Ukrainian village in the 18th – 19th centuries

What was the Ukrainian village in the 18th – first half of the 19th century?

The life of Ukrainian peasants has not changed since the previous times. As before, villages were founded near rivers and lakes, forming streets, on both sides of which were huts and vegetable gardens. The appearance and interior decoration of the huts remained traditional. About how the life and customs of the Ukrainian village looked, we learn from the works of I. Kotlyarevsky, G. Kvitka-Osnovyanenko, T. Shevchenko, N. Gogol. In the second half of 19 – in the early 20 century. peasant life masterfully portrayed Panas Mirny and Ivan Nechuy-Levitsky.

A valuable historical source is the manuscript illustrated albums of Dominique Pierre de la Flizie, a Frenchman by birth, who since the 1920s. he healed in the Kiev region. On official trips around the Kiev region, he not only provided medical assistance, but also recorded what he had heard and seen. The record was supplemented by drawings.

Here is how de la Fleise talks about the way of life of Ukrainian peasants: “Peasant dwellings are built of wood everywhere, they are usually warm in winter, their external and internal layout is almost the same everywhere.” All the houses are covered with straw. they rarely have more than one room in front of which there is a canopy, and on the other side of the hall they make a pantry without windows. The room always has a stove. The houses of the wealthy peasants are sometimes more spacious, the rooms are not so close, they are more orderly and clean, they are often whitewashed inside and out. The interior of each hut is almost the same everywhere. In all the dwellings you can always see in the corner of the room opposite the doors the crudely painted icons of the saints… decorated with natural dried flowers and white towels embroidered with red patterns. In their homes there is absolutely no furniture, except that sometimes a closet and a few simple chairs.

The food of the peasants is almost the same both in summer and in winter. They eat such dishes: rye bread, buckwheat or barley, occasionally

wheat, except for holidays and localities, where wheat will give birth. Borscht is cooked with lard or with pork, cabbage, beetroot, sorrel in summer and with other vegetables. Occasionally, peasants eat beef, more often pork, lamb or poultry, but only on a holiday or on Sundays. Generally, they consume a lot of potatoes, which are grown everywhere, especially on sandy soils, as well as barley, buckwheat, millet porridge and dumplings are made from rye, wheat or other flour, eggs, milk and cheese. Nuts, beans, corn, garlic, onions, fresh or pickled cucumbers are also present in their diet. For food they use simple hand-drawn pottery. Spoons… carved from wood, polished, lacquered and also stacked in rows in the closet. The forks are almost unknown to them… “.

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Ukrainian village in the 18th – 19th centuries