Socio-Economic Relations of the Main Characters in Folk Poetic Folklore in Hetman State of the late XVII – 60’s. of the XVIII Century (on the Materials of Poetic Folk Art)

Keywords: historical songs, poetic folklore, Hetman state, socio-economic relations, Cossack starshyna, Poles, recruits


The paper analyzes the representation of difficult living conditions of Ukrainian people, their attitude to recruiting and the loss of local self-government, etc. in folk songs of the XVIII century. It has also been proved that the words of folk historical songs were used by the people as synonyms that were full of social meaning and protest. It is traced that the Ukrainian population linked the strengthening of social oppression not only with its own landowners, but also with «Moscow», since the period of the end of the XVII and the first half of the XVII century was characterized by remarkable aggravation of social contradictions in Russian state.

The materials of the research show the realism of the socioeconomic situation of Hetman state population describing in historical songs and ballads of that time, and according to the conducted research, the following facts are noted: the plot of historical songs and ballads embraced all social groups and strata of society – starshyna and gentry, ordinary cossacks and peasants, even townspeople and working people. Though it should be mentioned that much less attention was paid to the hierarchy of the clergy and its role in the development of the inhabitants of the Hetman state. Often, the spiritual significance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church particularly, in the life of ordinary people, was mentioned. Also, the research describes in details the amount and types of tributes paid certain landowners and the state as a whole and devoted much place to the describing of everyday life (tools, holidays, food of ordinary people, etc.). The characters of the Cossacks as free characters can be clearly traced, who gradually became impoverished and fell into dependence on those who were in power, and the peasants who were «traditionally» deprived of rights people, constantly exhaustingly working for their masters and, definitely, however quite convincingly, showed the characters of somber and pompous daughters of landowners, as opposed to suffering plodder peasant women.

To prove the lines of songs about the difficult socio-economic situation of the population in the Hetman state, the paper cites excerpts from complaints of residents of the certain villages lodged with local authorities in the 20-30's. of the XVIII cent.

In addition, in analyzed pieces of poetry, many real settlements and surnames of persons of that historical period were named.

Based on the comparative characteristics of the main characters of historical songs, conclusions are made regarding the socio-economic relations in that time society, the condemnation of the policy of Russian autocracy, aimed at oppression of the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to create their own statehood.

How to Cite
MerimerinI. (2018). Socio-Economic Relations of the Main Characters in Folk Poetic Folklore in Hetman State of the late XVII – 60’s. of the XVIII Century (on the Materials of Poetic Folk Art). Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, 1(3 (23), 23-30. Retrieved from
History of Ukraine