Oleksa Dovbush: "The Ukrainian Robin Hood"

                                                  
    1.) An Illustrated Picture of Oleksa Dovbush                                                               2.) Dovbush Rocks in Western Ukraine

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Oleksa Dovbush, the “Ukrainian Robin Hood” was born in 1700, and became a national icon and hero of the time by leading a group called the Opryshoks. The Opryshoks were a group of rebels who collected to oppose the Poles and feudalism in Ukraine. The group stole from the upper-class Carpathian regions including Hutsul, Pokutia, and Podilia.

He and his brother Ivan became outlaws and with a group of 30 to 50 men took  from landlords, leaseholders, usurers, merchants, noble men and rich Jews.  He gave what he stole to the poor mostly in the Hutsul region and in Pokutia, but sometimes he raided Podilia, all regions of the Carpathians.  For many years the Polish army sent as many as 2,000 men who were led by the Crown Hetman J. Potocki to try to capture Dovbush. In 1745, Oleksa met his demise due to the betrayal of someone on his own side. Some believe he was betrayed by one of the groups that were part of his organization, while far more believe that “in Kosmach, due to a vengeful girlfriend, by the name of Dzvinka, who, in a fit of jealousy, betrayed him to his enemies. It is not clear, if there is any truth to this legend … but the story is repeated, with many variations, in numerous folk songs, tales, ballads, legends , and other folk art” (Onyshkevych).

 

 

WORKS CITED
 

Hrabovets’kyi, V.. "Dovbush, Oleksa." Encyclopedia of Ukraine. 1984. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. 21 Mar 2008
          <http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/pages/D/O/DovbushOleksa.htm>.

Onyshkevych, Lubomyr S.. "Ukrainian "Robin Hood" Oleksa Dovbush.." 1996. 21 Mar 2008 <http://members.tripod.com/warholic/Dovbush.htm>.

 

Picture Sources:            1.) http://members.shaw.ca/harnas/guild/sokyra/dovbush.JPG
                                    2.)  http://www.adventurecarpathians.com/shorttrips/Dovbush_pict/big/100_0262.JPG

 

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