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08 November 2018

Dwelling as the life basis of Ukrainians

Sumy Historical and Archival Journal
Dwelling as the life basis of Ukrainians

Article deals with the interior of dwellings in Chernihiv-Siverskyi region (in the 2nd half of the ХVІІІ — 1st half of the ХІХ cent.). On the example of towns Baturyn, Glukhiv, Borzna and Krolevets the article deals with the house interiors of the population of Chernihovo-Sivershchyna (the second half of the XVIII — mid. XIX cent.). The analysis is based on considerable descriptive material concerning Ukrainian customs and way of life that has accumulated in the middle and especially in the second half of the XIX cent. and led to scientific adjusted conclusion about the comparative characteristics of Ukrainians and Russians. This topic was researched by M. Markevych, I. Sreznevskyi, P. Kulish and others. A significant contribution to the study of this subject belongs to historian M. Kostomarov, who singled Ukrainian cultural and traditional existential complex out of all-Russian complex, that was considered unified for more than three centuries of coexistence within a single empire. Also, this article characterizes the division of the house on special parts and identifies the main sacred centres of the house. The attention is given to the fact that the Ukrainian housing is associated with many beliefs and rituals. It indicates that the dwelling-house reflects not only people’s ideological and artistic heritage, but also a pragmatic idea. After all, the house seemed a model of nature and the universe, which protected both physically and spiritually. We know that house was not only a place where the family spent most of its life, but it was the family hearth around which ancient and beautiful traditions were preserved. The author emphasizes the deep symbolic ritual value that Ukrainians gave to all subjects of domestic interior and the lyrical attachment to their place of residence. After all, the house had a kind of sacred meaning for its tenants, that is why, to the house and all domestic things people gave some philosophical content. Complexity of representations of the world for humans began from the dwelling and was a dominant through all life. It is revealed that a Ukrainian house with its aesthetic appearance and its interior in particular, is an important factor in the understanding of the Ukrainian people and makes the character unique, and one that is very different from the characteristics of other nations. The author concluded that this topic needs a further study.

Source: Gerasko M.A. Dwelling as the life basis of Ukrainians. Sumy Historical and Archival Journal. №XXIV. 2015: 43-50

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