Ukrainian Souvenirs "On-line Store"
Ukraine is a country with long history which during centuries accumulated rich cultural, musical, folk, and handicraft traditions. Some of them, like decorated eggs (pysanky), are well known. Another are still waiting for their time to be discovered by the world. Our Ukrainian Store presents Ukraine-related products that reflect Ukrainian culture, history, folk and music traditions, art, and books. It is more a small exhibition than a store.
In this on-line store have been gathered all Ukraine – produced or Ukraine-related products that could be found. It will save you a lot of time to get an idea what Ukraine is famous for and what you can bring as a gift from your trip to Ukraine. The “departments” of this on-line store will be helpful addition to your knowledge about Ukraine, its people, culture, traditions, and art.
Embroidery is an organic part of the national culture.
Talking about Ukrainian embroidery we have to realize that it takes its roots from many century customs and traditions and all its designs are deeply symbolic. Each area of Ukraine has its own favorite technique, combination of colors, and its special language of symbols. There are more than 200 different stitching techniques which can be identified in Ukrainian national embroidery designs.
Ukrainian embroidery. Traditional national costume.
Each embroidered symbol has its special meaning. Roses stand for love, sunflower symbolizes sun, and bees are the symbol of spiritual purity. Art of embroidery is pretty popular in Ukraine. If you travel around the country, you will be able to see a lot of ryshnyki (embroidered ritual towel), colorful vishivanky (national shirt), table clothes, napkins, and so on. Ryshniki often hang on the wall surrounding an icon or a cross, take part in wedding ceremonies, serve as a cradle for newborn and support coffin to be lowered into the ground when some person died. Even if you are not going to use them for some ritual purposes, they are still lovely piece of art which keeps love and warmth of those hands which made them. You will feel it once you touch them. Some samples of beautiful embroidery from Ukraine can be found at Pirogovo’s stores while you’re taking a tour to see that fascinating places of old Ukraine village. Almost all of them have charts in case you would like to make it yourself.
Staying in Kiev take some time to go to Andriyevska street market place. You can see there lots of different type of Ukrainian towel that correspond your interest and size. Embroideries are traditional ornaments for the national clothes which still can be seen around Ukraine. Especially at some significant events of people’s life: weddings, baptizing, folk festivals, some official ceremonies. More often they can be seen in rural areas. Especially popular this kind of clothes is in West Ukraine. But since Ukraine became independent, more city people express their interest to national Ukrainian attributes and clothes. At our Ukrainian Store we try to create a small exhibition of things which would give you an idea about rich historical and cultural traditions of Ukrainian people. Ukrainian national shirts, blouses, shawls always bring you sensation of holiday and joy. Usually they have clear and bright colors, rich and intricately executed embroidery, stay in harmony with mild and quiet Ukrainian scenery. No matter whether it is everyday cloth or a garment for some special occasions. It simply looks fascinating. Some of them have pretty simple design while others deserve to be placed to any art exhibition.
Pysanky. Decorated Ukrainian Easter Eggs.
Next “department” of our Ukrainian store is about pysanky. History of pysanky goes many centuries back to pagan times. The egg had a particular significance in the traditional pagan spring rituals and symbolized rebirth of nature, new hopes, and new life. With the acceptance of Christianity in 988 A.D. many pagans’ beliefs and customs were adopted and transformed into Christian traditions and became their inalienable part. Tradition of decorating eggs became part of the Easter rituals.
The design and symbols used for decorating Easter eggs were handed down from mothers to daughters for centuries. Everything had its special meaning: colors and their combinations, symbols and ornaments, even the right spiritual frame of mind was required in order woman (only women were allowed to decorate eggs) could perform this mystical ritual. Egg decorating is a process similar to batik. Patterns are drawn on the egg with wax. When the dye is applied, covered with wax area stays protected. Layer by layer, color by color a multicolored masterpiece comes to life. After the layers of wax are melted away and wiped clean, egg is coated with layers of clear finish to give the egg strength. Finally, the egg is emptied and washed thoroughly through the tiny holes in the shell. It takes about 2-3 hours to complete the simplest design egg. Traditionally large chicken eggs are used for decorating, but duck, goose and sometimes ostrich eggs are also common. There is one more alternative to it. Imported from Ukraine hand carved or hand painted Easter eggs often are made of wood. The most interesting designs among them have decorated eggs created in Carpathians region (West Ukraine) and in the famous art village of Petrykivka (East Ukraine).
At the beginning of XX century woodworking for everyday use have lost its meaning. New times, new materials and new technology came instead. But traditions of Ukrainian wood carving are still alive. Literally every household of Transcarpathia has some kind of wood carving: architectural elements, furniture, tools and musical instruments, toys, decorative vases, boxes, candle holders, plates, sculptures of animals and people, and so on. During your trip to West Ukraine visiting numerous marketplaces with huge selection of art works where for reasonable prices you can buy any of them is a real fun. Traditional Ukrainian carvings pretty often can be seen at EBay actions.