Presentation of the project “Costume collection of the Novoaidar district for future generations”

The exhibition “Collection of the Novoaidar area folk costumes preserved for future generations” will open at the Novoaidar district-level local history museum (Novoaidar town, Nezalezhnosti str. 7) on February 14 at 14:00. The exhibition comes as a result of cooperation between the museum and the project “Under construction: Museum open III” run by Ukraine Crisis Media Center with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Novoaidar district-level local history museum stores, researches and presents the cultural heritage of ethnic groups populating the Novoaidar area – a unique and authentic collection of the area’s folk costumes dating back to the late 19th– early 20thcentury. The Novoaidar museum received the biggest part of the costumes from the workshop of Ksenia Lykhachova.

Ksenia (Andriyivna) Kharchenko-Lykhachova (1867 – 1930) dressmaker, wife of merchant Illya (Mykhailovych) Lykhachov. Ksenia married him when he already had four kids from the first wife. Together they had four more children. She was making dresses with older stepdaughters as well as with her daughters. Ksenia used to be a very skillful and well-known tailor in the Novoaidar district. Both well-off and poor women of the area were ordering dresses from her. Many costumes were produced in the workshop of Ksenia Lykhachova that now hosts the Kolyadivskyi village museum. The Novoaidar museum received other costumes thanks to the research expeditions that the museum staff undertook across the district’s villages. The collection of the district-level local history museum was put together after 20 years of work.

The collection numbers over 30 authentic costumes representing culture and arts of the ethnic groups that were populating the Novoaidar district when the area started being settled. They were descendants of Zaporizhzhia Cossacks, Don Cossacks; those resettled from Kyiv, Chernihiv and Poltava regions (hubernia) of Ukraine; from Kursk, Orel and Belgorod regions of Russia. Later, in 1945 they were joined by lemky – ethnic Ukrainians forced to resettle to Ukraine from Poland.

The museum’s collection is the biggest in the region. It is also the most valuable research material capable of consolidating the locals around the topic of individual history represented through costumes.

Participants of the DE NE DE initiative drew inspiration from the story of how the unique collection of the Novoaidar area folk costumes was created and preserved. Together with the museum professionals they developed and implemented the project.

The exhibition “Collection of the Novoaidar area folk costumes preserved for future generations” is a result of joint work by the museum staff – director Hanna Bozhko, researcher Natalia Antonova, collection manager Alla Sorokina and the project coordinators Dana Brezhneva and Daniil Galkin.

Community members also contributed to the project – villagers that donated new costumes to the museum collection are: Valentyna Bayova from Novoaidar, Tetyana Dementieva from Hrechyshkine, Valentyna Khivrenko from Smolyanynove, Vira Rudenko from Denezhnikove, Natalia Sheikash from Raigorodka and Lyubov Zhuravlyova from Bakhmutivka.

The collection’s gem – two costumes of lemky that resettled from Poland were donated to the museum by Hanna Badlak from Permozhne (the holiday dress) and by Yustyna Demchak from Trudove (the wedding dress).

Photographer Mykola Lytvynenko made pictures of the costumes and their details for the exhibition’s interactive part available on the tablet.

Yevhen Kolesnikov and Oleksiy Herasimov of Novoaidar helped set up the decoration of the museum’s exposition hall “Traditional costumes of the Novoaidar district.”

Press contact: Hanna Bozhkova, director of the Novoaidar district-level local history museum: +38 050 143 8822 and Olha Honchar, PR consultant at the “Under construction: Museum open” project: +38 093 339 76 46.

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