« 2023. # 4 (172)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 4 (172), 1134—

UDK [930.25:39](=161.2:71)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.04.1134



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7028-4879
  • PhD (History), professor,
  • The Ivan Honchar Museum National Centre of Folk Culture,
  • 19, Lavrska str., 01015, Kyiv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: hrymych@gmail.com

Abstract. The purpose of the article is to introduce information about the Canadian collector of Ukrainian-Canadian folklore, Joan Margel into scienсe, that is, to reveal a case of collecting practice that is quite rare for Canada, the subject of which is not a professional researcher affiliated with a certain institution, but a private person, an independent collector. Her collecting activities focus on the territory where she spent her childhood and youth – the village (later the town) of Rycroft, located in the so-called Peace River Country (Alberta, Canada). This is the northern limit of the settlement of Ukrainians in Western Canada. Unlike the densely populated area of Ukrainians in East-Central Alberta, this is an understudied region in Canadian Ukrainian studies.

The materials of the amateur researcher are of considerable interest, which shows the relevance of the research. In that area, Ukrainians did not live compactly, but cross-striped, so it has its own cultural local specificity. The object of the research is the collecting activity of Joan Margel, and the subject of the research is various branches of the Ukrainian-Canadian culture of the farming suburbs of the 1920s-1960s, collected through interviews with the so-called old timers and covering such topics as pioneer homesteading and farming, calendar and family rites, customs, old time and blue grass music, etc.

The article was written based on the materials of the Joan Margel Foundation in the Bohdan Medvidsky Archive of Ukrainian Folklore of the University of Alberta (Canada), which is co-organized by the author of the article, as well as based on the materials of other archival collections and an interview with the recorder. The research methodology is based on the complex involvement of various methods, principles and concepts.

Keywords: Joan Margel, folklore collectors, Ukrainian-Canadian folklore.

Received 21.06.2023


  • How do folklorists define folklore. What is Folklore: A Project of the American Folklore Society. Retrieved from:https://whatisfolklore.org/how-folklorists-define-folklore/.
  • Pryimak, T. (2020). Yaroslav Bohdan Rudnytskyi and Canada. Istoriohrafichni doslidzhennia v Ukraini 31, 71—77. Retrieved from: http://dspace.nbuv.gov.ua/handle/123456789/182335 [in Ukrainian].
  • Klymasz, R.-B., & Hrymych, M. (Ed.). (2013). Ukrainian folk culture in the Canadian prairies. Kyiv: Duliby [in Ukrainian].
  • Hrymych, M. (2016). Essays on Ukrainian-Canadian folkloristics: Bohdan Medvidskyi. Kyiv: Duliby [in Ukrainian].
  • Andriy Nahachewsky. Curriculum vitae. Retrieved from: https://ualberta.academia.edu/ANahachewsky/CurriculumVitae/.
  • Nahachewsky, A. (2007). Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore. Ethnologies, 29 (1—2), 331—336.
  • Foty, N. (2011). Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives of the Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore at the University of Alberta. Visnyk of the Lviv University, 10, 253—258. Retrieved from: http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/VLNU_Mistec_2011_10_19 [in Ukrainian].
  • Chernyavska, M. (2021). In Between the Worlds: Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives. The Ethnology Notebooks, 6 (162), 1441—1456. DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2021.06.1441 [in Ukrainian].
  • Prairie Centre for the study of Ukrainian heritage. Retrieved from: https://pcuh.stmcollege.ca/.
  • (2015). Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Official Visitor Guide. Edmonton: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
  • Klymasz, R.-B., & Hrymych, M. (Ed.). (2013). Ukrainian folk culture in the Canadian prairies. Kyiv: Duliby [in Ukrainian].
  • Oral History of Sociocultural Change amongst Ukrainian Canadians on the Prairies. Retrieved from: https://pcuh.stmcollege.ca/programs-and-projects/oral-history-initiatives/sociocultural-change/.
  • Nahachewsky, A. (2005). Local culture and diversity on the prairies: a project report. Culture locale et diversite dans les prairies: rapport. Edmonton: Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre.
  • Bilash, R.-B. (2007). The first Ukrainian settlements in Alberta (Canada): the influence of geographical features of the area on the design of the living space of Ukrainians. Студії з архівної справи та документознавства, 15, 64—70. Retrieved from: http://nbuv.gov.ua/UJRN/sasd_2007_15_11 [in Ukrainian].
  • Kononenko N. (2023). Ukrainian Ritual on the Prairies: Growing a Ukrainian Canadian Identity. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • The Sanctuary Project University of Alberta. Retrieved from: https://livingcultures.ualberta.ca/sanctuary/.
  • Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives. Joan Margel collection, 0261.
  • (2008, 2010). Maryna Hrymych Private Archive. Canadian collection. Rycroft, 1—4. Interviews by Maryna Hrymych with Joan Margel.
  • (2004). Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives. Local Culture collection. Interviews by Serhii Kozakov with Joan Margel, UF 2004-091-0722, UF 2004-091-0729, UF 2004-091-0730, UF 2004-091-0734, UF 2004-091-0754, 2004-091-0778.
  • (2010). Maryna Hrymych Private Archive. Canadian collection. Rycroft, 1. Interview by Maryna Hrymych with Joan Margel. 1.04.
  • (2004). Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives. Local Culture collection, 1. UF 2004-091-0722. Interview by Serhii Kozakov with Joan Margel. 09.07.
  • (2010). Maryna Hrymych Private Archive. Canadian collection. Rycroft, 2. Interview by Maryna Hrymych with Joan Margel. 1.04.
  • Meyer A., Witkamp A., Pecoud A. People on the move: Handbook of selected terms and concepts. 2008. UNESCO Digital Library. URL: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000163621.
  • (1992). New Beginnings. Descendants of Rudeichuk. Reunion 3, 3rd Generation. Introduction by Joan Margel. Wakaw. Saskatchewan.
  • Hrymych, M.(2013). Ahatangel Krymskyi and Ivan Lysak: experience of partner cooperation of researcher and respondent. Ukrainian Folk culture: the human life cycle. Historical and ethnological research (Vol. 4, pp. 490—498). Maturity. Men. Male subculture). Kyiv: Duliby.
  • N/n. Ukrainian Ethnography News. Vol. 4. 1999.
  • (2010). Maryna Hrymych Private Archive. Canadian collection. Rycroft, 4. Interview by Maryna Hrymych with Joan Margel. 1.04.
  • Wheatfields and Wildflowers: A History of Rycroft and Surrounding school districts. Rycroft (Alta): Friesen Printers.


Our authors
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 »

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 »

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 »

Boikos’ pandemonium: categories of evil deceased
In the article have been presented some research-work on peculiarities of Boikos’ traditional demonological notions as for so-called evil deceased; on the basis of field records and ethnological literary sources quite a number of scum categories have been defined as well as essential habits, modes of behavior and functions of these personages of people’s demonology.
Read »