The tradition and culture of a country can be an incalculable source of beauty as demonstrated in these portraits of Ukrainian women dressed in wonderful traditional fabrics, coral jewelry and flower crowns that give them a look that reminds us of multi-chromatic virgins.
The “vinok” (wreath or crown) has been worn for centuries by girls and young women to symbolize purity and fertility. The wreaths are believed to have pagan origins that predate the introduction of Christianity to the Eastern Slavic world in the 10th century. They are part of a traditional culture that Ukrainians are embracing in daily life.
According to National Geographic, the wreaths are a classic decoration for Ukraine’s Ivan Kupala celebrations in early July. Originally pagan, the ritual was long ago Christianized to incorporate John (Ivan) the Baptist and is also celebrated in Russia, Poland, and Belarus.
Photography is a window to the world, the perfect showcase to show, in a beautiful and suggestive way, the cultural richness around the world. Treti Pivni’s work is not only immeasurably beautiful, it is a way of preserving traditions through her series of women and girls in traditional Ukrainian headdresses and costumes.
Behind each colorful portrait, there is a whole team of photographers, stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists, in love with Ukraine and its tradition, and they have chosen the magic of these captures to promote their folklore and give an important pacifist message.
The floral crowns were traditionally designed for girls and young unmarried women as a sign of their “purity”. In the wake of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, there has been a surge in national pride, especially in terms of fashion. The floral headdress, or vinok, is worn as an accessory in everyday life.
The flowers, which are usually fresh, paper or wax, are attached to a stiff paper band. The vinok, used mostly at weddings, has taken on a more peaceful meaning today. Here’s a sample of Treti Pivni’s work.