Back to the journal2017 year №2

Verbal Folk Art as an Important Source of Researching Familial and Domestic Mode of Life of the Slobozhanshchyna Populace

Read the articleRead the articleDownload the article
The authors of the publication:
Borysenko Valentyna
Bibliographic description:
Borysenko, V. (2017) Verbal Folk Art as an Important Source of Researching Familial and Domestic Mode of Life of the Slobozhanshchyna Populace. Folk Art and Ethnology, 1 (365), 27–33.


Borysenko Valentyna – a Doctor of History, a professor, an Honoured Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine, a Head of the Archival Scientific Funds of Manuscripts and Audio-Recordings Department of the NASU M. Rylskyi IASFE


Verbal Folk Art as an Important Source of Researching Familial and Domestic Mode of Life of the Slobozhanshchyna Populace



The article, based predominantly on archival materials of the 1920s–1930s, examines the transformation processes in culture and mode of life of the Slobozhanshchyna populace. Historical sources witness that at that moment of urbanization, conventional Ukrainian culture still had been existing. Peasants observed Christmas and Easter according to Ukrainian traditions, sang Ukrainian folk songs, young people gathered outdoors where they spent leisure accompanied by accordion. The relations between parents and children was becoming aggravated due to propaganda of warlike atheism. Those contradictions were reflected in the YCL members’ following or neglecting the customs of church wedding and baptismal ceremonies. The humorous rhymes of chastushkas and songs mirrored new and more unrestricted dealings in course of conduct of lasses and lads. It is obvious that there was emphasized the augmentation of illegitimate childbirths.

A particular attention was paid to some social factors, such as mastering new occupations (miner, builder) and attitude towards new daily life conditions. In particular, there was a chastushka about a miner’s shirt being eaten by lice. Likewise, it was sung on utilizing women’s task work in mines. Girls took the measure of remunerative eligible potential fiancйs, and discerned such candidates among local heads of the State Political Directorate, as well as students as they had better living conditions.  The sources also show some ethnic oppositions, which but again went through social characteristics; particularly, it was accentuated that my dear boy is a Bolshevik while I am a Ukrainian girl. The latter points to the fact that Bolsheviks who established the Soviet power in Slobozhanshchyna were mainly not ethnic Ukrainians.



Slobozhanshchyna, mode of life, culture, leisure activities, occupation, parents, children.



  1. NAS of Ukraine’s M. Rylskyi Institute of Art Studies, Folkloristics and Erthnology. Archival Scientific Funds of Manuscripts and Audio-Recordings (thereafter – NASU IASFE ASFMAR): f. 1, u.i. 502.
  2. NASU IASFE ASFMAR: f. 1, u.i. 504.
  3. NASU IASFE ASFMAR: f. 1, u.i. 505.
  4. NASU IASFE ASFMAR: f. 1, u.i. 516.
  5. VOROPAY,Maryna. Nuptial Rites of Voronezhchyna, Kurshchyna and Bilhorodshchyna Ukrainians in the Latter Half of the XXth Century. Ethnic History of European Nations, Kyiv, 2008, 24 [in Ukrainian].
  6. HNATIUK,Volodymyr. Song Neoformations within Ukrainian-Ruthenian Folk Language and Literature. In: HNATIUK, V. Selected Articles on Folk Art. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1966.
  7. HORLENKO,V. Essays on the History of Ukrainian Ethnography. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1964.
  8. BAHALEY, Dmitriy (Prof.), MILLER, Dmitriy. The History of Kharkiv over 250Years of Its Existence (1655 to 1905). A Historical Monograph. Appended by an album of drawings and illustrations. Kharkiv: Kharkiv Public Administrations, 1912, vol. 2 [in Russian].
  9. ANON. Descriptions of Late-XVIIIth-Century Kharkiv Viceroyalty. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1991 [in Ukrainian].
  10. SUMTSOV,Mykola. The Sloboda Ukrainians: A Historical and Ethnographical Study. Kharkiv: Acta, 2002 [in Ukrainian].
  11. CHIZHIKOVA,L. Traditions within Modern Rural Weddings of the Russian-Ukrainian Ethnic Contact Zone. In: T. LISTOVA, ed.-in-chief. Russian Folk Traditions and Modern Times. Moscow, 1995 [in Russian].
  12. YURKEVYCH, Viktor. Eastward Emigration and the Settling of Slobozhanshchyna in the Time of B. Khmelnytskyi. Kyiv, 1932 [in Ukrainian].

The texts are available under the terms of the Creative Commons
international license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0