Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ukraine - Monument commemorating the founders of Kyiv

I received this wonderful card (along with 3 other ones from the same set) from Anya, whom I sent some official cards before :) I love this set of Kyiv cards, because it's of very good quality and unusual shape. Another advantage of these cards is that they show places that are not so popular and that you can't see on all the standard Kyiv postcards. I think these cards must be brand new, because I haven't seen such ones before :))
This card shows the monument to legendar founders of Kyiv - Kyi, Schek and Khoryv and their sister Lybid. There's a tradition of visiting this monument by all the newly-weds, who get married in Kyiv :)

(alt. sp. Kiy, Kij or Kyj), Schek and Khoryv (Ukrainian: Кий, Щек, Хорив) are the three legendary brothers, sometimes mentioned along with their sister Lybid (Lybed) (Ukrainian: Либідь), who, according to the Primary Chronicle, were the founders of Kiev (Kyiv) city - now the capital of Ukraine. The legend is widely recognized as a source of Kiev's mythology and urban naming.

Archaeological excavations have shown there indeed was an ancient settlement from the 6th century. Some speculate that Kyi was a real person, a knyaz from the tribe of eastern Polans. But the majority of scholars consider them as purely mythological.

The legend of Kyi, Schek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid, can be interpreted as an example of a common mythological process whereby geographical names are personified and incorporated into the foundation myths of a place or people, often as eponymous ancestors.

During Soviet rule in the city, Kyi, Schek, Khoryv and Lybid were depicted (standing on ancient boat) in sculpture at the river-side Navodnytsky Park. The sculpture soon became symbolic for the city and has been massively re-used since. In 2000s another statue was installed at central Maidan Nezalezhnosti square.

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