Lirnyks. Wandering folk minstrels, often blind, who accompanied themselves on a lira. They appeared in Ukraine in the 15th century and had formed a guild by the end of the 17th century. There were special schools for them. Their repertoire consisted mainly of religious songs, although humorous and satirical songs were also popular. Some lirnyks specialized in historical songs and dumas. The lifestyle of lirnyks (as well as kobzars) is described by N. Kononenko in Ukrainian Minstrels: And the Blind Shall Sing (1998).
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]