Churai, Marusia

Churai, Marusia [Čuraj, Marusja]. A Ukrainian singer who, according to legend, lived in Poltava in 1625–50 and composed a number of songs that are still sung, including ‘Oi, ne khody, Hrytsiu’ (Don't Go to Parties, Hryts), ‘Kotylysia vozy z hory’ (The Wagons Rolled Downhill), and ‘Za svit vstaly kozachen’ky’ (The Cossacks Awoke at Dawn). The theme of ‘Don't Go to Parties, Hryts’ has been used in about 10 Ukrainian novels, several plays, and poems. The best-known novel based on this theme is Olha Kobylianska's V nediliu rano zillia kopala (On Sunday Morning She Dug Up Herbs). The song itself was translated into German and French at the beginning of the 19th century. A collection of Churai's songs, with a biographical sketch by L. Kaufman, was published under the title Divchyna z lehendy—Marusia Churai (The Girl out of a Legend—Marusia Churai, 1967, 1974). In 1979 Lina Kostenko's ‘historical novel in verse’ entitled Marusia Churai was published in Kyiv.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]




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