« 2022. # 4 (166)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 4 (166), 798—813

UDK 391+677.076.62(477)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.04.798



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1362-8270
  • PhD in History, Senior Research Fellow,
  • Maksym Rylskyi Institute of Art Studies,
  • Folklore Studies and Ethnology,
  • National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 4, Hrushevskoho str., 01001, Kyiv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: grigras@i.ua


  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2946-8243
  • PhD in History, Research Fellow,
  • Maksym Rylskyi Institute of Art Studies,
  • Folklore Studies and Ethnology,
  • National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 4, Hrushevskoho str., 01001, Kyiv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: marina.oliynik@gmail.com

Abstract. Introduction. As of today, there is no clear chronological chain of sources about the Ukrainian embroidery on clothes in the Kyivan Rus’ until the XVIIth century, and for commoners  until the XVIIIth century, thus supporting the arguments of post-modern sceptics about its later existence. The goal of this article is to study, according to the source status, the problem of durability of the given embroidery from the period of the Kyivan Rus’ till the end of the XVIIIth — beginning of the ХІХth centuries when it was in focus of professional interests for folk culture researches. We have studied archaeological, iconographic, and written sources. The methodology has been created by F. Boas, A. Kreber, K. Hrushevska, M. Salins, S. Arutiunov in the provisions on the laws of evolution and common impact of various cultures, and also on the functionality of cultural phenomenon, including the mechanism of adoption and interaction of borrowed and autochthonous culture components.

Results. The significant spread of embroidery on clothes of various social classes in the Ancient Rus’ is evidence, first of all, by iconographic and, especially, archaeological materials received in course of numerous excavations. A lot of remains with the signs of embroidery on linen, woolen and silk clothing made with linen, silk and, especially, gold threads has been preserved. The remains of gold sewing in most cases belonged to the representatives of the boyar elite, however, they were also found in the burials of commoners. The use of embroidery on clothes in the Ancient Rus is also evidenced by a fewer, but certain written sources, first of all, by the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle. Unfortunately, in the late medieval-early modern period, for the ideological reasons the archaeological research of Ukraine was not carried out, and written sources reflected a small number of facts on embroidery on clothes of the Ukrainians. However, we can find some facts in the testimonies of the European adventurers who visited the Kyivan Rus’ in the XV—XVIIth centuries: Hilbert de Lannoy, Huillaume Levasseur de Beauplan, Conrad Jacob Hildebrandt, Ulrich von Werdum. The use of embroidery on clothes in Ukraine in the XVІ—XVIIІth centuries is also preserved on icons, numerous records and other sources published in the sets of documents and various publications (Lithuanian Metrica, materials of court cases, wills, etc.). Finally, records and drawings of «topographic» descriptions of authors of the end of the XVIIIth century — beginning of the ХІХth century (Mykhailo Antonovskyi, Oleksander Rihelman, Afanasii Shafonskyi, Yezhy (Yurii) Hlohovskyi) also include traditional culture of the Ukrainians, evidence of the use of the Ukrainian embroidery on clothes. Conclusion. The sources evidence that the Ukrainian embroidery on clothes, which originated even before the Kyivan Rus, existed, changing and enriching due to the adopted foreign cultural borrowings, until modern period. In the course of modern forming of the nation it became the basis for the formation of a new tradition (according to E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger).

Keywords: embroidery, Ancient Rus’, Middle Ages, early modern period, sources.

Received 2.08.2022


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