Animal motifs are fairly common on pysanky, with a mix of domesticated and wild animal being seen. Although animal motifs were not as popular as plant motifs on traditional pysanky, they were nevertheless found on pysanky, especially those of the people of the Carpathian Mountains.

Such symbols had a double function: they were intended to endow the owner with the best characteristics of a given animal, such as health and strength; at the same time they were supposed to ensure domesticated animals with a long and productive life.

Deer, rams, horses, birds and fish were depicted in the abstract, simple line drawings that suggested the animal in question, rather than detailed depictions.  Often, parts of the animal were used to suggest the whole: bear claws, rams’ horns, roosters’ combs or chicken’s feet.

Modern pysanky often use these traditional motifs.

                Fish motifs

                Bird motifs

                Insect motifs

                Snake motifs

                Mammal motifs

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All Creatures Great and Small