- Ukrainian folklore
Ukrainian folk customs have numerous layers defined by the period in which that aspect developed and the area in which it was exploited. The lowest and oldest level is the pan-slavic layer of folk culture which has many elements that are common to the slavic people in general. Above that are elements common to the Eastern Slavs, and above that are elements found only in Ukraine itself. The layer above this contains cultural and folkloric elements that define the various micro-groups of the Ukrainian ethos such as the Boikos, Hutsuls, Lemkos, Lyshaks, Poddolians and Rusyns.
Some features of Ukrainian folklore are quite distinctive from that of the neighbouring
Slavic peoples. The songs and festivities of Ivana Kupalo (St John's Feast) and the Koliada normally associated with some of the deepest and most ancient levels of folklore contain features not found in the neighbouring Russian culture, and are distinctively Ukrainian. These elements put into a quandary the notion that the ethnic Russian and Ukrainian people sprang from one source.
Ukrainian folk customs and rites were rituals connected with the calendar and with the course of human life. They were often accompanied by religious ceremonies,
incantations, folk songs, dances, and dramatic plays. Life cycle rituals mark birth, marriage, and death. [" [http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/uvp/pages/agrarian.htm?menu=3-1:0 Agrarian and Calendar Rituals] ". Ukrainian Traditional Folklore. University of Alberta.] [" [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pagesFOFolkcustomsconnectedwithbirth.htm Folk customs connected with birth] " at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.] Many of these customs are ancient and have blended in many cases with Christianrites. They can be divided into three categories" [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pagesFOFolkcustomsandrites.htm Folk customs and rites] " at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.] :
* familial customs and rites - which consist of
birth, wedding, and burialrites
* seasonal-productive customs and rites - which are tied to
farming, herding, and huntingtasks
* communal customs and rites - which mark certain events in the life of the
Folk customs have undergone many changes in Ukraine as modern culture was introduced. Under the
Soviets, folk customs were unsuccessfully suppressed. Believers still practiced the Christian customs, and some people in the country even revived the ancient customs and rites. Many Christian rites have been revived in post-Soviet Ukraine after 1991, especially in western oblasts.
Dance has existed in Ukraine as a ritual since ancient times, but it was mostly absorbed by Christianity and blended with Christian rituals." [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pagesFOFolkdance.htm Folk dance] " at the
Encyclopedia of Ukraine.] The earliest dances were circle dances concerned with agriculture. Dances took place on Ivan Kupala day, St. George's day, Pentacost, days of harvest, and weddings. Ritual dances were rarely performed to music, and usually to a chant. Folk dances were performed with or without music. The majority of Ukrainian folk dances are circular. Some of the most famous dances are the Arkanand Hopak. Dance was also enriched with traditional Ukrainian folk dress. [" [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pagesDRDress.htm Dress] " at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.] Today many Ukrainian dance groups exist in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora, particularly in Canada, and have kept the tradition of folk dancing alive.
Ukrainian folk songs can be divided into four basic groups" [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkPath=pagesFOFolksongs.htm Folk songs] " at the
Encyclopedia of Ukraine.] :
* ritual songs - such as
carols("koliadky" and "shchedrivky"), spring songs, songs about nymphs ( rusalkasongs), and Kupala festival songs
* harvest songs and
* historical songs and political songs - such as dumas and
*lyrical songs - such as family songs, social class songs, and
Ukrainian folk songs contain an abundance of
symbolism. Birdsymbolism is popular. The eagleor falconis the symbol of manliness, power, beauty, courage, and freedom. The dovesymbolizes feminity. The sea gullis the symbol of the suffering mother. Other symbols include the guelder-rose tree, which represents the girl, and the oak which represents the boy. In songs similespredominate: a girl is compared to a star, a red guelder-rose tree, a pine tree, and a poppy; a boy is compared to an oak, a maple, and a pigeon. Some songs make use of repetition, antithesis, hyperbole, and metaphor. A technique often used in lyrical songs to express emotion is the dramatic dialogue. In some folk songs assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeiaare also used.
Folk songs have provided inspiration for many Ukrainian composers, such as
Mykola Lysenko, Mykola Leontovych, and Kyrylo Stetsenko. The famous Russian composers Peter Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Serge Rachmaninoffalso collected and used Ukrainian folk melodies in their works. Today many folk songs are still used, and are even used by contemporary artists.
Ukrainian wedding traditions
*" [http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/uvp/ Ukrainian Traditional Folklore] ".
University of Alberta
*" [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/alphasearch.asp Folk articles] " at the
Encyclopedia of Ukraine
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.