Ten years ago I learned from an old family history book that I was actually twenty-five percent
Ukrainian. My grandmother on my mother’s side married a staunch German Mennonite and followed
his ways which was without music, celebration, or family gatherings. Her Ukrainian heritage was lost to
I became even more interested in Ukrainian history. My husband is one hundred percent Ukrainian and
we follow the Julian calendar and celebrate Christmas and Easter together with the family. Now I bring
the colours, symbols, and folklore into my art. I am inspired mostly by the pagan history and
superstitions that could never be completely dissolved by the Church.
Hang On to Your Pysanky is my tribute to keeping Ukrainian culture and tradition alive. Don’t let the
Dark Faerie Babas or the Nasty Old Crones (my own made-up folklore) steal them away like they were
stolen from my grandmother. Since the discovery of my ancestry, my life is like The Golden Pysanka that
spreads Ukrainian folklore, symbolism, tradition, and culture throughout the land. Embracing the
uncovered part of my heritage will leave long lasting memories for my family and I.