Writing Pysanky



Back before the modern era, each region, each village, and almost every family in Ukraine had its own special ritual, its own symbols, meanings and secret formulas for dyeing eggs. These customs were preserved faithfully and passed down, from mother to daughter, through many generations. The custom of decorating pysanky was observed with greatest care, as a pysanka, particularly one that had received an Easter blessing, was held to have great powers as a talisman.

On the following pages is a discussion of various aspects of the traditions that surround the making of pysanky. I will try to answer the following questions:

When were pysanky written?   Pysankarstvo, in earlier times, was not a hobby or commercial activity, and the production of pysanky was tied to the liturgical calendar.


Who wrote pysanky?   The writing of pysanky was an important religious ritual, not a “fun” activity, and could be performed only by adult women.


What preparations were made prior to writing pysanky? Not just any materials could be used to create sacred ritual objects.


How were pysanky written?   What sort of dyes and styluses were used? How was the wax applied? How was it removed? 


How were pysanky finished?  What was done to protect and beautify them?


Why were pysanky written?   The ultimate why.

Back to Traditions home page

Back to MAIN Pysanka home page.

Back to Pysanka Index.

Search my site with Google