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63 Portraits of Ukraine. 1882

Portraits of Ukraine. 1882

Posted on October 2, 2007 by


portraits of Ukraine, 1882 9

These photos were made more than about one century ago. It’s amazing that they have preserved till the our time. Did those people know, that we would look at them via the Internet after 100 years?

portraits of Ukraine, 1882 2

portraits of Ukraine, 1882 3


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63 Responses to “Portraits of Ukraine. 1882”

  1. Iwwes says:

    It’s quite hard to even think that some photos of you can be watched longly after you’r dead, even nowadays. Those photos are really preserved in really good condition.

  2. John from Kansas says:

    A fascinating look at village life. Look at the size or that jack rabbit in photo 12! Does anyone know what the men in photo 17 doing?

    • Animalist says:

      It’s not a rabbit but wild hare. :) Almost the same anyway.
      Nr 17 is making fire. Certainly staged as most of those pictures. :) There are some women wearing party clothes (e.g. the one on the picture 34).

      Maybe you’ll be interested in a bit of background. At this time there was a kind of fashion in Russian Empire to gather national traditions, folklore etc. Most of mythology of the former USSR folks has been written down in 1880s. This was a period of national awakening due to a little more liberal policy of the Czar.

      • John from Kansas says:

        Yes, you are right. The animal is properly called a hare. The jack rabbits we have are much smaller. Thank you for the information. It is fortunate that there was an effort to preserve these traditions.

        • Al says:

          That’s the biggest rabbit I have ever seen. I see them sometimes from the trains but it’s hard to get a idea of their size.

    • J .Goose says:

      The men in photo 17 are practising the now lost ancient Ukrainiane ritual knwon as “Making Love To The Potato”. Once each fortnight, during high noon, the wisest men in the village would drink many gallons of potato vodka and select the most mis-shapen of the potatoes they could find around the viallage. Placing this in the middle of the village square, they would poke it with sticks, in a bid to wake the Potato into consciousness. Once they were drunk enough, the Potato would gain life and intelligence. They would then consult it and communicate to the Potato God through it. This communication to the form of hurling insults at the potato (potatos are well know for their ability to not fight back when insulted)

      Theoreticly, the ritual would end with the potato dying and talking out the entire world in a deranged Apocalypse involving a van full of crack babies on laughing gas and Mr Putins belly button lint. Fortunately this never happened because the wise men always passed out drunk before they could complete the ritual.

      The practice was abolished by Soviet authorities in 1927

      • John from Kansas says:

        Are you related to Bruce McCall?

        • J .Goose says:

          Nope. Who is he? I hope he’s not some insufferable twat (the comments section of this site has a large number of those), because then I’ll have to be insulted.

          That would suck, cuz your on the short list of non ass-helmets here and seem like a sensible, decent human being.

          • John from Kansas says:

            McCall is a talented Canadian illustrator who mixes historical details with outrageously whimsical stories. Your story has an almost identical structure to McCalls style. Run him through your search engine.

            • J .Goose says:

              Ahhh. I see. Thank you for the education :) He’s really good, I like his stuff. (no surprise there) Oddly enough I’m both a Canadian and an artist. Should have recognized the name.

    • oka says:

      some kind of “babki” game on 17th pic
      astragalus in ancient greece or tali in latin
      game with pig’s anklebone
      i guess

    • aNT says:

      The connect the village to the Internet :d

  3. D says:

    Not much has changed.

  4. Richard S. says:

    O.T.
    If the Ukraine was part of the USSR back during the second world war, why did they ally with the Germans when the USSR was their (the Germans) enemy?

    • maxD says:

      Ukrainians hated Russians because of the great famine Stalin and the communists caused late 1920’s/early 30’s. Literally millions died. Gruesome stories are known – like cannibalism. This episode is known as ‘Holodomor’. After that, 2 waves of purges eliminated almost 4/5 of the Ukranian cultural elite, basically kicking the whole country back to a medieval state of existence. Check Wikipedia for more background. No, the Russians were not popular.

