Sorokoklyn is a fairly complex-looking division of the pysanka.  The egg is divided longitudinally eight ways, and each of these wedges is divided into 6 triangles.  On this page, I will discuss the basic Sorokoklyn.  On the following two pages, you can see how to further divide the triangles to make sorokoklyn-type pysanky with even more divisions (Sorokoklyn Plus), or how to create interesting Diasporan variants like the “Pinwheel.”

To the pysanka maker, one is superimposing two different divisions on top of one another: a basic division into eight longitudinally (A) in the Meridian division, and the division of the face of the egg into eight (as one would do to make an eight-pointed star) in the Star division (B) but repeated four times instead of twice.  It is actually much simpler than it sounds, as the diagrams below should demonstrate.

To draw the lines for the Sorokoklyn division, start with an egg and divide it into the Eight division(A). Add two more longitudinal lines (as shown in red) to create the Globe (NP C) division (B):


          A                                    B

Now add two diagonals on each face of the egg, as you would with a star division (C).  Then turn the egg 90°, or two “slices” over, and repeat (D). Make sure the diagonals intersect on the longitudinal line as they both cross (green dots).


          C                                    D

Voila! You have successfully created a Sorokoklyn pysanka!  Or, at least, the pencilled in basis for one.

By waxing in all of these lines, you  will have the outline for a Sorokoklyn.  The simplest pysanky with this division are those, like the pysanka below, where the lines are drawn in with white, and  then every other triangle is colored in with red.  A final dip in black gives you this result:


Simple but stunning!  WIth very small modifications (dots, outlines, hatching), hundreds of different pysanky can be created.

There are many traditional designs you can recreate.  These three pysanky all come from the Vinnytsia region:


Binyashevsky provides several examples of the Sorokoklyn from various regions of Ukraine.  He has two Hutsul sorokoklyny; the first, from Kosiv, is divided in the usual manner.  The second has an odd division, but still produces 48 triangles.  Can you notice the difference?


The Hutsul pysanky are quite intricate; most other sorokoklyny are a bit less so.  Some have only stripes as their decorative elements, like these pysanky from Eastern Polissia and the Kholm region:


Others alternate stripes with dots or other decorative elements, as in the pysanky from Western Podillia, or alternate colors and other motifs, as in the one from Kherson:


If each of these triangles is further subdivided into two, a 96 triangle egg emerges (Sorokoklyn Plus); if some are collapsed together, a 24-triangle egg results. The patterns and colors in the triangles may be identical, alternate between two (most common), or be filled in to create larger designs. By slightly tweaking the Sorokoklyn, you can also create some interesting, albeit non-traditional, variants.

For more examples of these pysanky, peruse the pages of my Sorokoklyn Gallery.  Brown egg sorokoklyn pysanky can be found hereTo learn more about this division, including where it got its name, go here.

and create your own designs, like the ones below:


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Note:  All photos, illustrations and text © Luba Petrusha 2007-10. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction prohibited without expressed consent.  May contact via e-mail (link below).