Seed Motifs


Growth and abundance


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Ukraine was and still remains an agricultural society. As such, agricultural symbols are found frequently on folk artifacts. Although seeds are a plant part, they are more of an agricultural symbol, and are often found in conjunction with other agricultural symbols like plowed fields or rain clouds. 

Seeds and clouds are both fertility/abundance symbols--hopes for good rain and a successful harvest.

Seeds were represented on pysanky by dots or by tear-drop shapes.  This is an example of a prominent seed motif from Binyashevsky, on a pysanka from Pokuttia:

More examples of seeds, of the teardrop type. Pysanky of this simple type can be found in the Chernihiv region, where these are from, and in Podillia.


Dots, though, are the most common form of the seed motif. This is a pysanka with many small circles, from the Chernihiv region.

  As is often the case, rake motifs, which are cloud/rain symbols, are found together with dots and small circles, which are seeds, and leaves, symbols of growing plants.  These three pysanky, all from the Vinnytsia region, demonstrate this.


This pysanka from Volyn also has a seed motif. The rake motif is somewhat hidden, but you can see the tines/rain if you look carefully.  In this case the seeds are in the arm of the rake.

This is a pysanka from the Donetsk region. Once again, rakes/clouds with rain are seen in conjunction with seeds (here resembling a flower).

This pysanka from Zakarpattia is particularly interesting: the rake has become a vazon, and there are seeds in the pot, and on the leaves.