Beautiful and poignant words from poet and author Theresa Kishkan
In Ukraine, in 2019, I bought two vyshyvanky, the embroidered shirts that encode so much of traditional life and culture. The one on the right uses rhombus forms that I believe symbolize the unity of male and female principles, sown fields, prosperity.
The other vyshyvanka has poppies embroidered on the yoke and sleeves. The poppy is a protection against the evil eye.
I remember the difficulty in choosing a vyshyvanka among the thousands available in the Kosiv market, each one more beautiful than the last. Some were so heavy with embroidery that I couldn’t imagine actually wearing them — and I wanted to wear mine. I still think of the one that got away, not in Kosiv but in Lviv, at the end of my trip, when my suitcase was full and I thought I’d spent enough money. That one? It was black, with appliqued yoke and sleeves in deep…
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