Ukraine

Ornek, a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it

Örnek is a Ukrainian system of symbols and their meanings, currently used in embroidery, weaving, pottery, engraving, jewellery, wood carving, and glass and wall painting. The symbols are arranged to create a narrative composition. The Crimean Tatar communities understand the meaning of the symbols and often commission artisans to create certain compositions with specific meanings. Geometric ornaments are primarily used in weaving, whereas floral ornaments are used in all other folk crafts, including those not traditionally practised by Crimean Tatars, such as glass painting, wall painting or canvas wall art. Common symbols include plants and trees, symbolizing people of different genders and ages. There are around thirty-five symbols in total, each with its unique meaning and connotations. For instance, a rose symbolizes a married woman, a poplar or cypress symbolizes an adult man, a tulip symbolizes a young man, and an almond symbolizes an unmarried woman or girl. A carnation symbolizes an older person, wisdom and life experience. The symbolism of the floral ornaments is always emphasized by the unique colour palette and symbol combinations. For instance, a tulip within a rose symbolizes the love or union of a man and a woman. Many symbols are used as protective charms. The associated knowledge and skills are transmitted by skilled artisans within families and communities, in informal contexts such as embroidery classes, and in formal contexts such as universities.

© Chorna Kateryna, 2019

Медия

   Ukraine

Ornek, a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it

Date of Inscription:

Inscribed in 2021 (16.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Tradition of Kosiv painted ceramics

The tradition of Kosiv painted ceramics – which include dishes, ceremonial items, toys and tiles – arose in the 18th century, reaching its golden age in the mid-19th century. The products are made using local grey clay, watered with a white clay of creamy texture; when dried, they are painted using a metal stick scratching technique to form a graphical contour drawing. They are then fired and painted with metal oxides to produce the traditional green and yellow colors, an indispensable feature of the ceramics. Sometimes, masters add a little cobalt, but not so much as to lose the traditional colouring. During the firing, the green dye spreads to create the watercolour effect, usually called ‘tears’. The main feature of Kosiv ceramics is the figurative design of the ornament. The plot motif expresses the history, life, folklore, beliefs and customs of the Hutsuls, and surrounding flora and fauna. The ceramics are used in everyday life and have a practical and artistic value. Masters work in family workshops and small craft workshops and the practice constitutes an identity marker and sign of affiliation with the community. The Department of Art Ceramics of Kosiv College ensures the continuity of generations of masters and bearers and has a special responsibility for sustaining the tradition, preserving the traditional technological cycle (potter’s wheels, clay, tools and pottery kilns).

Creation of pottery, master Mykola Chorny © Svitlana Pakhlova

Media

  Ukraine

Tradition of Kosiv painted ceramics

Date of Inscription:

Inscribed in 2019 (14.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Cossack’s songs of Dnipropetrovsk Region

Cossack songs are sung by communities of the Dnipropetrovsk region which tell stories about the tragedy of war but also the personal relationships of Cossack soldiers. Singers practise the tradition in three different groups: Krynycya, Boguslavochka and Pershocvit. The songs are sung for pleasure and so practitioners can have a connection to the past – their ancestors and their community’s history. Many of the singers, both men and women, are aged in their 70s and 80s and have been involved in the practice for most of their lives. The groups operate around two main performers: the first who has knowledge of all the song lyrics starts the singing, then the second begins (in an upper voice), followed by the rest of the group (with middle and lower voices). If male singers are not present in the group, women impersonate them by deepening their voices. The singers normally meet regularly and while not requiring an audience, may sometimes give a concert. It is a tradition that is transmitted within families where younger members learn from those more experienced, but its continuity is now in question due to an aging bearer population and the sparsity of other knowledge sources for new generations to learn from.

Singing group 'Pershotsvit' (primrose) from Kocherezhky village against the background of inscription '30 Years of group 'Pershotsvit' © Kravchenko Dmytro, 2014
Singing group 'Pershotsvit' (primrose) from Kocherezhky village against the background of inscription '30 Years of group 'Pershotsvit' © Kravchenko Dmytro, 2014

Media

  Ukraine

Cossack’s songs of Dnipropetrovsk Region

Date of Inscription:

Inscribed in 2016 (11.COM) on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Petrykivka decorative painting as a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art

The people of the village of Petrykivka decorate their living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments with a style of ornamental painting that is characterized by fantastic flowers and other natural elements, based on careful observation of the local flora and fauna. This art is rich in symbolism: the rooster stands for fire and spiritual awakening, while birds represent light, harmony and happiness. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow and evil. Local people, and in particular women of all ages, are involved in this folk art tradition. Every family has at least one practitioner, making decorative painting an integral part of daily existence in the community. The painting traditions, including the symbolism of the ornamental elements, are transferred, renewed and enhanced from one generation to another. Local schools at all levels, from pre-school to college, teach the fundamentals of Petrykivka decorative painting, with all children given the opportunity to study it. The community willingly teaches its skills and know-how to anyone who shows an interest. The tradition of decorative and applied arts contributes to the renewal of historical and spiritual memory and defines the identity of the entire community.

Icon of the Virgin Mary and Baby. Unknown author, the end of the XVIII century © artmuseumdp2011
Icon of the Virgin Mary and Baby. Unknown author, the end of the XVIII century © artmuseumdp2011

Media

  Ukraine

Petrykivka decorative painting as a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art

Date of Inscription:

Inscribed in 2013 (8.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity