Kosach-Kryvyniuk, Olha

Image - Olha Kosach-Kryvyniuk

Kosach-Kryvyniuk, Olha [Косач-Кривинюк, Ольга; Kosač-Kryvynjuk, Ol'ha], b 26 May 1877 in Zviahel (now Novohrad-Volynskyi), Volhynia gubernia, d 11 November 1945 in Augsburg, West Germany. Physician, community figure, ethnographer, translator, and writer; the daughter of Olena Pchilka and sister of Lesia Ukrainka and Mykhailo Kosach. She taught in Sunday schools in Kyiv. While studying at the Saint Petersburg Women’s Medical Institute (1899–1903), she was active in the Ukrainian Student Hromada in Saint Petersburg and was imprisoned for her involvement. From 1910 to 1922 she was a zemstvo physician in Lotsmanska Kamianka near Katerynoslav, directed an orphanage there, published several of her sister’s works, and translated Russian and French literature (by Victor Hugo, George Sand, and others) into Ukrainian (under the pseudonym Olena Zirka). She amassed a large collection of Ukrainian embroidery, which served as the basis for her collection Ukraïns'ki narodni vzory z Kyïvshchyny, Poltavshchyny, i Katerynoslavshchyny (Ukrainian Folk [Embroidery] Patterns from the Kyiv, Poltava, and Katerynoslav Regions). The last years of her life were devoted to collecting and studying materials about her sister. Her monumental Lesia Ukraïnka: Khronolohiia zhyttia i tvorchosty (Lesia Ukrainka: A Chronology of Her Life and Work) was published posthumously in 1970 in New York.

Marko Robert Stech

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

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