      Another related thing, the Russians started spreading gossips that the Jews were in fact responsible for the famines. Since Ukraine had a huge Jewish population at that time, they were an easy target. This, combined with a latent anti-semitism resulted during WWII in the notorious Ukranian SS divisions, which were known to be the most cruel and brutal of all.

      • Rus says:

        You the fool! As Russian could extend gossips that hunger was caused by Jews if the USSR positioned itself whereas the defender of Jews from the nazi of Germany, and thousand Jews ran therefrom in the USSR. And in a management of the USSR there was a large quantity of Jews. (They of it never would admit!)
        And as then the Jewish pogroms arranged with Ukrainians in the end of 19 and in the beginning of 20 centuries. They were provoked too by Russian?
        By the way wrongly it is considered, that pogroms passed in Russia, however practically all pogroms have passed in territory of modern Ukraine!

      • Rus says:

        __You the fool! As Russian could extend gossips that hunger was caused by Jews if the USSR positioned itself whereas the defender of Jews from the nazi of Germany, and thousand Jews ran therefrom in the USSR. And in a management of the USSR there was a large quantity of Jews. (They of it never would admit!)
        And as then the Jewish pogroms arranged with Ukrainians in the end of 19 and in the beginning of 20 centuries. They were provoked too by Russian?
        By the way wrongly it is considered, that pogroms passed in Russia, however practically all pogroms have passed in territory of modern Ukraine!

      • Rus says:

        You the fool! As Russian could extend gossips that hunger was caused by Jews if the USSR positioned itself whereas the defender of Jews from the nazi of Germany, and thousand Jews ran therefrom in the USSR. And in a management of the USSR there was a large quantity of Jews. (They of it never would admit!)
        And as then the Jewish pogroms arranged with Ukrainians in the end of 19 and in the beginning of 20 centuries. They were provoked too by Russian?
        By the way wrongly it is considered, that pogroms passed in Russia, however practically all pogroms have passed in territory of modern Ukraine!!

      • sim says:

        Foolish Ukrainians always wanted to bring down the guilt on other. For pogroms began 20 ages and anti-semitic cleanings responsibility during of World War2 Ukrainians carry only. Russians do not have no relation to them.

      • jerry says:

        A couple of comments:
        stalin was Hitler’s best pal from 1939 to 1941-check your history. Ukraine never had an ss division, however Russia did – google Gen Vlasov and you will see that there was 1,000,000 Russians fighting in the Wehrmacht and they were the most brutal units around. CHECK YOUR HISTORY THE REAL STUFF NOT THE COMMUNIST REVISIONIST STUFF

    • Rus says:

      ___You the fool! As Russian could extend gossips that hunger was caused by Jews if the USSR positioned itself whereas the defender of Jews from the nazi of Germany, and thousand Jews ran therefrom in the USSR. And in a management of the USSR there was a large quantity of Jews. (They of it never would admit!)
      And as then the Jewish pogroms arranged with Ukrainians in the end of 19 and in the beginning of 20 centuries. They were provoked too by Russian?
      By the way wrongly it is considered, that pogroms passed in Russia, however practically all pogroms have passed in territory of modern Ukraine!

  5. Boris Abramov says:

    Just wondering how long it will take before some well known Nazi like pld, Hannu, ornoxus and others, will make some sick anti-Semitic statments about the Jewish fellow in picture 24.

    Lets wait and see what these baltic racists can produce next..

    • Texas1 says:

      Wow! I didn’t even notice those pancake things on their heads. I had to go back and take a second look.

    • Hannu says:

      Why don’t you take your ABC-book and go practise your reading-skills.. Flaming and making false accusations you already know too well.

      Here, practice (for the umpteenth time) on the last word of this post and see if it’s a baltic country.

      Hannu,
      Finland

      • Boris Abramov says:

        Firstly, my racist friend, the “last words” of your post could just as well be: “Hannu, form Mars ” not that it would make much difference. Also, its seems quite ironic to me, that a person claiming to be from Finland, doesn’t know that his country boarders with the Baltic see. Yes, ironic, to say the least :)

        Secondly, I travel to “Levi” Finland quite often for my skiing holidays, and all the finns I have met are tolerant and open minded people – wish I could say the same about Latvians and Estonians. From this, you should see why I have made the most probably assumption that you are not in fact from finland, but a pittyful racist form Estonina or Latvia i.e Ornixus.

