A Beauty of a Ukrainian Dance

Today is August 24, 2015, which is an Independence Day in Ukraine. Happy Independence Day to all Ukrainians, in Ukraine and abroad!
In honor of this day, here are few videos of Ukrainian dances for you guys. I took the videos during my numerous trips to Ukraine, especially to its western part, where I am originally from. 
Halychyna dancers from the city of Lviv, western Ukraine, perform the Arkan Hutsuls dance at the Etnovyr Folk Fest 2011 in their home city:

Kolomyjka song and dance by the Veseli Halychany band from the city of Ternopil, western Ukraine

Hutsulia dancers from the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, western Ukraine, are performing a Hutsul dance at the traditional Polonyna Summer Festival in Verkhniy Yaseniv in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast':

Waltz by the Folk Ensemble from the village of Dnistrove, Ternopil oblast', western Ukraine:

Vychylyas Ukrainian dance by the Nadzbruchanka dancers, Ternopil, West Ukraine:

Beadwork from Ukraine and by Ukrainian Artists

Looking through the pictures of my travels to Ukraine, I found lots of them that I can create a special album, called "Beaded Art from Ukraine" (and also made by Ukrainian people, who lives abroad now).
So, on the pictures below you can see beaded Easter eggs, handmade by Ukrainian artists from Lviv, the biggest city on the West of Ukraine. I brought many beaded eggs from Lviv. Some of them I showed you already here, on this blog; those ones that I am showing you today I got in my travel to western Ukraine in 2014. They are special because they made under the influence of American Indigenous People beadwork art, in similar colors and pattern (long time ago I have mentioned about a similarity of Ukrainian and Native American beaded arts and crafts):
Beaded artwork from Lviv, Ukraine
Next beadwork, that I want to share with you, is look quite simple, but it is definitely made with warm hart and fresh inspiration. This is a beaded picture of a butterfly sitting on a chamomile:
Beaded picture from Vorokhta, Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine
The picture has a story. I was shopping for souvenirs at the Vorokhta craft market in Carpathian Mountains, which are on the West of Ukraine. Among all those beautiful goodies (wooden crafts, sheep wool etc) I have noticed this beaded picture and I felt in love with it immediately. It was something special in it. I have asked a girl-vendor, who made it. She answered, "I did". She looked pretty young, so I asked, how old is she, she said, "Eighteen". Of course, I got the picture! Now it is on the wall in my Canadian home and warming my heart every time I look at it.
Here is another special picture I brought from Ukraine - an icon of the Mother of God. You cannot even say from the fight sight that it is actually beaded. Looks like painted, but it is embroidered with beads:
Beaded icon from Ternopil, Ukraine
The picture is very special to me, too, because, first of all, I got it for my birthday gift, and, second of all, it is made by the member of my Ukrainian family - my cousin's wife. Yes, my Ukrainian family branch got such an artistic people!
And finally, here is what I got for Christmas-2014 from my dear friend from USA Daria Iwasko - a beaded Angel, made in colors of Ukrainian flag and with Ukrainian Coat of Arms on it:
Beaded Angel in colors of Ukrainian flag by Daria Iwasko
Another Angel Christmas ornament I got from Daria is made in colors of Canadian flag - as Canada is my second home now.
Daria is American artist, originally from Ukraine. Lviv is her home city. I love Daria's art so much and I am so lucky to have her as my friend-artist!
To all the beadwork art lovers - western Ukraine it is the place to go for it! You can find lots of traditional and contemporary beadwork items at the Vernisazh Souvenir Market in Lviv, at craft markets in Yaremche and Vorokhta in Carpathian Mountains, also in craft stores in Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk.
Happy travels and happy souvenir shopping! :) 

Travel Memories From the West of Ukraine: Excavation of Medieval Castle

Skalat Medieval Castle in Western Ukraine
In one of our travels to Ukraine, my husband Ron and I were so lucky to attend the archaeological excavation of the medieval castle in Skalat, a nice little city on the West of Ukraine, located in Ternopil oblast.
First mention of the Skalat castle dated by 1379; in 1684 it was rebuilt. The castle was destroyed a lot during the First and Second World Wars. After the Second World War, the castle was used as a warehouse and a dance place.
In 1960th, a serious researches and renovations of the castle has began and still going on. We actually got to the one of them, the excavation of year of 2008. It is not my first one archaeological excavation - I used to work at this field before, helping out my friends-archaeologists - but for my husband Ron it was the first time, to attend an event like this. It was definitely an unforgettable experience for him, to dig carefully through the ground, finding all those artefacts, like old tile or so, something that's belong to historical times years and years ago:
Skalat Castle Excavation, Ukraine

Skalat Castle Excavation, West Ukraine
The castle itself is a real beauty! It is going to be a nice museum and hotel in the future and a place of real tourist's interest.
And here are some photos Ron and I took in our attendance of the excavations in 2008:
Skalat Castle Excavation, Western Ukraine

At the Skalat Castle Excavation, Ukraine

Exacavation of the Medieval Castle, Skalat, Ukraine

Archaeologival Excavation in Skalat Castle, Ukraine

Medieval Castle Excavation in Skalat, Western Ukraine

Interview at Archaeological Excavation in Skalat, Ukraine

Archaeological Excavation of Medieval Castle in Skalat, Ukraine
Also, we are filmed a little video, to have for our memories, which we sharing with you.  It was a really great experience!