SKRYNIA – chest, trunk, coffer
In Ukrainian tradition SKRYNIA – chest, trunk, coffer - is a symbol of prosperity, preservation of family traditions, respect for the work and memory of ancestors.
Traditional Ukrainian chests, as though, send a message – only by preserving and honoring everything family-related, the spiritual and material heritage of our ancestors, the younger generation will be able to find peace, gain prosperity, welfare and multiply their riches – both spiritual and material, tangible ones.
The perishable material items kept in a ‘skrynia’ were supposed to increment the imperishable, spiritual riches of its owner. Coffers taught people to live in the present while honoring the memory of the past and thinking of the future.
As a rule, coffers were used to store a girl’s dowry (most of the items traditionally made by this girl herself), including: embroidered shirts, blouses, runners, pillowcases, scrolls of homespun cloth etc. The trunk’s contents were a direct ‘display’ of the girl’s talent, persistence and diligence. There was even a saying «Яка скриня, така й господиня» (You can tell a lot about a maiden by looking inside her coffer). Getting married a girl was supposed to bring her ‘skrynia’ with her dowry to her new home, take good care of it throughout her life and then pass it down to the next generation; and with it – all that’s been amassed since her wedding day – the wedding dress and wreath, jewelry, amulets etc.
Thus a ‘skrynia’ can be considered the treasury of a woman - the guardian of family traditions.