A Look at 1920s Galicia: Photographs of Daily Life in the Countryside

Below is a collection of photographs that depict daily life in the Galician countryside in the 1920s. The photographs were found on eBay by German collector Wolfgang Wiggers, who subsequently published them on his Flickr page. At the time the photographs were taken, Galicia was part of interwar Poland. All […]

How to Teach a Bear to Play the Flute: The Fairy-Tale World of Oleksa Bakhmatiuk

By Oleksandr Simchuk for Amnesia Master tilemaker Oleksa Bakhmatiuk (1820-1882) is the most famous representative of the Kosiv school of ceramics and perhaps the most successful Ukrainian artist of the nineteenth century. A lion playing with a wheel, a bear on the flute warming up a violinist, street artists dancing […]

‘Czerwony Pas’ & ‘Verkhovyno’: The Story of a Polish and Ukrainian ‘Folk’ Song

Today, both the Poles and Ukrainians have a beloved song about the Hutsul Carpathian highlanders, sung in their own languages to a similar melody. How did this come to be? The Polish Story Karpaccy Górale We must first look back at the first half of the nineteenth century. This is […]

Ukrainian Societies in Galicia: Boyan

Name: BoyanType: Choral and musical societyGoal: To support the development of Ukrainian musical culture and choral singing; to offer music education and music printingFirst society founded: In Lviv by Ruska Besida, in particular by Anatol VakhnianynYears active: 1891 until WWII In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several societies […]

Frank Seiden: A Galician Jewish Jack-of-all-Trades in Turn-of-the-Century New York

By Daniel Carkner Frank Seiden is an enigmatic figure of the early Jewish entertainment world in the United States. Born in Galicia in 1860, he arrived in New York’s Lower East side in 1877 and eventually became known as a street performer, magician, and vaudeville actor. By 1900 he became […]

The Casino de Paris: A Separate Multicultural Galician World

Below is a translation of Daryna and Volodymyr Olshansky’s “The History of One Theater,” published Feb. 2, 2021, on Zbruc “In the center on the left side of Lesia Kurbasa Street in Lviv there is a building that you cannot pass by without noticing — the eye will first linger […]

The Broderzingers: Galicia’s Itinerant Yiddish Folk Troupes

The Broderzingers The Broderzingers (“singers of Brody”) were itinerant troupes of folksingers who performed in taverns and inns initially in Galicia, and later in Bukovina, Transcarpathia, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Emerging in the early nineteenth century, these performers were among the first to perform Yiddish-language songs outside of Purim […]

Kosiv: Former Center of Natural Medicine and Vegetarianism

Back during Austrian times and up until World War II, the Carpathian Hutsul town of Kosiv (formerly Kosów) was a center of natural medicine and vegetarianism. This is thanks to Dr. Apolinary Tarnawski (1851-1943), a Polish physician who at the end of the nineteenth century founded a private sanatorium in […]

Why Does the Diaspora Write Their Дs So Strangely?

People in Ukraine are usually perplexed when they see Ukrainians from the diaspora write their Дs like this: However, in the American and Canadian diasporas, this is an extremely common way of handwriting the letter Д — that is, a triangle with a leg inside as opposed to a flat-top […]

The Hutsuls as Depicted by Teodor Axentowicz

Teodor Axentowicz (1859-1938), a renowned Polish-Armenian painter and the first elected rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, was born in Braşov, Hungary (now Romania). His father’s family had Armenian roots and owned a small property in Ceniów, near Brody. Axentowicz grew up in Lwów (Lviv) and after […]