The Perfect Pysanka

Pysanky, also known as Ukrainian Easter eggs, are an ancient art tradition. Pysanky is the plural form of “pysanka” which stems from the Ukrainian verb “pvsatv” meaning “to write”.

Artists use a stylus to create wax-resist designs that began thousands of years ago with pagan tribute to seasonal elements and the cycle of life. In later centuries, Christian symbolism melded into the designs.

Courtenay residents, Willie and Moreen Haras met in 1983 and ran a business creating and selling pysanky. In 1995, they generously donated these beautiful eggs to the museum.

Here is a YouTube video suggested by the Comox Valley Ukrainian Cultural Society featuring ethnographer Sofika Zielyk’s presentation on the history of the pysanka, and the symbolism behind its colourful designs.