Pysanka Exhibit



From the guide:  This wall case contains a collection of pysanky from the ethnographic region of Volyn in northwestern Ukraine. This was the ancient homeland of the Derevliany, and includes western Polissya. These traditional pysanka designs are taken from several sources, including one of the very first works on Ukrainian ethnography, which was written by Olena Pchilka, Lesia Ukrainka’s mother. 

Volynian pysanky, in general, have fairly simple color schemes, usually limiting their color palette to yellow, red and black. Sometimes green may replace black, but the two are rarely seen together on the same egg.  Some of the simpler pysanky may have a final color of brown or deep red instead.  The designs are relatively simple, and are predominantly geometric, with some simple plant motifs added in.  The berehynia (goddess) motif can be found in pysanky from the northern areas of Volyn, the swampy region known as Polissya.

Volynian pysanky often use the “saddlebag” division; you can see an example of this type in the 3rd row, 3rd from the left.  

Can you spot pysanky with the ancient Berehynia (sky goddess) and Zmiya (the serpent, a water god) motifs?  Can you find others with a saddlebag division?

The pysanky in this case were written by me, Luba Petrusha.

      Case 2: Cherkasy Region

Case 1: Pysanky of Volyn

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