Goose Eggs


Although pysanky were written on all sorts of eggs in the past–chicken, duck, goose, swan, guinea hen–traditional designs that have been preserved are mostly those of chicken egg pysanky.  There is not much of a literature about goose egg pysanky, so designs have to be newly created for the most part.

I have found Hutsul folk pysanky to be a good source of design motifs for goose egg pysanky: the designs are intricate and the colors bright. I have used Hutsul (and diasporan Hutsul-style) pysanky to create several goose egg pysanky.

The first Hutsul-style goose egg pysanka I wrote was cobbled together using barylka bands from two traditional Hutsul pysanky. (The originals can be found in Manko’s “Ukrainian Folk Pysanka” , Plate 13, Nos. 9 & 10.)  I have written this pysanka twice; my mother owns one copy, my aunt Dusia the other; both are shown below. 

The second design below was created using bands from several pysanky in Elyjiw’s “Sixty Score of Easter Eggs.”  I used longitudinal bands, as in the originals, but recombined them and changed the color scheme to a more Bukovynian one (with a dark red final color).  You can find the elements of this pysanka in Elyjiw,  eggs 30-2, 31-7, 40-8.

The third design is an adaptation of a Hutsul pysanka with a fish motif from Manko (16-24).  To adapt it to a goose egg, I added a couple of bands, and changed the orientation of the fish–rather than having them all in a solemn row,  I have them leaping and swimming.  They are happy fish.

The fourth and fifth were a gifts to my cousin Valentina and her mom, my Taunt Dusia.  The fourth is based on several Hutsul designs. The fifth is based on a design I found on line, and which appears to have been the work of Christine Kochan; I used the lateral medallion, and changed around the side bands somewhat.  It is written on a very long goose egg given to me by Tanya Osadca, thus the odd dimensions.


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