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Ukrainian art

Ukraine has a long tradition of arts and crafts: Embroidery, wood carving, ceramics and weaving are highly developed, with stylised ornamentation representing many regional styles.


Petrykivka is a traditional Ukrainian decorative painting style with 200 years of history, originating from the village of Petrykivka (where it takes its name from) in Dnipropetrovsk oblast of Ukraine. Where it was traditionally used to decorate house walls and everyday household items.


Before the important religious holidays, people would whitewash the walls of their homes and re-decorate them with new flower motifs.

Women were mainly the ones in charge of it, as well as folk artists, who were often invited by the neighbours to decorate their homes for each occasion.


Earlier, folk artists used natural paints (juices and decoctions of plants). In the 20th century, they were gradually replaced by aniline dyes. In the postwar period, gouache and watercolour became the common dyes.


Historically, several ethnic conflicts emerged in Ukraine on social and religious grounds. The 17th century Ukrainian-Polish wars were caused by oppressive serfdom, high taxes, discrimination and elimination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Their appointment of Jewish settlers as tax collectors in Ukrainian villages also led to strife between these groups.


Furthermore, the settled Ukrainians and the nomadic steppe tribes conflicted since medieval times. From the 15th century on, Crimean Tatars raided Ukraine for slaves, and Zaporozhian kozaks were the only defense against them.


In contemporary Ukraine, ethnic communities enjoy governmental support for their cultural development. Ethnic language instruction increased considerably in multicultural regions. The first center for preservation and development of Roma culture opened in Izmail near Odessa. Two prominent issues in ethnic relations concern the return to Crimea of the Crimean Tatars exiled in Soviet times.

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