Collection 0061 - Paska Workshop Documentation Project

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Paska Workshop Documentation Project

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  • March 13, 2010 (Creation)
    Kononenko, Natalie
    Edmonton, Alberta
  • March 13, 2010 (Creation)
    Cyncar, Nadia
    Edmonton, Alberta
  • March 13, 2010 (Creation)
    Hrymych, Maryna
    Edmonton, Alberta

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Physical description

4 disks:

  • 8 video files (~6 hours of raw footage)
  • 12 audio files (~5 hours)
  • 20 images

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Name of creator

(b. 1946)

Biographical history

Natalie Kononenko was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1946. She came to the United States in 1951. She grew up in New Jersey and attended University at Cornell, moving on to Radcliffe College and then on to Harvard University for graduate work. She received her PhD from Harvard University in Slavic and Near Eastern Languages, Literatures, and Folklore. She performed her PhD research in Eastern Turkey. She taught Russian Language and Slavic Folklore, and served as Assistant Dean and Chair of the Slavic Department at the University of Virginia. She led some of the first student groups to the USSR in the 1970-1980s. In 1987 she was one of the first US scholars to be allowed outside of Moscow. She lived three months in a hotel room in Kyiv doing archival research at the University and at the Academy of Sciences. This research lead to the publication of "Ukrainian Minstrels: And the Blind Shall Sing," Armonk, New York and London, England: M.E. Sharpe, 1998. After the break-up of the USSR Natalie started to do folklore research in rural Ukraine. From 1998 she visited many villages in Central Ukraine and recorded over 200 hours of interviews. This research lead to a soundfile database (see It has also produced many articles and will be used in a book on Ukrainian ritual.

In 2004 she was recruited as Professor and Kule Chair in Ukrainian Ethnography, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta. In 2007 she published "Slavic Folklore: A Handbook," Westport and London: Greenwood Press. She served as editor of Folklorica, the Journal of the Slavic and East European Folklore Association for 5 years. This journal was internationally recognized and was instrumental in re-establishing the dialogue between folklore scholars in the former Soviet Union and their colleagues in the West.

Dr. Kononenko teaches folklore and applied folklore classes at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, for example, Folklore and Internet, Folklore and Film, Folklore and Animation, as well as research seminar where advanced students work in their communities to produce big documentation projects such as videos of important festivals. She is involved in two big research projects. The Sanctuary project, where Natalie works together with John-Paul Himka and Frances Swyripa, documents Byzantine rite sacral heritage on the Canadian prairies. The second project is broadly based on the use of technology in education.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Nadia Cyncar was born in Ukraine. She came to Edmonton in 1948. Nadia studied Ukrainian language and literature, History of Textiles and Ukrainian Folklore at the University of Alberta. She graduated with B.A. (Honours) in Slavic Linguistics in 1978.

Nadia Cyncar is an honourary Life Member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Since 1963, member of the Eparchial UCWLC Museum Committee, served as secretary, a chairperson and a curator since 2009. Designed and conducted the embroidery of the “Unity Rushnyk” for the 65 Jubilee of UCWLC. She organized exhibits of Ukrainian Folk Art, contest and fashion shows, held workshops on Ukrainian Arts & crafts, costumes for dancing groups, led seminars on Ukrainian tradition and customs; was involved to judge various contests. Nadia designed costumes for opera “KUPALO”, historical costumes for the float and Ukrainian theme designs for Papal Visit Banners. In 1977-1982 she served on the Advisory Board of the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.

Nadia Cyncar is a co-founder of Edmonton Plast (Ukrainian Scouts Organization) in 1948, held various executive positions at the organization, and for the last several decades served as an Archivist/Librarian.

Name of creator

(b. 1961)

Biographical history

Maryna Hrymych is a Ukrainian scholar and novelist. She has a Ph.D. in Philology and History (Candidate of Philology, Doctor of History). Editor in Chief of the Publishing House Duliby. Producer of the literary project Lyuba Klymenko. Member of the Writers Union of Ukraine, member of the Ukrainian Association of Regional Ethnography. Leading researcher of the Research Institute of Ukrainian Studies.

Maryna Hrymych was born on April 4, 1961 in Kyiv. Her father, Will Hrymych, was a translator, member of the Writers Union of Ukraine. Her mother, Halyna Hrymych, was a professor of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Maryna's grandfather, Hryhoriy Hrymych, was a journalist and writer. He worked in the newspaper "Hudok" in Moscow together with Il'f, Petrov, and Zoshchenko.

In 1983 Maryna Hrymych graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Department of Philology, Chair of Slavonic Studies. As a student Hrymych published her first translations from Slovenian, Serbian-Croat and Macedonian languages. At that time her first poems were published as well in Dnipro and Zhovten literary magazines. In 1990 she obtained Ph.D. in Philology (Candidate Ph.D.) from the Institute of Art History, Folkloristics and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic. In 1991-1995, she worked as an Academic Secretary and Deputy Head of the International School of Ukrainian Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Hrymych started her academic career as an ethnographer and folklorist at the M. T. Rylskyi Institute of Art History, Folkloristics and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. During her work at the International School of Ukrainian Studies developed methodology for teaching Ukrainian as a foreign language. At the Department of History of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv she taught ethnology and social anthropology. Her cross-disciplinary Ph.D. thesis (Doctorate Ph.D.) on customary law relates to three scientific fields – ethnology, history and law. Between 1996 and 2006 she was an Associate Professor and later Professor of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Department of History. In 2001-2006, Hrymych was the head of the Ethnology and Regional Studies of the Department. In 2004 she obtained her Ph.D. in History (Doctorate Ph.D.). In 2004 Maryna Hrymych founded and took the lead of the publishing house Duliby specializing in modern Ukrainian literature and scientific works of ethnological character. In 2004 and 2005 Duliby was awarded a number of prizes of the Lviv Publishers Forum.

Hrymych is an experienced field-worker – she conducted ethnological and anthropological field work throughout Ukraine and in a number of other countries.

In 2008-2010, she was a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, and together with other professors of the Kule Folklore Centre, taught Ukrainian Folklore courses.

Maryna Hrymych is the author of 4 books, 2 textbooks, 8 novels, and a number of essays. She edited 7 scholarly publications, and initiated, compiled and edited 5 collections of articles. She is a prize-winner of the All-Ukrainian Literary Competition Koronatsiya Slova (special awards in 2000, 2001, first prize in 2002 for novel Egoist). She was awarded the Taras Shevchenko Award (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv) for her monograph Property Institution in the Customary Law Culture of the Ukrainians in the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries (2004).

Custodial history

Scope and content

Paska Workshop Documentation Project was a project by Natalie Kononenko that aimed to document a workshop conducted by Nadia Cyncar, a community leader, at the Ukrainian Catholic Parish of St. George. Attendees learned about Easter traditions, as well as how to bake paska (Easter bread), how to decorate it, symbolism of decorations, etc.

The cooking was done by Joyce Sirski-Howell. The collection consists of a video recording (raw footage), audio recording and photographs of the workshop. The team who documented the event consisted of: Natalie Kononenko, Maryna Hrymych, Svitlana Kukharenko, Maryna Chernyavska and Peter Holloway.

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Donated by Natalie Kononenko.


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  • English
  • Ukrainian

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UF2010.030.d1, UF2010.030.d2, UF2010.030.d3, UF2010.030.d4

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