« 2022. # 4 (166)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 4 (166), 764—789

UDK [[39+37]-057.4:929(477.83-25)”188/195″П.Мечник]:930.2

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.04.764

NOTES TO THE BIOGRAPHY OF PETRO MECHNYK (1885—1953) — TEACHER, PHILOLOGIST, PSYCHOLOGIST AND ETHNOLOGIST

HILEVYCH Ihor

  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4405-2588
  • Candidate of Historical Sciences (= Ph. D. in history),
  • Associate Professor of the Department of Ethnology,
  •  Ivan Franko National University of Lviv,
  • 1, Universytetska Str., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: ihor.hilevych@lnu.edu.ua

Abstract. From 1910 to 1944, Petro Mechnyk was one of the Ukrainian nationally conscious high school professors of Lviv, contributed a lot to the education of several generations of Ukrainian youth, was among the popularizers of the use of psychotechnical methods for schoolchildren’s choice of future profession.

He ended up in the mid-1940s in the State Ethnographic Museum of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, was a professional teacher and psychologist who looked at the phenomena of the traditional culture of Ukrainians, in particular the Hutsuls, through the prism of psychology as a science. Such an approach in the future could give new interesting results, but, unfortunately, it did not correspond at all to the uniform scientific methodology that the Soviet authorities at that time forcibly introduced in Ukrainian humanitarianism, in particular ethnology.

The study of the traditional funeral rites of the Hutsuls became the central topic of his individual scientific studies during the period of work at the Museum. The spiritual culture of the Hutsuls became, however, the planned comprehensive study was never completed. The archive preserved a typescript of a fragment of this work – a scientific article “The Hutsul funeral rite and the theory of the revival of primitivism”, with which the scientist spoke at the anniversary session in the Museum in December 1945. This work fully deserves to be introduced into scientific circulation as a valuable monument of Ukrainian ethnological science of the mid-1940s.

In the proposed biographical study, special attention is paid to the characteristics of P. Mechnyk’s publications in the field of psychology and pedagogy of the interwar period, in order to show his wide familiarity with a number of problems, the newest at that time Western European and partly North American literature, the presence of his own work, experience in using the questionnaire method, in order to show his plans to apply his previous experience to the study of Hutsul spiritual culture. He looked at the latter not only as an ethnologist, but also as a psychologist, and his only partially realized research had a pronounced interdisciplinary character.

Keywords: Petro Mechnyk, ethnology, pedagogy, psychology, Hutsuls, rituals, history of ethnological science.

Received 25.07.2022

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