National University of food Technology (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Based on the archival materials and scientific literature, we investigated and
analyzed a specific layer of Ukrainian society, the kobzars, as a spiritual and
cultural phenomenon that became the manifestation of the national-cultural revival
of the Ukrainian people.
Established by the times of Cossacsdom, kobzars always were a sign of Ukrainian
mentality. We can find deep roots of this phenomenon in Ukrainian mythology.
Following in the main stages of Ukrainian nation-building, kobzars were the
thread, connecting the past and the future of the Ukrainian nation in the times of
the biggest losses. It was a way to withstand forceful assimilation and destruction
of historical memory. Such artists as Vasyl Varchenko, Fedir Kushneric,
and Ostap Veresay, were a part of national resistance. The magical uncommon
of Ostap Veresay inspired Professor Louis Leger to work on the phenomenon of
Ukrainian culture and to populirize it in France. Ostap Veresay’s performance of the Ukrainian folk songs was discovered by the University of Oxford professor
William Morfil, a Croatian historian, Slavophilian philosopher Vatroslav Yagich,
and Austrian poet Rainer-Maria Rilke. As for Rilke, he visited Ukraine twice. His
thoughts and impressions about Ukraine can be traced in his poetry, especially
in the «Song of Truth» poem.
In this article, we investigate administrative, creative, and artistic aspects of
the formation, development, and activity of Ukrainian kobzarhood. In our research,
we proved that kobzars were a cultural phenomenon that reflects the specificity
of certain historical stages of Ukrainian nation-building.
Keywords: kobzar, historical memory, national-cultural revival, singer, bandura