova ruzha is fairly straightforward: a large eight pointed star on each side of an egg.  These are two examples from Binyashevsky, from Kholmshchyna and Volyn:


Simplicity is not the Bukovynian way.  Their lateral stars range in size from small to large, and are often incorporated in (or hidden in) other designs. 

(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.)

  Lateral Cross        Double Band

A Star On Each Side

  Lateral Cross        Double Band

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