« 2023. # 4 (172)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 4 (172), 1121—1133

UDK [398.22(=161.2)-055.2:323.282(47+57)]:355.425.4 (477.8)”194/196″

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.04.1121



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7703-5541
  • Candidate of Philological Sciences (Ph. D. in philology),
  • Senior Researcher at the Ethnology Institute
  • of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: npastukh@gmail.com

Abstract. In the article based on the material of folklore narrative texts about the criminal actions of the Soviet regime and the German occupiers against the Ukrainian nation in the 1940s–1960s, about the people’s resistance to these crimes and about the armed struggle of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the author analyzes the women’s experience that women experienced personally, that they observed or heard about it from others, and therefore that they verbalized within the parameters of the folklore tradition, with an emphasis on so-called “women’s history”.

The research is based on the materials of folklore records, which the author of the article recorded together with her colleague Olga Kharchyshyn in Zastavna district of the Chernivtsi region (2018), Nadvirna district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region (2019) and in Starosambir district of the Lviv region (2021) and which are stored in the Archive of the Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; as well as Yevhen Lunyo’s records, presented in his collections of memories about the insurgent movement in Yavoriv region.

The relevance of the article is due to insufficient attention to the female aspect of the folklore narrative tradition about the mentioned historical events, as well as the lack of folkloristic interest in stories and memories from the lives of ordinary people due to the «weak folklore nature» of such texts.

The object of the research is folk narratives, folk stories and (occasionally) legends heard from women about women’s everyday experience during the war, the commission of crimes against the Ukrainian nation, the development of the insurgent struggle and resistance in the 40s—60s of the XX century.

The subject is the peculiarities of the construction of a female folklore text on such a topic in contrast to a male text, the strategies used by women to convince the listener of the truthfulness of their testimonies, and the main folklore motifs and plots, the creator, performer and main character of which are women.

Keywords: woman, women’s experience, gender characteristics, crimes against Ukrainians, resistance, Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), «banderas».

Received 24.07.2023


  • Kis’, O. (2016). Ukrainian National Liberation Movement as a Challenge for a Normative Femininity: Women’s Experiences in the Nationalist Guerilla War in the 1940—50s. Ethnic History of European Nations (Issue 48, pp. 61—78) [in Ukrainian].
  • Bilyi, V. (1925). The Story of a Peasant About How He Sought His Rights from the Denikin’s Followers. Ethnographic Bulletin, 1, 37—40 [in Ukrainian].
  • Oleksieva, O.V., & Bilyi, V.V. (1925). Short Songs («chastushki») from 1917—1925. Ethnographic Bulletin, 1, 22— 36 [in Ukrainian].
  • Bilyi, V. (1926). «Autobiography or Memories of the Revolution». Ethnographic Bulletin, 2, 63—67 [in Ukrainian]
  • Levchenko, M. (1926). Peasants’ Stories About the Times of the Civil War in Ukraine. Ethnographic Bulletin, 2, 68—75 [in Ukrainian].
  • Kis’, O. (2017). Ukrainian Women in the Gulag: Survival as Victory. Lviv: Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Uliura, H. (2008). Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of Gender Studies in Literary Studies. Gender literary studies: a study guide. Zaporizhia: Zaporizhzhya National University [in Ukrainian].
  • Holubets’, O., & Sokil, V. (Ed.). (2018). Girl. In: Sokil, V. The Ukrainian Folkloristic Encyclopedia (Pp. 219—222) [in Ukrainian].
  • Kuzmenko, O. (2018). Dramatic Human Existence in Uk­rainian Folklore: Conceptual Forms of Expression (the Period of WWI and WWII). Lviv: Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Uk­rainian].
  • Lunio, Ye. (2005). Yavoriv Region in the Insurgent Struggle. Stories of Participants and Eyewitnesses (Vol. 1). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Lunio, Ye. (2015). Yavoriv Region in the Insurgent Struggle. Stories of Participants and Eyewitnesses (Vol. 2). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Lunio, Ye. (2021). The Insurgent Struggl in the Stories of Participants and Eyewitnesses (Vol. 3). Lviv; Drogobych: Kolo [in Ukrainian].


Our authors
Maternity ritualism by volhynians in publications of the second half XIX to the early XXI cc.
In the article have been considered some basic landmarks for fixing and publication of ethnographic materials on the maternity rites of Volhynia with analytical study in ritual elements, their kinds and territories of origin. The article has also raised a problem of gaps in studies of maternity rites of Ukrainian historio-ethnographic Volhynia.
Read »

Daily bread baking of ukrainians in the south-western ethnographical region at the late XIX to early XXI cc.
The paper has dealt with analytic study in prescriptions, signs, customs, methods, ways of selection, procurement and some peculiarities in usage of subsidiary means — water, firewood and leaves in bread baking. The final aim of the mentioned actions had been (and still is) selection of the means and ingredients fit, by their characteristics, for the backing of bread. The paper has demonstrated dependence of bread backing subsi­diary means criteria from the folk nutritional standards and world outlook stereotypes as well as from regional social and economic, natural and geographical factors and peculiarities of material culture.
Read »

Wax candle as ukrainian Christmas and epiphany ritualistic text
For the first time in native ethnology the article has brought some results of special study in sign functionality of a wax candle under the context of Ukrainian Christmas and Epiphany ritualistic text (ritualism of Christmas Eve, New Year, Epiphany Eve and Feast of Epiphany). The study has stated extremely high semiotic position of a wax candle as projection of Sun, mediator between the spheres of sacral and prophane elements, symbolic analogue of human existence, apotropy, cultural symbol re-establishing borders of acculturated space.
Read »

On bessarabian and moldavian ukrainians in the studies of historical ethnography
The article has thrown some light upon a sum of scientific findings got during XIX to XXI cc. in historio-ethnographic studies of Bessarabia and Moldavian Ukrainians. In the pre­sent paper has been given author’s answer to the problem of lacking progress as for the numerous themes concerning Ukrainians. State and achievements of the research-works in Ukrainians’ material and spiritual culture by the scientists of Moldavia and Ukraine through the years of independence has been exposed.
Read »