Cossack songs are sung by communities of the Dnipropetrovsk region which tell stories about the tragedy of war but also the personal relationships of Cossack soldiers. Singers practise the tradition in three different groups: Krynycya, Boguslavochka and Pershocvit. The songs are sung for pleasure and so practitioners can have a connection to the past – their ancestors and their community’s history. Many of the singers, both men and women, are aged in their 70s and 80s and have been involved in the practice for most of their lives. The groups operate around two main performers: the first who has knowledge of all the song lyrics starts the singing, then the second begins (in an upper voice), followed by the rest of the group (with middle and lower voices). If male singers are not present in the group, women impersonate them by deepening their voices. The singers normally meet regularly and while not requiring an audience, may sometimes give a concert. It is a tradition that is transmitted within families where younger members learn from those more experienced, but its continuity is now in question due to an aging bearer population and the sparsity of other knowledge sources for new generations to learn from.
The people of the village of Petrykivka decorate their living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments with a style of ornamental painting that is characterized by fantastic flowers and other natural elements, based on careful observation of the local flora and fauna. This art is rich in symbolism: the rooster stands for fire and spiritual awakening, while birds represent light, harmony and happiness. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow and evil. Local people, and in particular women of all ages, are involved in this folk art tradition. Every family has at least one practitioner, making decorative painting an integral part of daily existence in the community. The painting traditions, including the symbolism of the ornamental elements, are transferred, renewed and enhanced from one generation to another. Local schools at all levels, from pre-school to college, teach the fundamentals of Petrykivka decorative painting, with all children given the opportunity to study it. The community willingly teaches its skills and know-how to anyone who shows an interest. The tradition of decorative and applied arts contributes to the renewal of historical and spiritual memory and defines the identity of the entire community.
Date of Inscription:
Inscribed in 2013 (8.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity