Honcharenko, Hnat

Honcharenko, Hnat [Гончаренко, Гнат; Hončarenko], b ca 1837 in Ripky, Kharkiv county, Kharkiv gubernia, d ca 1917. One of the most famous kobzars. Blind from childhood, he learned to play the kobza at 20–22 and wandered throughout the Kharkiv region, singing and playing dumas, psalms, and humorous folk songs in the traditional manner and teaching other kobzars. He spent the last part of his life mostly in Sevastopol. In 1908 Lesia Ukrainka took Honcharenko to Yalta and, with the help of her husband Klyment Kvitka and Opanas Slastion, recorded his dumas on phonograph cylinders. Filaret Kolessa transcribed and published them in the collection Melodiï ukraïns’kykh narodnykh dum (The Melodies of Ukrainian Folk Dumas, 2 vols, 1910, 1913; repr 1969).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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