Bohdan_Kozak
Bohdan_Kozak
26 June 2023, 12:55

Decorations of Ukraine. A walk through the history of jewelry.

Decorations of Ukraine. A walk through the history of jewelry.
When we talk about the first jewelry on the territory of modern Ukraine, the Late Paleolithic era with jewelry made of animal bones and teeth immediately comes to mind. One of the oldest archaeological evidences is the bracelets from the Mizin excavations.
Mizin bracelets are approximately 20,000 years old, from the Late Paleolithic period. The material was a mammoth tusk.
Trypil culture certainly enriches the historical heritage of Ukraine. After all, the people of Trypil not only wore, but also founded workshops for the manufacture of jewelry. Archaeological excavations have revealed necklaces with beads, amulets made of bones, teeth and even precious stones.
But if we look deeper into history, we will see that there were great representatives of jewelry art. Peoples who inhabited the Black Sea region of Ukraine: Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians. It was the culture of these peoples that was the cradle of the history of Ukrainian jewelry.

The Scythians certainly left a valuable legacy. Their jewelry masterpieces are presented at modern international exhibitions. The Scythian Pectoral is known all over the world. The Scythians knew how to use all the techniques of making jewelry known at that time.
Casting, engraving, coining, inlaying, gilding, setting stones and other jewelry techniques were mastered by Scythian craftsmen.
T
he decorations of the Scythians were distinguished by a special style in which fantastic beasts were depicted.

The Danube (in the south of Ukraine) and the western regions borrow the culture of the Celts in the craft. Their decorations were characterized by plant and animal, geometric and circular ornaments.

Neck hryvnias are the most common jewelry of the Celts.
Later, the ancient Slavs continue to stylize jewelry, as their ancestors did. At the same time, new jewelry techniques appear.
The formation of the Slavic style was also influenced by paganism.
Image: Slavic jewelry from the archaeological sites of Bukovyna: fibulas from Chornivka (1), Nedoboivtsi (2), lunnitsa from Revny (3) and Rydkivtsi (6,9), pendants from Chornivka (4), Rydkivtsi (5) , a temple ring and a ring from Ruhotyn (Korneshti village) (7, 8)
Image: Slavic jewelry from the archaeological sites of Bukovyna: fibulas from Chornivka (1), Nedoboivtsi (2), lunnitsa from Revny (3) and Rydkivtsi (6,9), pendants from Chornivka (4), Rydkivtsi (5) , a temple ring and a ring from Ruhotyn (Korneshti village) (7, 8)

The most famous artifacts were discovered during the excavations of the Martynov treasure.
Kyivan Rus was famous for the best jewelers in Europe.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the most popular ornaments were multi-manitine beads, dukachi, crosses made of precious metals and stones. At the same time, jewelry began to be perceived as a reflection of the position in society. Even poor women in the villages tried to have a decent set of jewelry.

Sometimes a woman's necklaces could cost more than a house or land.
In the future, the Ukrainian art of jewelry evolves, continuing to incorporate the thousand-year history of our ancestors and pagan symbols. Ukrainian traditionalism is emerging. Crafts are developing.
Hutsulshchyna becomes the successor of Kyivan Rus.
From the Hutsul region come shards, buckles for cheres, bags and handbags.

It is worth noting that the primary meaning of jewelry was somewhat different from the aesthetic function of decoration. The first decorations were charms, amulets. Which is not surprising, because the formation of the worldview was influenced by the attitude of man to the forces of nature.
Over time, decorations changed, took on different shapes and colors, and new materials were used. But over the centuries, decorative elements continued to combine beauty and sorcery, magic.
The history of Ukrainian jewelry is rich and rich. Echoes of ancient times in jewelry still give aesthetic pleasure to this day.

Sources and photos:
Bohdan Posyvaylo
National Center of Folk Culture "Ivan Honchar Museum".
Pivovarov C. "Ornaments of the Slavic population of Bukovyna (new finds) - Materials and research from the archeology of Carpathians and Volhynia" Vol. 14. 2009.
Branch of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine.
Album "Kyiv Museum of Historical Jewels" (1974)
Album "Hutsul artistic metal products" (2011)
Exhibition "Ukraine of the World", Kyiv, 2013.
Cultural and historical portal "Heritage of the Ancestors
Anna Vrochynska's monograph "Ukrainian folk women's jewelry of the 19th - early 20th centuries". – Kyiv, Rodovid, 2007.

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