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Rare postcards depict Ukrainian village life at turn of 20th century

Rural life
Rare postcards depict Ukrainian village life at turn of 20th century
Volodymyr Koziuk, collector, painter, photographer and People’s Artist of Ukraine from the village of Chesnivka, Vinnytsia Oblast, recently published some 40 rare postcards of Ukrainian landscapes of the 19th – early 20th  centuries.
Halychyna village landscape

“These are rare historical postcards. I want people to see and use this material, so please share my album. I’ve been collecting Ukrainian postcards since 1992. My favorite topics include Ukrainian landscapes, typical Ukrainian villages and farm dwellings, as well as all aspects of rural life! Yes, these old village homes have inspired me for close to 25 years. Moreover, I clearly understand that these postcards represent a valuable part of our history and heritage! I’d like everyone to have access to them, because I’m not interested in collecting things for myself, but for the Ukrainian people.”

Volodymyr Koziuk

Many of the postcards are labeled “Little Russia” (Малороссия) whereas they obviously refer to the political and geographic territory of present-day Ukraine. Here is a brief explanation:

Little Russia (Russian: “Малороссия” – Malorossiya”), la Petite Russie (French term on the postcards)  is an archaic geographical and historical term that continues to be used in Russian nationalist discourse, in which modern Ukrainians are presented as a single people in a united Russian nation.

“Little Russia” developed into a political and geographical concept in Russia, referring to most of the territory of modern-day Ukraine before the 20th century. Accordingly, derivatives such as “Little Russians” (Russian: Малороссы – Malorossy) were commonly applied to the people, language, and culture of Ukraine. Prior to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a large part of Ukraine’s élite population adopted a “Little Russian identity” that competed with the local Ukrainian identity.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, the term started to recede from common use. It is regarded as derogatory, referring to those Ukrainians with little or no Ukrainian national consciousness. The term retains currency among Russian nationalists who deny that Ukraine and Ukrainians are distinct from Russia and Russians. By the late 1980s, the term had become archaic, and Ukrainians regard its anachronistic usage as extremely offensive.

Poltava Oblast

 

Mills in Poltava Oblast belonging to Prince Kochubey

 

Rural life

 

On the banks of the Psel River

 

On the Vorskla River near the village of Havrontsi, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Harvesting flax. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Geese grazing on the bluffs. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Village house in Kamenske

 

Sunset. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Village home in Mykola Hohol’s native region. (Hohol was born in Sorochyntsi, Poltava Oblast).  Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Street in the village of Petrivka, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Village of Semianivka, Poltava Oblast.  Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Harvesting hops, village of Dykanka, Poltava Oblast

 

View of village of Petrivka, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Silently flows the River Vorskla, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny

 

Village of Zintsi near Poltava

 

Poltava landscape
Ukrainian “types”
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