Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/69

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Some Notes on the Huculs.

Easter Eggs.

In the Hucul villages the people assemble before the church on Easter Day at four o'clock in the morning in order that the Easter bread, ham, etc., may be blessed by the priest. After this ceremony, many of them present each other with painted eggs, mutually asking forgiveness from each other. In the afternoon the boys try to take the eggs from the girls. If any girl offers a boy an egg of her own accord, he knows that she wishes him to court her. Birds (doves), represented by means of eggs, are fastened to the ceiling, so as to hang down in the living room of the cottage in remembrance of the birth of Christ (Plate III.).[1] They say that then a dove came down from heaven soaring over the child Jesus. The series of eggs in the illustration (Plate IV.) represent the stages in the technical drawing and colouring of them. On the first Qgg are only wax lines, which, after the final touches, will be removed, leaving the egg white. Secondly, the egg is put into a yellow colour; those parts of the egg which are to remain yellow being in their turn covered with wax, and so on.2 (See also Plate I.)

The yellow colour is made from the dried blossoms of genista tinctoria, and must be gathered before the feast ^ " PLATE IV. Fig. I. Egg covered with intersecting lines in wax, eventually to show white. . Dipped in yellow dye {a). . The parts intended to remain yellow covered with wax {b). . Coloured green {c), the wax indicated by cross-hatching. . The green parts covered with wax {d). . Dipped in red dye {e). . The wax removed, and the hidden colouring shown (a, c, e), the intersecting lines white.

  1. The body of the dove is made of a coloured egg-shell, the wings and tail of figured paper, very evenly folded, coloured only on the upper sides ; the head and attachment of wings and tail are made of grey wax.