« 2022. # 1 (163)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 1 (163), 243—251

UDK 398.81(477)”2019″

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.01.243



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9379-8300
  • Candidate of Philological Sciences (Ph. D. in Philology),
  • Senior Researcher at the Ethnology Institute
  • of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: е-mail: okharchyshyn@gmail.com

Abstract. Formulation of the problem. The article considers the preconditions for the emergence of the modern popular song «Our Father is Bandera» from a folklore point of view. Based on the available folk song samples, it is traced how the image of Stepan Bandera evolved from the time of its appearance in the oral tradition (second half of the 1930s) to the present day and when it acquired the symbolic meaning of «father». The lyrics of the song is analyzed and opinions are expressed about the reasons for its unprecedented popularity. This song has been known since 2019, but became a hit in 2021, after Ukrainian schoolchildren spread it on the social network TikTok.

The object of research is the folk poetic image of Stepan Bandera in folklore, the subject — the symbolic meanings of this image in the song «Our Father is Bandera».

The source base is printed samples of insurgent folklore, own field materials collected during the 2018—2021 expeditions together with my colleague Nadiia Pastukh, phono- and video recordings posted on the Internet. The article proves that the song «Our Father is Bandera» stands on the solid foundation of the insurgent tradition and is a natural manifestation of modern songwriting.

The symbol of Bandera in the role of «father» was established in the XXI century and is the embodiment of great respect for the national hero and all the fighters for the independence of Ukraine. This image, along with «Mother Ukraine», testifies to the evolution of symbolism to a higher degree of generalization of the Ukrainian national idea, Ukrainian identity and succession of generations.

In combination of these images-symbols with the motive of readiness to defend Ukraine by force («we will fight for Ukraine»), a universal poetic formula was created, summarizing the whole experience of insurgent songs. It gave the work «Our Father is Bandera» relevant sound in the modern conditions of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Keywords: Stepan Bandera, «Our Father is Bandera», insurgent songs, symbol, popularity, tradition, motive, image.

Received 4.02.2022


  • Demyan, G. (2003). Ukrainian insurgent songs of the 1940—2000s (historical and folklore research). Lviv: Institute of Etnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Demyan, G. (Ed.) (2006). Stepan Bandera and his family in folk songs, legends and memoirs. Lviv: Institute of Etnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Lunyo, E. (1999). Yavoriv Region on Stepan Bandera. The Leader of OUN in Song Folklore. The Ethnology Notebooks, 1, 32—39 [in Ukrainian].
  • Lunyo, E. (2018). Bandera Stepan Andriyovich. Ukrainian folklore encyclopedia (Pp. 37—38). Lviv: Institute of Etnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Lavryshyn, Z. (Ed.). (1996—1997). Songs of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Vol. 25). Toronto; Lviv: Litohys UPA [in Ukrainian].
  • Kharchyshyn, O. (Ed.). (2005). Folk song of Zvenigorod region near Lviv. Lviv: Institute of Etnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Kharchyshyn, O. (1997). Modern changes in the carol repertoire of Lviv region. Folk Art and Ethnography, 1, 2932 [in Ukrainian].
  • Magas, H. (2013). Correlation of Religious and Insurrectional Motifs in Carols of Stryy District. Mythology and Folklore, 1, 54—60[in Ukrainian].
  • Kramar, R. (Ed.). (1995). Rebel carols. The songs are collected in Western Podillya. Ternopil [in Ukrainian].
  • Yatsun, B. (Ed.). (1995). Singer of the Forest School. Layered songs. Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Kharchyshyn, O. (2011). Ukrainian song folklore in Lviv ethnoculture: transformational processes, intercultural borders. Lviv: Institute of Etnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Cheremshyna. Nashe. Lyrics. Retrieved from: https://nashe.com.ua/song/2661 (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • Bandera’s voice can be heard in the forest again. Retrieved from: https://vk.com/join?act=fb_start&z=photo-82635462_422100262%2Fwall-82635462_15249 (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • Unknown Galician song about Bandera. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop& v=TiXdZARR2_A (Last accessed: 20.12.2021).
  • Orest Luty to Stepan Bandera. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0ytbmO9lFw (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • We are guys from Banderstadt. Ukrainian songs. Retrieved from: https://www.pisni.org.ua/songs/640050.html (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • Banderstadt. Retrieved from: http://bandershtat.org.ua/interview-with-organizers/(Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • Kharchyshyn, O. (2006). Insurgent songs in the youth-student repertoire: traditional and new. The way of liberation (Book 11 (704), pp. 70—78) [in Ukrainian].
  • (2009). The songbook of the student fraternity. Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Kuzmenko, O. (2018). Dramatic Human Existence in Ukrainian Folklore: Conceptual Forms of Expression. Lviv: Institute of Etnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Our Yellow and Blue Flags (FDSK). YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NntfHXDBqE (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • 10.05.14. Fans of «Dnipro»: «Bandera, Bandera — father, f***ed Putin-Katsap in the ass». YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaDzT0qzbmc (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Russian].
  • Song of the Ultras in the Army — Bandera — Father. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaiBGa-mIWM (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • Our father is Bandera, Ukraine is our mother. Ukrainian songs. Retrieved from: https://www.pisni.org.ua/songs/8387116.html (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].
  • Our is Father Bandera. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSSbneF6JsU (Last accessed: 20.12.2021) [in Ukrainian].


Our authors
Traditional folk clothes of velikobychkovsky hutsuly of XIX — the first half of XX century
In the study based upon numerous field materials, literature sources as well as ethnographic, historio-cultural and regional museum collections has been performed complex analysis in traditional folk clothes by Hutzul population of Velyky Bychkiv village in Transcarpathian region. Detailed descriptions of femi­nine and masculine clothing complexes of the mentioned area have been presented. In characterizing of those main attention has been paid to the detail of cut in separate components of dress; cut of feminine shirt has been added as an illustration.
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 »

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 »