« 2021. # 1 (157)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. # 1 (157), P. 3—18

УДК 398.21/.22:159.922.4](477.86)”194/196″(091)



  • Candidate of Sciences in Philology,
  • Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology
  • of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • e-mail:


One of the important areas of interdisciplinary research today is the study of Ukrainian oral literature in its interaction with the national character. The article is devoted to the consideration of ethnopsychological features of folk tales and legends about the heroic struggle of Ukrainians in the 1940s and 1960s, in particular the motive of providing assistance as one of the basic in the plot of narratives. The urgency of the work lies in the comprehensive study of this motif, which will trace the longevity of folk tradition through its connection with the national character and identify innovative features of its semantics, due to the events of the mid-twentieth century. Such a critical view of one’s own historical past, reflected in folklore through the prism of collective consciousness and memory, will allow us to draw certain conclusions about the state of Ukrainian society during the «borderline» situation, the dominance of positive and negative mentalities in the context of relations between Ukrainian army (UPA) and the civilian population (peasants). The object and source base of the study are the texts of folk tales and legends about the national liberation struggle of Ukrainians during the Second World War, recorded in the Galician and Bogorodchany districts of Ivano-Frankivsk region in 2019 and put into scientific circulation for the first time. The purpose of the article is to trace the specifics of actualization in folk samples of one of the dominant features of national character — assistance, to identify its main types, to reveal the longevity of tradition and to clarify the role of the narrator in the process of accumulation, to point to other ethnomental factors that shape the bipolar perception of the need for such care. These include traits formed under the influence of Ukrainian individualism: altruism, humanity, «perceived sociality», escape to life in small groups, a certain egocentrism (Ukrainian  — a typical owner). To fulfill the goals and objectives of the work used structural-typological, textual, historical-comparative, interdisciplinary methods, the method of field research. Theoretical and methodological basis are the works of Ukrainian folklorists (S. Myshanych, O. Britsyna, E. Luno, V. Sokil, O. Kuzmenko) and ethnopsychologists (V. Yaniv, Ya. Yarema, Yu. Lypa, D. Chyzhevskyi, S. Krymskyi, A. Furman and others).

Keywords: folklore narrative, national character, motive of assistance, insurgent heroic epic, individualism.


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