Symbolism Links


There are few good English language places to read about symbolism on line.  Most offer only short lists of symbols, with simplistic explanations of the meaning, which they all seem to have copied from each other or from the Ukrainian Gift Shop books.

The best online page about pysanka symbolism (in English) was now-defunct “Pysanka” site, where they had a digital version of several sections of  “Pysanka, Icon of the Universe.”  It is a lovely little book, somewhat accurate, and this was a quite handy version of it.  An archive of the symbolism page can be found here.  Some of the interpretaions appear to be diasporan, rather than Ukrainian, in nature, so beware.

You can read about the symbolism of color here (also from Pysanka, Icon of the Universe), and peruse an excerpt from Sofia Zielyk’s book here

This site is quite extensive, but is in Ukrainian. Another Ukrainian site is the «Мистецька Сторінка» site here, where they discuss “Ancient Symbols of Ukrainian Pysanky”; actual examples of traditional pysanky are shown to illustrate the various symbols. (The pysanky appear to be taken from Manko and Binyashevsky.)

Particularly interesting was a page from a Carpatho-Rusyn site, where they gave examples of drop-pull motifs and their symbolism, but it has disappeared (although it lives on at the Wayback Machine archive link I’ve given here). The information and motifs appear to have been taken from Markovych’s book Rusyn Easter Eggs from Eastern Slovakia.

A very interesting site (also in Ukrainian) gives examples of ancient neolithic Trypillian symbols, and defines their meanings (although one wonders as to the source of their information; I suspect they are the product of a particularly vivid imagination). The symbols can also be found in this book, and I have included them on my site, here.  Many of these symbols can still be found on traditional Ukrainian pysanky.

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