Wycinanki, The Art of Polish Papercutting

My daughter was researching Poland for Heritage Day in school, so I was looking for any items my family might have from Poland for her to bring to school.  My dad recently gave this to me, it was my grandmother’s and I wasn’t sure who made it or what it was.
After doing some research I learned that this is a Polish version art form of paper cutting, called Wycinanki, pronounced (vee-chee-nan-kee).  I learned my uncle bought this for my grandmother while traveling to Krak√≥w, Poland in the 1970's.
Wycinanki is hand cut colored paper, often folded in half to get a mirror image, like the one I have below.
my grandmother's wycinanki


Wycinanki originally started in the country side of Poland from shepherds cutting designs out of leather and tree bark with their sheer cutters. Colorful paper Wycinanki dates back to the mid-1800’s used to decorate the inside of the country cottages, on the roof beams, in windows and often given as gifts.
The most popular subject matter are symmetrical birds, roosters, flowers and star medallions.
In some towns and villages competitions evolved to create the most beautiful Wycinanki. Traditionally done for relaxation in rural Poland, the techniques were passed down through generations, with new themes and ideas developing as the paper cuttings became more detailed and intricate.
Below are some other Wycinanki art works I found:








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