BOOK NOTE: Ethnographic study of Kholmschyna, Pidliashia
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The publication "Kholmschyna and Pidliashia: An Historic and Ethnogrpahic Study" belongs to a particular genre more common in Ukraine than in the West, in parts a dense academic study, a reference, and feature-like essays for general readers, it seeks to document remnants of a unique history and culture that has been all but eradicated by political and economic forces.
The text and photographs overview life in the regions of Kholmschyna and Pidliashia through material artifacts from approximately the past 150 years, with some artifacts dating back several hundred years.
In this joint publication of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Institute of International Relations and Political Studies and the Taras Shevchenko National University at Kyiv (Kyiv State University), the 18 contributing authors discuss the architecture of churches, homes, farm buildings and community structures, embroidery, clothing styles and embellishments, religious items, home decorations, wooden and ceramic utensils, the local slang, native proverbs of the region.
Including many color plates, b/w photos, and pen-and-ink sketches, even a brief glance through the text and illustrations of this 383 page book reminds the reader that even as little as 60 years ago, most regions of Ukraine had a rich and distinctive material culture that reflected a life centered on God, the extended family and the tilling of the earth. Since independence, with the yoke of approved Communist Party interpretations of ethnographic history all but gone, there has been an almost spontaneous effort in various parts of Ukraine to document this bygone era before it completely disappears. This book is a laudable example of this effort.
Published in Ukrainian in 1997 by Rodovid Publishers in Kyiv, the book can be purchased for $26.75, which includes shipping and handling. Send orders to: Mrs. S. Zmurkewycz, 288 Perry St., Elkins Park, PA 19027; make checks payable to: World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations (WFUWO).
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 17, 1997, No. 33, Vol. LXV
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