Kobylytsia, Lukian

Kobylytsia, Lukian [Кобилиця, Лук’ян; Kobylycja, Lukjan], b ca 1803 (1812 according to some sources) in Storonets-Putyliv, Vyzhnytsia region, Bukovyna, d 24 October 1851 in Solca (Gura-Humorolui according to other sources), Bukovyna. Peasant revolutionary and political leader in the Hutsul region of Bukovyna. In the 1840s Kobylytsia led several popular rebellions against the landowners in the Hutsul region (Vyzhnytsia, Putyliv, and Câimpulung), for which he was twice imprisoned (1842–4, 1847). In 1848 he was elected to the Austrian Parliament. There he campaigned for the political autonomy of Bukovyna and its attachment to Galicia, and for the distribution of land to the peasants without compensation for the landlords. During the Revolution of 1848–9 in the Habsburg monarchy, he struggled against Romanian leaders in Bukovyna and organized ‘Hutsul councils,’ institutions of local administration. He traveled throughout the Hutsul region with groups of armed Hutsuls, presenting himself as the official envoy of the Austrian emperor and fomenting revolution against the local nobles. By the end of 1848, the uprising had embraced all of Bukovyna and spread to Galicia. According to some historians, Kobylytsia was even allied with the leader of the Hungarian revolution, Lajos Kossuth. In spring 1849 the uprising was finally quelled by the Austrian army and in April 1850 Kobylytsia was arrested in Zhabie. Released in 1851, he was not permitted to return to the Hutsul region, but forced to remain under police surveillance in Solca. Kobylytsia became a folk hero, immortalized in folk songs and legends and in a popular poem by Yurii Fedkovych.

Franko, Ivan. ‘Lukian Kobylytsia: epizod z istoriï Hutsul'shchyny v pershii polovyni XIX st.,’ ZNTSh, 49 (1902)
Revakovych, Tyt. ‘Luk’ian Kobylytsia.’ ZNTSh, 126–7 (1918)
Balan, T. Luchian Cobiliţa (Chernivtsi 1926)
Selians'kyi rukh na Bukovyni v 40-kh rokakh XIX st.: Zbirnyk dokumentiv (Kyiv 1949)
Shevchenko, F. Luk’ian Kobylytsia (Kyiv 1958)
Narod pro Kobylytsiu (Kyiv 1968)

Arkadii Zhukovsky

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

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