The Slavic peoples have been decorating eggs since prehistoric times, originally in the belief that their magic would assure the coming of spring. Later, under Christianity, the decorated egg became a symbol of the Resurrection and its message of renewal. The Ukrainian community in Canada has developed this traditional craft into a vivid cultural symbol and a source of ethnic pride. Their rich decorative heritage gives Ukrainian egg-painters enormous scope for originality. Among the myriad ornamental motifs that can be recognized in the Museum's egg collection are symbols drawn from solar, plant, animal and ecclesiastical sources. Ukrainians call these eggs pysanky, from the verb pysaty, "to write". The design is "written" on the shell in molten wax, using a stylus, before the dyes are applied. As in batik, the wax protects the areas not to be dyed.