The name “Pysanka” (писанка) comes from the verb pysaty / писати ("to write").  Pysanky are raw eggs created using the wax-resist method (batik). The designs are "written" with a tool of some sort: a stylus (traditional pysanky) or a match or pinhead (drop-pull pysanky). The “drop-pull” pysanky are most commonly found in westernmost Ukraine, among the Lemky.

Wooden eggs and beaded eggs are also frequently referred to as “pysanky” because they mimic the decorative style of pysanky in a different medium.  Interestingly, in the Polish language, “pisanka,” which originally referred to a wax-resist egg (and has the same Slavic word root as pysanka), has become a generic term for a decorated egg. Polish wax resist eggs are now specifically referred to as “batikowane” (batik-style).

Drop-Pull Pysanky:

Decorated eggs made using a wax resist method, but created using a pinhead to place drops of molten wax on the surface of an egg and pull them into teardrop shapes.

Linear Batik Pysanky: 

These are the eggs that most people are acquainted with as “Ukrainian Easter Eggs.”  They are created using a wax resist method and a pysachok, or stylus, to write the designs on the shell. 

  Krashanky        Krapanky

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Batik-styled Eggs

A mix of modern and traditional pysanky