Justina’s Pysanky

Justina is an avid pysanky artist. Her mother and godmother taught her the ancient folk art when she was a child.

Pysanky dates back over 2,000 years when Slavic peasants decorated eggs to celebrate spring. In pre-Christian days, the eggs symbolized the release of the earth from the shackles of the harsh winter months. They believed that so long as the Pysanky were decorated, goodness would prevail over evil. Hutsuls, for example, who live in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine, even believed that the fate of the world depended upon the Pysanky.

In 988, the Great Prince Vladimir, Baptizer of Kievan Rus, accepted Christianity. After his baptism, St. Vladimir destroyed all pagan statues that stood in Kievan Rus and replaced them with churches. The Slavic peasants adapted Christianity into all aspects of their lives and culture, including Pysanky. For over 1,000 years, the colors and symbols used in Pysanky design represent Pascha (Easter) and Christ’s Resurrection.

Today, and especially during the Christian holy season of Great Lent, Ukrainians and Carpatho-Russians around the world practice the art of Pysanky. Other Eastern European ethnic groups also decorate eggs using similar dye and wax-resistant techniques. These groups include Byelorussians, Bulgarians, Czechs, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Poles, Romanians, Serbs, Slovaks, and Croats.

Interested in purchasing some of Justina’s folk art? Head on over to her new Etsy Shoppe, The Perfect Egg!