Material Culture of the Ukrainian Pioneers
"Zhorna" is the Ukrainian word for a stone mill that was used to grind grain into flour. The zhorna stands as the perfect symbol for the Ukrainian-Canadian pioneers who settled in western Canada. The patience, strength, and tenacity required to transform rough grains into fine flour are exactly the characteristics with which these pioneers approached their life and work.
Zhorna celebrates the material culture of Ukrainian settlers in western Canada: their folk architecture, household items, and tools they used to make their living. While at first glance these objects may seem mundane, they tell the story of a hard-working and resourceful people with a strong sense of practical aesthetics and a close relationship to the earth and nature.
Throughout the text, Roman Fodchuk has included vignettes of his childhood on an Alberta farm. His early life on a pioneer homestead, along with his work as a District Agriculturist in the Ukrainian settlement area in the 1950s, provided first-hand experience of the last days of the pioneer era in western Canada. His recollections are illustrated with photographs and fine line drawings of tools, clothing, buildings, and interiors. His knowledge, respect, and passion combine to create a unique tribute to the spirit of the early Ukrainian community in Canada.
- Short-listed, Kobzar Literary Award (Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko) 2008