« 2021. # 2 (157)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. # 2 (158), P. 303—313

УДК398.344:728.9 (477.41/.42)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2021.02.303


  • ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1900-8948
  • Doctorof Sciences in History, Senior Researcher
  • in the Department of Historical Ethnology
  • of the Institute of Ethnology
  • of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • Svobody Avenue, 15, 79000,Lviv, Ukraine.
  • e-mail: radovychroman@gmail.com


The process of selection and logging of construction timber was one of the most important stages in the set of measures that accompanied the construction of new housing. The strength and durability of the construction structure, its thermal properties, etc. largely depended on the correctly selected, timely felled and properly prepared wood. Although the issue of selection and logging of wood in the field of folk construction both in Polissia and other ethnographic regions of Ukraine (including the Carpathian region) was covered in some explorations and sections of monographs, materials from Eastern Polissia are either completely absent or presented rather vaguely. In fact, this determines the relevance of the proposed article. The author aims to find out the peculiarities of the selection and logging of building timber in Eastern Polissia, to identify common Polissia`n features and local specifics. The object of research is traditional construction, and the subject is construction wood. The methodological basis of the study is the principle of historicism in combination with elements of structural and functional analysis and the use of basic methods of ethnological science: typological, comprehensive and retrospective analysis, historical reconstruction and more. The study area covers part of the ethnographic region of Eastern Polissia (with in the Chernihiv region), which is part of the Polissia historical and ethnographic region.

In Eastern Polissia, as everywhere in the Polissia region, housing was built in blockhouse technology. Pine was the main species of wood which the walls were made of. In addition, they used oak, alder, aspen, rarely — linden. Oak wood was usually used to make the lower joisiting of the log house — foundations and foundation piles. Given the fact that pine there was the main breed that was used to build the walls of housing in the XIX  — early XX centuries, it was selected with special meticulousness. The main indicators that determined the construction qualities of pine were the size of the core, its resin and density of annual rings. Aspen and alder wood also had high construction performance. Timber was logged in the autumn-winter period.

Polissia’n builders, when selecting construction timber, were also guided by certain ritual and customary prohibitions (beliefs, warnings, etc.), in addition to the purely practical properties of wood. Avoid using trees that have dried on stumps, which have been struck by thunder, broken or blown away by the wind, etc. On the other hand, warn about trees with natural anomalies here were recorded rarely.

Keywords: Eastern Polissia, national construction, wood, pine, oak, alder, aspen.


  • Radovych, R. (2013). Specifics of selection and harvesting of construction timber in Western Polissya. The Ethnology Notebooks, 3, 398—410 [in Ukrainian].
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