Novytsky, Hryhorii

Novytsky, Hryhorii [Новицький, Григорій; Novyc'kyj, Hryhorij], b ?, d ca 1720–5 (some sources cite 1727) in Kondinskoe volost, Siberia. Cossack officer and ethnographer; son of Illia Novytsky. He was educated at the Kyivan Mohyla Academy, and later became colonel of a volunteer cavalry regiment (1704–8) (see Volunteer regiments) and a representative of Hetman Ivan Mazepa to the Polish voivode, Adam Sieniawski. After abandoning the anti-Petrine coalition in 1709, he was restricted to Moscow by Peter I and then sent to Tobolsk, Siberia (1712), where he became active in missionary work. His observations of the Khante (Khanty) peoples were recorded in Kratkoe opisanie o narode ostiatskom (A Short Description of the Ostiak People, 1715), one of the world’s first specialized ethnographic studies. It was published in German as Das Leben und die Gewohnheiten der Ostaken (in Das veränderte Russland, 1721), without accreditation to the author, and in Russian in 1884 (in Kievskaia starina) and separately in 1941.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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