Vegetable Motifs


Plant fecundity

Fruit       Seeds

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Vegetables are a rarity on pysanky.  Even when motifs are given vegetable names, one cannot be sure if these are actual vegetable symbols, or names given later when the original meanings were lost.  One that does show up occasionally is «Огірочки» (ohirochky, cucumbers).  This is an example from Rivenshchyna (Vira Manko):

This example, also from Vira Manko, but from Yavorivka, Pishchankyi raion, Vinnytsia oblast (Podillia) is called «Огірочки і вовчі зуби» (Cucumbers and wolves' teeth).  I am assuming is it the ovals that are the ohirochky, but I could be wrong:

These two Podillian pysanky also show ohirochky; the one on the left is called «П’явки з огірками», and on the right «Огірочки з серпиками» (Leeches and cucumbers, Cucumbers and scythes). These are also from the village of Yavorivka.


On the pysanka on the left, the S-shaped (zmiya) motif is the leech, and I’m guessing the vaguely floral motif on the right must contain the cucumbers.  On the pysanka on he right, the scythes appear to be halves of an S (zmiya), and the cucumbers must the the leaf-shaped objects.

The two pysanky below, also from Yavorivka, are named «Огірочки» (Cucumbers) and «Огірочки і гойданка» (Cucumbers and swing). The long ovoid shapes are probably the cucumbers.


I do not think the “ohirochky” as such have any specific meanings as such, as they are most likely later renaming of simple ovals. The ovals in the Rivne pysanka do bear a strong resemblance to yoni, female generative symbols.