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“Forty Triangles”

The egg itself is most often divided by straight lines, using the traditional divisions, into squares, triangles and other simple geometric shapes. These shapes are then filled with other forms and designs. One interesting division which produces a geometric design is often called "forty triangles" (there are actually 48) or Sorokoklyn (Сорококлин, from «сорок клинців» meaning “forty wedges”).  An example is this type of pysanka from Eastern Polissya:

The original symbolism has been lost, but probably had something to do with the wedges/triangles themselves.  but it is now taken to symbolize of the forty days of Lent, the forty martyrs, the forty days that Christ spent in the desert, and the forty life tasks of married couples. (No, I don’t know what they are.)


Below are examples of traditional Ukrainian folk pysanky with the Sorokoklyn division and its variations.