Hutsul icon on glass [private collection of Ostap Lozynskyi]. A unique phenomenon in Ukrainian iconography of the late ХІХ th and early XX th centuries, these icons are distinctive and easily recognizable, painted on glass with a sonorous red color (hence they were also called "red").
The central place in the folk cult of the Hutsul region belongs to St. Nicholas, who was the saint the Hutsuls turned to in all their earthly troubles. St. Jur (George), the patron saint of cattle breeding, was also very important, as the success of this trade was a matter of life and death for the highlanders. Among the favorites are the Intercession, St. Catherine and Barbara, and St. Elijah.
A unique collection of Ukrainian carpets from private collections. The Poltava carpets are woven with colored wool and represent the gardens of paradise. They are easily recognizable by their lush floral ornamentation and a frame of curly floral garland. The centers of carpet weaving in the Poltava region were Dykanka, Sorochyntsi, Reshetylivka, Zolotonosha, and Novi Sanzhary.
These carpets are magical, no matter they don't fly. They are perfect, and therefore could make the gods envious - that's why weavers would deliberately mix up the pattern, making a mistake in their perfect geometry. Their patterns affect the mind like a psychotropic weapon, activating archaic layers of some long-forgotten sign system.
Unique Hutsul ceramics from the private collections of the Lviv Institute of Collecting. These world-class masterpieces created by the Ukrainian folk genius are our cultural calling card in the world. The tiles and bowls of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which were once admired by Emperor Franz Joseph himself, are now freely available on our website.
Kosiv and the village of Pistyn are centers for pottery in the Hutsul region — this corner of the world is particularly rich in high-quality clay. Hutsul craftsmen had their own expressively distinct style — glazed tiles and bowls painted with vibrant green and yellow paints would give one the impression that they were mixed with the springtime sun. Flowers, totemic animals, people, saints, and whole scenes of events were represented on tiles due to a unique technique of engraving. Hutsul ceramics are also distinguished for their streaking of colors. At first this might seem like the mistake of an amateur craftsman. But in truth it is a unique manifestation of folk-genius which makes these works even more valuable.
In dimly lit Hutsul homes with their small windows and low roofs these shiny bowls and tiles were indeed a source of the sun, acting on its behalf as every sun beam or flicker from a wood-burning stove would glow and shimmer upon the glazed ceramic surfaces.
Hutsul ceramics were in demand in Romania and Hungary. So much so it’s said that Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph himself contracted a stove to be made by the master craftsman Oleksa Bakhmatiuk and this stove is now displayed in one of Vienna castles.
A 'pysanka' Easter egg is a symbol of the Sun god, resurrection, and springtime renewal. From the most ancient of times, Ukrainians have painted the birds’ eggs with magical patterns, aided by wax and natural dyes.
Pysanky eggs are created during Lent in preparation for Easter. Many are drawn during this time, a whole basket — some would be taken for blessing at church, some given as gifts to relatives and friends (a special one for a groom), some placed under icons until the next year.
Pysanky eggs have served as talismans and medicine. On Saint George’s Day, the sacred egg would be rolled over every inch of cattle, from head to tail, to keep them smooth and healthy. On the morning of Easter, young women would infuse water with their pysanky and dukach — for beauty and wealth. Pysanky are mediators between the world of the living and the world of spirits. After Easter breakfast, the shells of the pysanky would be thrown into the river and be carried beyond the sea to our ancestral “Rahmans”, declaring to them that “Christ has risen!” Our Elders say, “The world will exist for as long as people “write” pysanky”.