History and Symbolism of Ukrainian Easter Egg

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History and Symbolism of Ukrainian Easter Egg

Postby Letha.. » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:02 am


Ukrainian Easter Eggs (Pysanky) are hand decorated eggs which are made with an ancient wax resist process.

Archeologists have discovered ceramic pysanky in Ukraine dating back to 1300 B.C. They have linked pysanky designs to those of Egyptian ceramics created in 1500 B.C., and to symbolism of the Trypilljan culture in Ukraine of 3000 B.C. 6000 years ago the Trypilljan culture flourished in Ukraine. The society existed 3000 years before biblical Abraham and long before Greek mythology and the Bronze Age. Trypilljan people lived in the land of Ukraine at the same time as the Egyptian pyramids were build. The Trypilljans were a matriarchal society that worshipped "mother earth" and had little interest in power struggles concerning politics, taxes, money and ruling, as in patriarchal societies. Trypilljans lived peacefully with each other and with their neighbors. The tools which were most used were hoes and sickles, not clubs and arrows. Their homes were decorated inside and out with beautiful drawings and paintings. Because they took time for artistic and aesthetic beauty, scientists feel they had enough food and time to spend on higher pursuits such as beauty and art. In both design and color, Trypilljan symbolism echoed the people's close attachment to the soil and other elements of nature. Ukrainian symbolic art is based, in large measure, on these early ideograms. The most notable example is the Ukrainian meander or unending line, which denotes the cyclical nature of life. Other examples include such motifs as the circle, cross, stars, dots, matriarchal symbols, wheat, fir tree, horse, stag, horns and bear's paws. What is a symbol on "pysanka"? It is a word picture, an ideogram, a code, containing the secrets of a culture. More effectively than words it reveals feelings: love, happiness, hope, dread ,despair, etc. To those who understand symbolic art, it means something, and to those who cannot decipher the code, it remains a mystery.

The sense of mystery is inherent because each pysanka involves a trinity of symbolisms: the symbolism of the egg itself, the symbolism of design, and the symbolism of color.

The original source of creation! The Universe! The symbol of life! Our planet Earth looks like an egg: crust = shell; magma = egg white; core = yolk.

In the folk life of Ukrainian people, the pysanka possess talismanic powers. Receipt of a pysanka is not only a token of friendship or esteem but also brings with it protection from harm. Ukrainian ancestors believed that pysanky in the home would bring good fortune, wealth, health, and protection from lightning and fire. Pysanky are said to possess curative powers for both men and animals. With the acceptance of Christianity in 988 A.D., the pysanka has been part of the Christian tradition and Easter ritual. The pysanka came to symbolize the rebirth of man, as represented by the Resurrection. Beeswax was considered as a magical ingredient of the writing process. This was entwined with the sun cult. The wax was made from honey; the honey was collected from flowers; flowers grew because of the sun.

Source: http://eggs-files.tripod.com/pysanky_4.html
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
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