« 2019. № 4 (148)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2019, № 4 (148), 944—950

УДК 398.8(=161.1):[271.4(477)-725:355]”18/19″(092)





Candidate of Philology

Junior research folklore department

of the Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy

of Sciences of Ukraine,

15, Svobody ave., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine.

Contacts: е-mail:

Abstract. The article reviews the priestly activities of Semen Spitzer, analyzes his folklore achievements, collected Ukrainian folk songs scrutinized genre variety of the handwritten collection and poetics of the presented works, their connection with the national tradition and local specificity.

Spitzer — a priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who served as part of the Austrian army, was a chaplain of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. After the service, he worked as a priest in the village of Solukiv, participated in propagation of national-patriotic ideas among the villagers. He belonged to the cohort of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, highly appreciated oral folk art and rooted for its preservation. In the Rylsky Institute of Art Studies, Folklore and Ethnology National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has preserved a manuscript collection of songs recorded by S. Spitzer on the territory of his minor homeland. Withal, he used such scientific standards as pasportization, accuracy of the text, the preservation of dialects features.

It is noted that among the songs recorded by Spitzier, the greatest number of records are songs and ballads of soldiers. The first key themes are the themes of love, homeland, death. They are revealed through the appropriate motifs: «a girl throws a wreath on the water, a soldier tries to catch him», «a girl writes a letter to her beloved», «a soldier promises a girl to marry her», «the soldier forgets the mother’s will», «the soldier remembers the mother and asks for her forgiveness», «the soldier dies», «there is no one to bury the deceased», «the raven pecked out eyes of deceased soldier», «the soldier leaves the horse» and so on.

Collected ballads are variations of well-known songs about the poisoning of a son and daughter-in-law, the husband’s murder of the wife initiated by the mother, a “troysilla”, the villager murder by reason of a landowner girl love, a love spell of a man and his death as a consequence, etc.

The collection also contains samples of the family cycle, in which the key motifs are: «young people compete for a girl», «the husband does not love his wife», «the young wife being sad», and the socially domestic layer is «an orphan being sad because he has no family».

Keywords: priest, chaplain, folk art, poetics, motive.

Received 4.06.2019


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