Kobzar’s Testament Riddle


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The Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) presented a slide presentation “Kobzar’s Testament Riddle” that offered a new approach to the background of the classical poem “My Testament”.
The local historian D. Synytsia analyzed the text of the poem and suggested his own interpreting of the facts. According to the researcher Shevchenko wanted to be buried in the vicinity of the modern Dnipropetrovsk city. In the slide show we took a fresh look at the poem’s text and found confirmation to D. Synytsia’s hypothesis. It really seems that after a visit to Ekaterinoslav region and the exploration of the Cossack heritage the poet wanted to be buried on a Scythian mound (“on mohyla”) with a view on the greatest Dnipro river rapid – the Insatiable, aka Roaring. Both objects are located not far from Dnipropetrovsk city. The hypothesis is supported by the original Shevchenko’s painting and the memoirs of the local dwellers about the noise produced by the rapids (before they were submerged in the water reservoir).
The new facts from Kobzar’s biography impressed the group. The kids were thrilled by the Testament’s riddle that caused so much confusion and deprived the city of the nationwide Shevchenko Memorial.

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Kobzar’s Testament Riddle

  1. 1. Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk 2014
  2. 2.
  3. 3.  Do you know where the modern Kobzar’s Memorial is situated?
  4. 4. When I die, then make my grave High on an ancient mound, In my own beloved Ukraine, In steppepland without bound: Whence one may see wide-skirted wheatland, Dnipro’s steep-cliffed shore, There whence one may hear the blustering River wildly roar. “ Translator – Vira Rich 
  5. 5. Dnipropetrovsk local lore historian Dmytro Synytsia analyzed the “My Testament” text and has his own hypothesis
  6. 6. NOT “ в могилі” , BUT “на могилі” . WHAT is this object ?
  7. 7.  “MOHYLA”-is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave of Scythian nobility in Dnipro river valley
  8. 8. “Дніпро ревучий” “Roaring Dnipro” could be found only in the river section with rapids
  9. 9.  Rapids are characterized by the river becoming shallower with some rocks exposed above the flow surface.
  10. 10.  The plan of rapids on Dnipro River between Dnipropetrovsk and Khortizia island
  11. 11.  The biggest rapid’s name was “INSATIABLE” It was located in Dnipro- petrovsk region(Vasylivka – Mykilske na Dnipri )
  12. 12.  “Ревучий” was the older name of the “Insatiable” rapid
  13. 13. Outstanding historian Dmytro Javornytskyj quoted the local dwellers: «Вода так ревела и грохотала по камням, что этот шум был слышен за несколько километров». Even after submersion the Insatiable’s voice can be heard from under the water on quiet nights
  14. 14.  Zaporizhja kossacks used the mounds to guard their territories
  15. 15.  In 1843 29y.o. Shevchenko visited Yekaterinoslav.  For 2 months he traveled on foot visiting former Cossack villages – Old Kodak and New Kodak,  He walked all the way along the Dnipro’s bank to the rapids  , 
  16. 16. Малюнок “Село на Орілі”, див. http://pokrlib.at.ua/publ/slov_janskij_centr/do_200_richchja_vid_dnja_narodzhennja_t_g_shevch enka/shevchenko_i_pridniprov_ja/30-1-0-152
  17. 17.  Dmytro Synytsia suggests to erect a memorial sign in Vasylivka-na-Dnipri  http://www.day.kiev.ua/uk/article/kultura/dnipropetrovci-proponuyut- vstanoviti-memorialniy-znak-u-seli-vasilivka-na-dnipri  http://uanews.dp.ua/culture/2013/05/27/8144.html
  18. 18. Dnirpoterovsk regional authorities constructed an artificial waterfall as an imitation of the “Roaring Insatiable”
  19. 19.  37 monuments to T. Shevchenko  3 parks named after him  2 Ukrainian drama theatres – in Dnipropetrovsk and Kryvyj Rig  City Library and a Cinema of Dniprodzerzhinsk  2 high schools ( Marganets and Lozuvatka)  House of Culture (Pidhorodnie).  Farming company in Kryvyj Rig region