The Sacredness of Museum Spaces in Activities of the Pagan Community Rus’ke Pravoslavne Kolo (Community of Rus’ people who praise gods)


  • Oksana Smorzhevska Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv



Community of Rus’ People who Praise Gods (CRLG), Ukrainian Paganism, Native Faith, Khortytsia, Rodovid museum, contemporary Paganism


This article focuses on the activities of one of the Native Faith organizations of Ukraine, the Rus’ke Pravoslavne Kolo (Community of Rus’ people who praise gods, hereafter CRLG). This organization was founded in October 2007. The center of the community’s activities is located in the city of Zaporizhzhia, located on the banks of the Dnipro River. The riverbed is divided by the island of Khortytsia, the largest island on the Dnipro, the pride of Ukraine and a national reserve. The island also contains important historical and archaeological sites. They are part of the CRLG’s religious and ritual activities. It should be noted that the island of Khortytsia and its objects (the complex of cromlechs of the Eneolithic period, the sanctuary of the Bronze Age, and the “Scythian Camp” tourist-memorial complex are important components of the religious self-identification of many contemporary Ukrainian Pagans. They give a feeling of belonging to antiquity, to spiritual sources. But it is the representatives of the CRLG, due to the geographical proximity to the museum space of the island of Khortytsia, who most actively use it in their religious and spiritual practices. Contemporary Pagans themselves also create museum spaces that have become part of the culture, such as the Rodovid wandering museum. In 2014, Bereginya Yana (Yasna) Yakovenko became its ideological inspirer and organizer. The museum exhibits are based on Yana Yakovenko’s collection of embroidered shirts (vyshyvankas). The Rodovid Museum began its active work precisely due to people’s interest inthe traditions of embroidery. Yana Yakovenko lectures at schools in Zaporizhzhia and conducts appropriate master classes. Today, the exhibits of this museum are in her home. The museum is “wandering” because it does not have a special room for its exhibits, but in 2020 Yana Yakovenko has officially issued documents for museum activities.

Author Biography

Oksana Smorzhevska, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Oksana Smorzhevska (PhD, history) is an associate professor of modern history of Ukraine, Faculty of History, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. She is expert of the Ukrainian Institute for Happiness Research and member of the National Union of Local Historians of Ukraine. Her research interests include contemporary Paganism of Ukraine as a historical and cultural phenomenon, the cultural space of postmodern Ukraine, and commemorative practices in modern historical politics.


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How to Cite

Smorzhevska, O. (2022). The Sacredness of Museum Spaces in Activities of the Pagan Community Rus’ke Pravoslavne Kolo (Community of Rus’ people who praise gods). Pomegranate, 23(1-2), 115–139.