The oak tree was a favorite of the god Perun, the highest god of the pantheon and the god of thunder and lightning. In 980, when Volodymyr the Great ascended to the throne of Kyiv, he erected statues of five pagan gods in front of his palace. Perun was chief among these, represented with a silver head and a golden mustache. After the Christianization of Kyivan Rus, this place became a monastery, which, quite remarkably, continued to bear the name of Perun.

Pysanky with oak symbol (oak leaves and acorns) were powerful and protective. Oak leaves are a fairly common botanical motif.

Halychyna, often referred to in western books as “Galicia,” is the lowland region of western Ukraine south of Volyn and north of Podillya.  The name has been used throughout history in many contexts, both as an ethnic and political descriptor. Politically, is a historical region in East Central Europe, currently divided between Poland and Ukraine, named after ancient Ukrainian city of Halych. The nucleus of historic Galicia is formed of three regions of western Ukraine: Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk. Throughout history the term has been used to denote widely varying territories and has various meaning among different groups.

Because the term is so nebulous, it is hard to discuss the characteristics of its pysanky in any detail.  It is better to refer to its distinct ethnographic regions (e.g. Roztochya, Opillia, pidlyashya, Kholm, etc.).  This design is taken from Onyshchuk’s book.

Technical details:  this is a moderately simple pysanka, and a nice design for beginners to try. Use a medium stylus for lines, heavy for waxing in.

This pattern utilizes three dyes: orange, red and black.  If you don’t have a nice orange color, yellow can be used instead. It would also look nice with dark brown or dark red as a final color.  Another less traditional variation of colors would be yellow (to substitute orange), green (to replace the red in the oak leaves), red and black. 

This pysanka utilizes a star division (for pencil lines).

The example above is a bit too spread out; the design would have greater impact if it were a bit more compact, and if the line weight were heavier. 

Download this pattern sheet:



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Oak Leaves

Дубове Листя