Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ukraine Wedding adornment, Rushnyk

Wedding adornment of a house from the village of Bobrivnyk, Zinkiv district, Poltava region.
Late 19th century

postmarked in 2009 with a Ukraina (Ukraine) stamp

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the sender writes:
Rushnyk is the towel decorated with the cross stitch pattern. This is very popular in the Ukraine. You can see them on the wall on this postcard.

I found this on the web:
A rushnyk is a ritual towel. The word comes from ruka, meaning hand, and a regular rushnyk would be simply a towel, a piece of cloth that a person could use to wipe his or her hands. Rushnyk has acquired and is currently used in a double meaning: it retains its simple meaning of "towel" and it has also acquired the meaning of ritual object. The ritual rushnyk is a very important item to which a great deal of power is ascribed. It is used to secure a wedding, to dispatch the deceased to the world of the dead, to protect the home and insure the prosperity and fertility of the inhabitants of the household, among other things.

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