The word “biserka” (бісерка) comes from Ukrainian word biser/ бісер, “beads.”  Although this type of decorated egg is now often seen for sale in Ukrainian craft markets, they are not a traditional Ukrainian handcraft.

There was a traditional of decorating eggs with beads in Bukovyna, but it was a practice limited to orthodox nuns in that regions; the tradition was brought from Romania.  The egg was covered in beeswax, and the beads were pressed into the wax to create designs.  The eggs in the photo above a classic examples of this for of egg decoration–you can see the hole in the beads on the face of the egg.  This type is rarely seen any more.

There are now many different styles of bead-decorated eggs available in Ukraine; most involve gluing beads to wooden eggs (below), but there are also gerdan-style eggs (where the beads are woven into a net that is slipped over the egg), and versions where the egg is covered in fabric and the beads sewn on. 

You can view more photos of these different types of eggs here.

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Traditional Beaded Eggs