Українська Народна Писанка

(The Ukrainian Folk Pysanka)

Author:  Віра Манько (Vira Manko)

Edition:  1st

Format:  Large format softcover

Pages:  48          

Language:  Ukrainian

Illustrations:  BW/Sepia and color plates/cover

Publisher:  Svichado  (Lviv, 2001)

Availability:  Yes

Acquired:  Ukraine, various bookstores

ISBN:  966-561-219-0

This is the first version of Vira Manko’s Ukrainian Folk Pysanka.  The text is the same as in her later (second) version. It differs from later version, though, in several important ways:

  1. 1.Some of the small ethnographic illustrations have changed.

  2. 2.It is only available in the Ukrainian language.  The second version is available in English, French, German and Polish (but not Russian!). 

  3. 3.It is a large format paperback, albeit one printed on high quality paper and with beautiful plates. 

  4. 4.The plates are different – there aren’t nearly as many pysanky pictured, and they aren’t individually photographed. 

Below is an example of one of the plates in this book:

The pysanky in the top plate are from the Kyiv and Cherkasy regions; those from the lower plate are from the east and south of Ukraine.  There are several such plates in the book; on a later pages a key is provided to the plates:

As in teh secodn version, the name of each of the pysanky (when known) is given, along with its village, region and oblast of origin (when known).

It is a marvelous little book, probably the best contemporary work written about the traditional pysanka.  I’ve bough several dozen copies (they sold in Ukraine for only $2.50 then, and are about $4 now) and given them to friends and family.  Later versions improved on illustrations, but the text–which is the heart of this little book–remains the same.

Both versions are still available for sale. This is the “discount” version, a nice book for beginners and people who might be interested in the subject of pysanky. Anyone with a serious interest in traditional pysanky, especially non-Ukrainian speakers, should probably buy the second version instead.

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