Ukrainian Folk Arts in The Silence of Trees

The folk arts of the Ukrainian people are an intrinsic expression of their spirit and heritage. Ukrainian folk arts are diverse and include wood carving, beading, folk dancing, vyshyvka (embroidery), pysanky, cooking, music, costumes, oral tradition, and more.

It would be impossible for me to tell an authentic story without including a few aspects of the rich Ukrainian traditions, so folk arts are certainly a part of my ABNA entry, The Silence of Trees.In my novel, Nadya connects to her homeland with her vyshyvka (the sewing of embroidery). Her eldest daughter, Katya (named after Nadya’s aunt who drowned) is a pysanka artist.

The Silence of Trees is a novel about stories–their power to heal, to connect, to transform. In Chapter Three, Katya teaches her niece how to make Ukrainian pysanky. As the two woman apply wax to the eggs, Nadya works on her embroidery.

Katya's Pysanka

This is the pysanka that Katya describes making in the chapter. In the interest of providing readers with bonus materials and supplemental goodies, my Web site, features an essay by the fictional Katya, which provides a little background about the art of crafting pysanky.

In the coming weeks I will be uploading more information about Ukrainian folklore and folk arts to my Web site, so be sure to check back often.

(The actual creator of this pysanka is Adriana Wrzesniewski, pysanka artist and teacher. You can visit her site at

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on @valya

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