        PS: next time before you claim to be from any civilised country, I strongly encourage you to learn the basic geography of that particular country.

        Good day.

        • Hannu says:

          *kröhm*
          Bordering the Baltic sea doesn’t make a country a baltic country.. So does Germany and it’s not a baltic country.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_countries

          You level of intelligence never ceases to amaze me.. All you ever do is flame me.

          P.S. Levi is nice. Got that right :)

          Hannu,
          Finland

          • Boris Abramov says:

            Don’t you think it all depends on one’s interpretation of what is ment by Baltic country? (note, I did not say Baltic State) There is no genralisation and never has been. Some consider only Estonia Latvia and Lithuania to be baltic countries, others do not.

            One interpretation of what is a “Baltic country” (the most common interpretation in western europe) – are all the countries that “board” or have some connection with the Baltic sea. Even with my humble geographical knowledge, I know that Finland is one of these states. Shame you do not.

            • Hannu says:

              hehehehehe….

              Finland is not a baltic country. And *no*, it does not depend on interpretation. There are only the informed, and the misinformed. Baltic countries (and baltic people) are only Estonia, Lativia and Lithuania.

              I don’t think – and seriously, neither do you – that russians, germans and the polish are baltic.

              Yarr,
              Humble it is, mate.

              • Boris Abramov says:

                “Baltic countries (and baltic people) are only Estonia, Lativia and Lithuania” – to be technical, the countries you named are considered to be “Baltic States” not Baltic countries. There is a literal difference. But I won’t argue with you, because like I said, there are interpretational variations so you and me could both be right.

                Boris,

                from Antarctica

                • Hannu says:

                  The difference between states and countries is a linguistical one related to the english language. *Not* to real-life things. In many languages country/state is a single word.

                  Now would be a very good time time for you to stop embarassing yourself further.

                  • Boris Abramov says:

                    I think with your narrominded anti-Semitic racist rants, you have done enough embarrassing for both of us.

                    Boris,
                    Antarctica

  6. Boris Abramov says:

    When looking into people’s eyes in these pictures , isn’t it amazing how thoughtful, deep and peaceful they look? If you look at the modern day pictures, people’s eyes seem generally more destructed, hollow, naive and lost. Why could that be? Could it be that our way of thinking and comprehension, not only way of life, has changed so dramatically?

    • J .Goose says:

      There’s both imaginative and unimaginative answers to your question.

      The unimaginative one is quite simple and it goes like this: The exposure times required for a decent photo back then were WAY longer, so people had to hold real still for a minute and even several minutes. So thats why the look peaceful.

      The other answer..or rather contribution to the discussion:

      I think our sense of time has profoundly changed since then. Half those people didn’t even have clocks, let alone watches.

      Our way of thinking and comprehension has certainly changed. Mass media didn’t exist back then, there wasn’t the sense of urgency to every damn thing going on like we have now.

      That look of peace certainly makes one question the ways our lives have improved are worth what we’ve lost in exchange.

      • neil says:

        When exposure times were very long, sitters had to have their heads clamped: you can’t hold still long enough. Those photographs were taken outside in good light and while I expect that sitters had to hold still, it wouldn’t have been for very long. Exposures of minutes in daylight were only ever needed for very primitive photographic techniques.

    • John from Kansas says:

      Very profound observations guys.

    • Texas1 says:

      Cool photos. Thanks to Ogurtsov for the share.

  7. Pastor Transmontano says:

    Very interesting photos with nice people. Unfortunately they are all dead. Only one is still alive and is a very interested people on this matter! He is more than 163 years old!!!

  8. Texas1 says:

    I would like to see the “Today” version of this same village.

  9. Megapros says:

    Photoshop, of course

  10. Mr. Smith says:

    In WWII Ukrainians fought for the Russians against the Germans, For the Germans against the Russians, and some fought agains BOTH Russians and Germans at the same time..

