Four- and eight-membered structures with a rhombus in the center in the geometric ornaments of Podillya embroidery

UDC 130.2

Yevhen Prychepii
Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
ORCID ID 0000-0002-5363-1004


Keywords: structures of ornaments, pose of the goddess, goddess “hands on hips”, goddess-“oranta”.

Abstract. The subject of research is the structure of geometric ornaments, in the center of which there is a rhombus, and on the periphery there are eight or four symbols. (figure 7, 8, 14). It is stated in this article that these  structures symbolise the Cosmos of the ancient people: rhombus in the centre of structure denotes the dungeon and four (eight) symbols on the periphery denote a certain sphere of life.

Structures with four symbols on the periphery, which are more common in ornaments, denote the four goddesses. The principles of constitution of these goddesses are considered. Their images are formed from two rhombuses-a common rhombus, which denotes the dungeon (or vulva of the goddess), and a separate rhombus-head. The rhombus and rhombuses are connected by symbols, which are popularly called “ram horns” and “hearts”. The author identifies them as the” hands ” of the goddess and believes that they are used to form the “poses” of the goddesses.

Three ornamental types of goddesses with different poses have been identified: the goddess in the “hands on hips” pose, the goddess in the “oranta” pose, and the goddess with hands in the shape of a “heart”. The samples of ornaments, which are inherent in these poses, are considered. The heart-shaped goddess is identified as the vulva goddess, the hands-on-hips goddess as the head goddess, and the oranta goddess as the Great Goddess. It is argued that the study of the” poses ” (hand shapes) of conventional figurines of goddesses can open up a new perspective in understanding the semantics of ornaments.

Author Biography.

Yevhen Prychepii, Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor, Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.


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PDF (Ukrainian).


Vol 22 No 2 (2022).