Tree carving, Kyiv, Ukraine

We are in Kyiv, Ukraine, looking at a rich brown tree carved into the image of a warrior in the Ukrainian/Slavic tradition. In the background is a side street filled with parked cars and building fronts.
Tree carved into traditional art, on a street in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph credit to John Howe, 2009.

Trees have a special role in Ukrainian myth and culture, perhaps because Christianity arrived so late in the region. Our guide took us to see several that had been sculpted. When a tree dies on a city street, it is turned into a work of native art before being ultimately replaced by a new sapling. It is a delightful idea.

– John Howe, Newsletter: Catching up in Kyiv (2009)