    As to why they fot for the Germans, less than 10 years earlier the Russians tried to wipe out Ukrainians with the man made famine, where they confiscated all the food and seed stock, then posted armed guards around the villages to prevent people from leaving to look for food. While they failed to wipe out the Ukrainians, they did enormous damage to Ukraine and Ukrainian culture that is still felt to this day.

    Why is Eastern Ukraine so heavily russified ?? Because after the Russians killed the 6 to 10 million Ukrainians by starvation, they repopulated the land with Russian ‘settlers’

    • Hannu says:

      Same as they did for the baltic countries. We’ll never know for sure how many perished there, but estimates run in hundreds of thousands deported, murdered or simply disappeared. Half a million Russians were brought in as replacement. Russification was clearly used in an effort to wipe out the baltic cultures. Even today, nearly 400 000 Russians (versus a million Estonians) are in Estonia as a consequence (Not to mention the situation in the other baltic countries).

      Many of these form a subculture of their own, not even wishing to integrate into the society, gain a citizenship or learn the language of the country. Statistics show that a strong majority (!) of Russians in Estonia actually believe that Estonia voluntarily joined the Soviet Union!

      So you can see, Russians are not popular in Estonia either. And I don’t see anything fascist about that.

      Hannu,
      Finland

      • Jarek says:

        Russians are not popular in any country which was invaded by them. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany (especially east side), Czech and Slovak Republic, Hungary, Ukraine (partially – huge russification on east side of country), Romania and many, many other countries/nations fore sure know what I mean.

        Jarek,
        Poland

        PS. Hope to see soon Belarus and Chechnya among free and sovereign countries!

    • Mikkal says:

      Stalin also killed millions of Germans that immigrated all thought-out the Black Sea area. I know this because my German Family lived near Odessa for three generations before leaving in 1907 to come to America. We had one part stay behind and my Uncle was killed (in 1927) for not giving up ALL of his fall harvest.

  11. Michael says:

    Wonderful photos. Thanks for posting them.

  12. AdrianK says:

    Those are awesome

  13. Feelov says:

    Эх, Хохляндия! :)

  14. Hannu says:

    These photos are wonderful. The oldest thing that my family has is from about the same year.. It’s a bible, and shows what the language was like then. But photos are so much more interesting.

    It’s a great boon that they are presented here in the internet for all to see.

    Hannu,
    Finland

  15. Hannu says:

    While I’m there, may I borrow your ice-cold heart to keep me cool with?

  16. Anousenka says:

    Wow, these are so cool! I wonder if I’m related to any of them? My whole family is from the Ukraine, but I’m pretty sure that my Grandpa’s side of the family lived there at that time. Ooh, wouldn’t that be interesting?!

  17. milicz says:

    Ogurtsov, do you know what region of Ukraine these photos are from?

  18. Kevin says:

    wonderful and facinating photos of the ‘old world’ before politics and industrialization invaded the simple art of living.

  19. Rooster says:

    In picture 25, are they waithing for the bus to arrive?, presumably the village is having a day out to the sea side

  20. blackminorca says:

    “why did they ally with the Germans when the USSR was their (the Germans) enemy?”

    you are mistaken – it is the russians that were the nazi allies when russia and germany invaded Poland to start World War II.

    Ukrainians and Poles suffered the most – nearly 16 million dead vs only a few million russians.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkP58FsQGls&feature=related

    http://www.infoukes.com/history/ww2/page-29.html

  21. Vlad says:

    Excellent work boys

  22. Malina says:

    Haha

    guys u nothing understand here)))))

    photos are ghm ahuennie as we says. what can i say.. last time of normal life for those people…

    ukraine 4ever!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Kristoff says:

    Aha, so that’s what things looked like before the Holodomor.

  24. Chasseur says:

    There are photos of the same era of Russian farmers..
    These Ukrainians look better than their russian counterparts. They look cleaner, they don’t have those long greasy beards and their clothes look better..

  25. dast says:

    Ukrainians hated Russians

  26. Josie says:

    These are amazing photos. My favorite is number 12. The men are all dressed alike, and I absolutely love the boots :)

  27. Tim says:

    This is what it looks like in America today with the Democrats in charge…they really love it!!!!

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