Shmaida, Mykhailo

Shmaida, Mykhailo [Шмайда, Михайло; Šmajda, Myxajlo], b 2 November 1920 in Krasný Brod, near Medzilaborce, in the Prešov region, Czechoslovakia, d 30 April 2017 in Bratislava. Writer and ethnographer. He began publishing short stories, poems, and plays in Prešov periodicals in 1948. He wrote the first two Ukrainian novels published in postwar Slovakia, Parazyty (Parasites, 1955) and Trishchat' kryhy (The Ice Floes Are Breaking Up, 1957), the story collection V’iazka kliuchiv (Chain of Keys, 1956), and the novels Lemky (Lemkos, 1965) and Roz’ïzdy (Travels, 1970). His works, which have served to reinforce the national identity of the Prešov region’s Ukrainians, depict their society in the interwar, wartime, and postwar years. After 1960 Shmaida worked as an ethnographer at the Svydnyk Museum of Ukrainian Culture; he published transcriptions of Transcarpathian Christmas carols and folk oral literature in Duklia and Nove zhyttia and drew on that folklore in his literary works.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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