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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Trypillian Roots in Ukrainian Culture

The controversial question about the relation of Tripoli culture and its carriers to modern Ukrainians and Ukrainian culture has a lot of speculation. Especially patriotic scientists have such sin, and even more amateurish researchers. This question was not included research plans of Alternative linguistics, but its side effects, scattered in different sections of publications, give grounds to consider this issue in a direct statement. To do this, they need to be collected and presented to the inquisitive reader. Unfortunately the technical capabilities of the server my personal site does not allow for a more illustrative material supplied. Therefore, the proposed text will be submitted to the site amplification Alternative linguistics, where individual threads are placed together with illustrations.

In the IV – III cent. BC agricultural civilization Tripolye-Cucuteni existed in the territories of the Right-Bank Ukraine and Romania, whose roots can be traced to the Asia Minor and the Near East. Numerous archeological finds give us a good idea of ​​the material culture of its creators, but their ethnicity has not been established, although anthropological types of Trypillians were restored. Ancient Bulgars, the ancestors of the modern Chuvash, whose Urheimat was in the area between the low reaches of the Dnieper River and the Molochna River (see Turks) crossing the Dnieper River came into contact with Trypillians and borrowed from them elements of their economy, culture and mythology. The presence of Bulgars in Western Ukraine is confirmed by lexical correspondences between the Chuvash and German languages, discovered by many researchers, as the Urheimat of the Teutons was in adjacent Volyn. Further evidence of neighborhood of Bulgars and Teutons is Teutonic and Bulgarish placenames, which also suggests that some settlements of steppe Ukraine existed since time close to Tripillian. This means that they were settled during all the time, so Trypillian cultural traditions could pass to Ukrainians through intermediaries, which were primarily the ancient Bulgars.

This hypothesis can be tested by comparative analysis of the Chuvash and Ukrainian folk cultures, and especially one should pay attention to the Chuvash embroidery (see Comparing Folk Dress of Some East European Peopl). Chuvash people among all the peoples of the Russian Federation have the highest richness and diversity of this kind of folk art. Chuvash say about themselves: "We left for the world a hundred thousand words, one hundred thousand songs and one hundred thousand embroideries". Ukrainians rate the same about their songs and embroidery. Chuvash embroidery art goes back centuries. A fact is known that when embroidered dress of Khazar Kagan's daughter Kstruck by its luxury all Byzantine court. As the Chuvash and Ukrainian embroideries are characterized by the use of signs of water, the sun and the Tree of Life as emotional images of the nature, symbols of crop fertility. How important is the Tree of Life for Chuvash outlook a fact says that it has become the main element of the new state symbols of the Chuvash Republic – emblem and flag, adopted April 29, 1992. There is reason to believe that the symbol of the Tree of Life was present and stays in the spiritual culture of Trypillians. The image of the Tree of Life was passed from them to population of different ethnicity who inhabited the steppe and forest-steppe Ukraine and carried out a traditional type of economy that met local natural conditions.

The image of the Tree of life is embodied most clearly in the still remaining archaic Christmas customs of Ukrainians to weave so-called "Didukh" out of straw and ears in the image of "Lady-Guardian" (homemaker) in forms resembling spreading trees. Heavy ears of the Didukh cascade down from a tree trunk to its foot and this form of the Tree of life is the typical in Ukrainian and, as it turned out, in the Chuvash embroideries. This form is close to the Tree of life on an amphora with a Scythian burial mound Chortomlyk (IV c. BC). The fact that the Scythians were the ancestors of the modern Chuvash, can be found in the section "Scythian Culture and Language". Turkic peoples, except Chuvash have no an image of the Tree of Life, so it should be introduced to the ancient Bulgars (we can assume that by Trypillians). It was reached to Germans, Celts, Slavs, Balts, and other Indo-Europeans just from Bulgars. However, the image of the Tree of life has made the most significant impact on mythic-poetical consciousness only of Ukrainians which inhabited the lands of ancient Trypillians, as well as the Chuvash did. Obviously ancient Bulgars were the disseminators through which cultural influences Trypillians left their mark in the traditional Ukrainian outlook and, as a consequence, in folk art.

In addition to artistic embroidery, the Chuvash wide practise woodcarving, what they are close to the Ukrainian Hutsuls. Artefacts suggest that carpentry and joinery craft were at the Volga Bulgars on a high level. Wooden Churches of the Carpathians are also built with great skill and relate to historical and cultural monuments of Ukraine. It is also interesting that Chuvash male dances have such elements as jumps and squats as well as Ukrainians have. As well as Ukrainians, Chuvash prefer choral singing but no solo, how they differ from neighboring nations. Choral singing is common to many nations, but there is also a strong likelihood that there is some connection Chuvash songwriting with dance and song traditions of the Carpathian Ukrainians, in particular with the so-called "kolomyiky" and their counterparts in Hungarian as "swineherds songs", which are very similar to Chuvash and Mari songs of this type of songs. Hungarian musicologist and composer Zoltan Kodaly wrote about this similarity 50 years ago. Some part of the Bulgars stayed in Western Ukraine until the arrival of the Slavs to the land, namely the ancestors of modern Ukrainians, and Bulgars were gradually assimilated by them. This is convincingly evidenced by the borrowings from the Slavic languages into the Chuvash (e.g. OSl. gǫba "lip, mushroom" – Chuv. kămpa "mushroom"). However, Ukrainians learned cultural Bulgarish heritage, whose elements were once borrowed from Trypillians. Thus, Bulgars provided cultural continuity on the territory of Ukraine for seven or six millennia. Comparative analysis Trypillian ornament with Chuvash and Ukrainian ones proves this conclusively

This topic is considered more detailed in the article "Cultaral Substratum ."