When I arrived back in Winnipeg, the executive director of the Shevchenko Foundation, which presented the Kobzars, informed me that the patron of the award sought to meet me.
had the good fortune of being nominated for the inaugural $25,000 Kobzar National Literary Award to be presented in a gala ceremony in Toronto.
Skrypuch draws inspiration from the kobzars, "the blind, wandering minstrels of Ukraine," who exchanged stories for sustenance and shelter.
Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories edited by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2006 1-55041-997-8 (pb) $14.95 for Grades 9 and up
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch prefaces her new book Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories by explaining that as a teenager with Ukrainian grandparents, she could not find positive literary depictions of people of Ukrainian origins.
Paulette MacQuarrie's "Christmas Missed" story about a Canadian teen observing the 2004 elections in Ukraine chronicles her fictional character's political awakening--the sort one hopes teen readers will experience as they read Kobzar's Children.
By the seventeenth century, the instrument was firmly established as part of a tradition of male wandering bards, called kobzars. Kobzars roamed the countryside, travelling between villages, Cossack encampments and gentry manors.
The tradition of the wandering minstrel kobzars continued into the early twentieth century, although by the late nineteenth century it had begun to wane due to Russian persecution.
The strong national narrative of the bandura, related to the historical role of the kobzars, proved troublesome for Stalin in his efforts to control Ukraine under a Communist government.
It is now played in new contexts -- there have been no kobzars wandering Ukraine for many decades -- by women as well as men, and with a new repertoire.
It allowed women access both to the instrument and to accompanying discourses of nationhood (though not the same national discourses used by the kobzars).
(25.) At Emlenton is the Kobzars'ka Sich, a locally operated camp on the Allegheny River.