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Sociocultural Studies of Ukrainian-Belarusian Borderland: On the Issue of Historiography

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The authors of the publication:
Semenova Oksana
Bibliographic description:
Semenova, O. (2019) Sociocultural Studies of Ukrainian-Belarusian Borderland: Оn the Issue Historiography. Narodna tvorchist ta etnolohiya [Folk Art and Ethnology], 4 (380), 24–38


Semenova Oksana      
a Ph.D. in History, research fellow at the Historical Studies Department of MESU Research Institute of Ukrainian


Sociocultural Studies of Ukrainian-Belarusian Borderland: On the Issue of Historiography



Nowadays Ukrainian-Belarusian borderland is a fine example to study ethnocultural processes and phenomena. Similar environmental conditions, traditional way of housekeeping have caused similar ethnocultural features of the inhabitants of Ukrainian-Belarusian Polissia. Thus, linguistic, cultural and ethnic peculiarities of the borderland representatives have become the main differentiating features.

During the research a big amount of works devoted to linguistic and ethnolinguistic study of Ukrainian-Belarusian borderlands have been revealed, where the special features of Ukrainian and Belarusian dialects are described. The authoress has examined dialectological studies of Polissia, in particular, the collective works of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian scientists and also some separate editions, where phonetic, morphological and lexical peculiarities of Polissian dialects are considered. A number of linguistic and geographical editions, both general and special ones: atlases of animal and building vocabularies, names of medicinal plants, clothes, footwear etc., are analyzed. Also a review of some lexicographical works, in particular different topical vocabularies of Polissian dialects, is proposed in the paper.

Studies of spiritual and material culture are connected with folklore traditions on the borderland and different aspects of traditional and everyday culture of neighboring Ukrainians and Belarusians, their ways of housebuilding, folk medicine, astronomy, meteorology etc.

Particular attention is paid to the problem of ethnic consciousness and self-identity formation among the Ukrainian-Belarusian borderland inhabitants. The authoress has considered such common for Polissia ethnonyms as polishchuk (people who populate Polissia), lytvyn (Lithuanian, belongs to Grand Duchy of Lithuania), tuteshniy (indigene). It is revealed that in the ХІХ–ХХ centuries Belarusian identity has been distinct in a low level of national consciousness as a result of long-term being under Russian Empire oppression and rather late formation of national movement. Modern studies assure a high level of Belarusian society Russification and Sovietization.

The contribution of research projects and programs of collaboration between Ukraine and Belarus, especially the NASU M. Rylskyi Institute for Art Studies, Folkloristics and Ethnology and NASB K. Krapiva Institute for Art Studies, Ethnography and Folklore, into the study of Ukrainian-Belarusian borderlands, in particular their cooperation in expeditions, international conferences, scientific editions, etc., is considered.



Ukrainian-Belarusian borderlands, Polissian dialects, linguistic researches, intercultural relations, interference, ethnic self-identity.



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