Thursday, October 09, 2008

Edmonton's Kule Folklore Centre Ukrainian Wedding Exhibit Opens in Saskatoon Museum

On September 12, 2008 the Ukrainian Museum of Canada of the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan hosted the opening of their latest exhibit – Ukrainian Weddings.

Ukrainian Weddings, a multi media display, was developed by the staff at the Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta for its initial launch at the 2007 Ukrainian Festival at Harbourfront in Toronto, Ontario.

The exhibit is a series of panels and videos that explore Ukrainian Wedding traditions through four different times and settings.

These settings include classic Ukrainian traditions from Ukrainian villages of the 1800s; a 1995 Bukovynian village wedding, wedding traditions from pre-1940 western Canada and post-1970 Ukrainian wedding traditions.

The Saskatoon exhibit also has antique Ukrainian wedding headpieces, examples of Korovaii – a traditional wedding bread – and an authentic wedding dress made by one of the donors of the Kule Folklore Centre – Mrs. Anna Kuryliw – in her Ukrainian village in 1936 and brought to Canada for her wedding to Wasyl Kuryliw. The decorated tree in the front of the picture below is a traditional Ukrainian Wedding Tree - a "derevtse."

Several members from the Kule Folklore Centre were on hand for the opening of the exhibit which featured refreshments and hors d oeuvres and a tsymbala player who greeted the 130 guests at the exhibit entrance.

Dr. Andriy Nahachewsky, Huculak Chair of Ukrainian Culture and Ethnography and Director of the Kule Folklore Centre and Nadya Foty, Archivist of the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Archives who was instrumental in arranging the exhibit collaboration with the museum, spoke to the audience about the Kule Folklore Centre and its role as the leader of Ukrainian Folklore outside of Ukraine.

They noted that the Kule Folklore Centre is committed to the exploration and documentation of Ukrainian and Canadian culture through teaching, research, archiving, publishing, scholarships and active community engagement.(Folklore and ethnology are the study of arts, customs, beliefs, songs, crafts, and traditions, as well as the people who partake in them.)

The exhibit (which has since been shown at the Moncton Museum, New Brunswick; Vegreville Pysanka Festival; several Edmonton events; and Folkfest in Saskatoon) will be at Saskatoon’s Ukrainian museum until early November.

If you're fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of this fabulous exhibit, I hope you'll take the opportunity to see it. As for those of us out here in Lotusland, we're hopeful it will one day make its way to the west coast!

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