World Academy of Carpatho-Rusyn Culture


Stryps’kyi, Hiiador/Sztripszky, Hiador

Stryps’kyi, Hiiador/Sztripszky, Hiador (pseudonyms: Ia. Bilen’kii, Iador, Sydor Mykolaienko, Zoltan Karpati, S. Novyk, Mykola Storozhenko, Tiador Stryps’kyi, Mikesh, Belon Rusinsky, Ruskotsi, Th. Beregiensis) (b. March 7, 1875, Shelestovo [Hungarian Kingdom], Ukraine; d. March 9, 1946, Budapest, Hungary) — museum curator, ethnographer, bibliographer, literary historian, journalist, translator, and civic activist of Rusyn orientation. After completing the Uzhhorod gymnasium Stryps’kyi studied at the universities of Budapest (1893-1896), Cluj/Koloszvar (1896-1897), and L’viv/Lemberg (1897-1898). While in L’viv he befriended the leading Galician-Ukrainian activists, Volodymyr *Hnatiuk and Ivan *Franko, and established in the Subcarpathian village of Skotars’ke (1897) the first reading room of the Ukrainophile *Prosvita Society. During the next decade he remained in Cluj/Koloszvar, where he worked at the Ethnographic Museum and the Transylvanian Cultural Association and taught the Ukrainian and Russian languages at the university. From 1910 to 1918 he was curator at the Ethnographic Division of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest, during which time he amassed for that institution a large collection of ethnographic artifacts and publications from Subcarpathian Rus’.

Stryps’kyi’s publications about old Romanian printed books led to his election (1913) to the Romanian Academy of Sciences, and his publications in the journal of the Shevchenko Society earned him membership (1914) in that L’viv-based Ukrainian scholarly institution. He continued to correspond with Hnatiuk and Franko; with the latter he consulted about translations into Hungarian of the Lay of Prince Ihor’s Campaign as well as the works of Ukrainian writers like Shevchenko, Franko, Stefanyk, Kotsiubyns’kyi, Makovei, and Rudans’kyi. Following the lead of Franko, Stryps’kyi collected and published several studies on Subcarpathian manuscripts and old printed books, including Starsha rus’ka pys’mennost’ na Uhorshchyni (1907), “A hazai rutenek legregibb nyomtatvanyai” (1911), “Uhro-rus’ki litopysni zapysky” (1911), and “Z starshoi pys’mennosty Uhors’koi Rusy” (1913).

In the 1890s Stryps’kyi outlined in the Hungarian-language newspaper *Kelet a detailed plan for research into Rusyn ethnography and folklore, for which he was elected a member of the Hungarian Ethnographic Society. During a research expedition in 1905 he collected 50 tales and 1,000 folksongs in Rusyn villages in *Bereg, *Ugocha, and *Maramorosh counties, and in 1908 he became the first Rusyn researcher to use the phonograph, recording 50 folk melodies. This work resulted in 1921 in an anthology of Rusyn folklore (still in manuscript). In the first two decades of the twentieth century Stryps’kyi also revealed his talents as an accomplished author of poems, short stories, and tales.

Stryps’kyi’s political activity dates from World War I, when, at the encouragement of the Hungarian government, he published 20 issues of a journal, Ukrania (1916), which informed the Hungarian-reading public about Ukraine. Following the establishment of the Hungarian People’s Republic in November 1918, he was appointed head of the section for Rusyn affairs in the Ministry of Education and Religion and advisor to the Minister for National Minorities. When Rus’ka Kraina came into being in December 1918 Stryps’kyi headed its Office of Education. For that office he prepared a project to codify a Rusyn literary language; a project for a Rusyn regional museum; and one for a Rusyn publishing house in Budapest called Chas, which planned to release a series of books for Rus’ka Kraina, one of which, a reader for adults, Stryps’kyi himself compiled under the pseudonym Iador, Chytanka dlia doroslykh (1919). At his initiative a Department (Katedra) of Rusyn Studies was opened (1919) at the philosophical faculty of the University of Budapest. He also edited Rus’ka Kraina’s official newspaper, *Rus’ko-Krainska pravda (1919). After *Subcarpathian Rus’ became part of Czechoslovakia Stryps’kyi considered returning home permanently, and in 1920 he spent some time in Uzhhorod, where he was elected to the presidium of the newly established pro-Ukrainian *Prosvita Society. He even intended to settle in Uzhhorod, but when he could not reach an agreement with government officials in Prague, he returned to Budapest. There he was under suspicion by Hungary’s conservative government of Admiral Miklos Horthy because of his activity during the postwar Hungarian revolutionary era and was therefore not allowed to work at the National Museum. He also broke all contacts with Galician Ukrainians, angered at what he considered their excessive activity in Subcarpathian Rus’.

During the interwar years Stryps’kyi supported himself by working as a translator. He also continued to publish on Rusyn history, language, literature, documentary sources, and ethnography. Among such works was Hdi dokumenty starshei ystoriy Podkarpatskoi Rusy? (1924), which called on Rusyns to respect their native language and, in particular, to collect topographic names in their villages. During the last years of his life Stryps’kyi played an active role (1941-1944) in the *Subcarpathian Scholarly Society in Uzhhorod, following Hungary’s reannexation of his Rusyn homeland.

Bibliography: Gedeon Borsa, “Magyar konyvtarosok es bibliografusok: Sztripszky Hiador,” A Konyvtaros, IX, 4 (Budapest, 1959), pp. 263-266; Vasyl’ Mykytas’, Z nochi probyvalysia (Uzhhorod, 1977), esp. pp. 146-153; Mykola Mushynka, “Svitlyi dukh Uhors’koi Rusi: do 120-littia z dnia narodzhennia Hiiadora Stryps’koho,” Karpats’kyi krai, V, 1-4 [110] (Uzhhorod, 1995), pp. 46-50; Istvan Udvari, “Adatok Sztripszky Hiador konyveszeti munkasagarol,” Konyv es konyvtar, XX (Debrecen, 1998), pp. 67-97; I. Udvari, “Dannye k etnograficheskomu tvorchestvu Giadora Stripskogo,” Slavica, XXIX (Debrecen, 1999), pp. 51-70; Istvan Udvari, “Adatok Sztripszky Hiador muforditoi munkassagarol” and “Sztripszky Hiador nagyszombati hagyatekanak bibliografiai vonatkozasu adatai,” Konyv es konyvtar, XXI (Debrecen, 1999), pp. 105-152 and 265-284; Istvan Udvari, “Adatok Sztripszky Hiador kesoi alkotoi korszakahoz,” in Polono-Hungarica, Vol. VIII (Budapest, 2000), pp. 361-377.

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.

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