Scratchwork Eggs

Dryapanky are a traditional, but far less common, form of Ukrainian egg decoration.  The name comes from the Ukrainian word dryapaty/дряпати (“to scratch’), as the designs are created by dyeing an egg a single color, and then scratching through the dyed surface to expose the white shell below.  Below are two scratchwork eggs created by Arnie Klein from traditional Ukrainian designs:

The red dryapanka design is taken from an illustration in a Soviet era folk art book (top of page).  Scratchwork is a common form of egg decoration in many Slavic countries, particularly Poland, where “skryobanki” are fairly common, and the Czechs, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Slovaks and Sorbians.  This is an example of Polish scratchwork:

Below are examples of Czech scratchwork eggs:

This type of egg decoration is even common among the Pennsylvania Dutch (who are actually German in origin) of North America.

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