THE ROLE OF PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN PRESERVING THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF MOUNTAIN REGIONS CARPATY TAKING FOR EXAMPLE ROMAN KUMLYK’S MUSEUM OF HUTSUL LIFE, ETHNOGRAPHY AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS (VERKHOVYNA, IVANO-FRANKIVSK REGION, UKRAINE)
The spreading of globalization trends and new information technologies in the modern world is objective, universal and irreversible and it makes all the national cultures join these processes actively.
Globalization has both positive unifying aspects causing closer combination of cultures and enriching their communication and negative ones, manifested in dissolution of unique among mass.
Humanity pays less attention to the preservation of cultural heritage of its own region. In reality of Ukraine, first of all, it concerns rural areas difficult of access, especially remote mountain towns and villages. This issue is controversial, because many researchers will object to the fact that this particular area is the best one for preserving and passing ethnicity and ethno-cultural heritage. On the one hand, it is true. However, despite the high concentration of artists and craftsmen, who transfer their skills and abilities to future generations, these regions are the ones where most of the gains, unique works of art, mode of life and centuries-old traditions disappear with them.
Museum – an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.
Today in Ukraine there are about 5100 different museums. The largest number of them is in Europe. For example, there are 3,200 museums in Germany; in Britain there are 2,200 museums; in France their number is 1,900 and in Italy there are 1,800 museums. In addition to that, only 470 Ukrainian museums are in state and municipal property. Nearly 12 million of museum exhibits from state part of museum assets of Ukraine are kept there, but only one tenth of that wealth is exhibited.
One of the ways to solve this problem is to create museums in the mountain regions in order to present certain arts, crafts, etc. peculiar to this region. However, due to bureaucratic processes, the necessity of preparing documents, budget financing and other factors, the creation of a state museum is a complex and prolonged process. In such conditions, the best solution is the opening of private museums to preserve the antiquities.
A private museum is a collection, usually on a very limited topic and operated by individual enthusiasts, collectors, clubs or companies.
Unlike a public or governmental museum, a scientific monitoring and systematic documentation is not always guaranteed. Therefore, a private museum has relevance for historical research only if it complements the national collections. Under certain circumstances, a private museum also receives funding from the state, so that a comparison with public museums is possible.
A lot of especially smaller, private museums do not meet the requirements of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The main reason is that qualified personnel are not sufficiently available or can hardly be financed and therefore often only very limited opening times may be offered.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM), created in 1946, is the only organization of museums and museum professionals with a global scope, committed to the promotion and protection of natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. With approximately 30,000 members in 137 countries, ICOM is a network of museum professionals acting in a wide range of museum-and heritage-related disciplines.
Created in 1946, ICOM is a non-governmental organization maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. ICOM also partners with entities such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization, in order to carry out its international public service missions, which include fighting illicit traffic in cultural goods and promoting risk management and emergency preparedness to protect world cultural heritage in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
The development of museology is inextricably linked to the level of economic development of the region. The level of state funding of museums directly depends on the filling of local budgets. Due to the difficult economic situation caused by both internal and external factors, lack of funding and human resources, the creation of private museums should be considered appropriate. Thanks to them, you can solve a number of pressing issues that arise in Ukrainian museology.
First of all, it concerns the fact that about 85% of the funds allocated from the state budget goes to the salaries of the personnel of the museum institution; about 10% is used for the payment of public utilities and only about 5% is devoted to the collection, preservation, studying and conservation of museum objects.
This ratio has very negative impact on the development of museology both in Ukraine and in other developing countries. But, above all, it refers to public institutions. In private museums there is a number of significant advantages that enable them to be profitable: there is no significant staff as in public one (usually 1-3 people); there is also a beneficial fact that the work of this nature is not a source of basic income of the workers; premises of the museum often are the places of residence of the employees mentioned above so there are no extra expenses for public utilities.
In recent years, thousands of private museums have been opened. Especially, there are a lot of private museums in the Carpathians, in places of tourism pilgrimage. The museums are opened in private houses based on their own collection. The tourists gladly come here to learn the history of Ukrainian culture, touch and try on vintage clothing, to communicate interactively with the past.
A striking example of such types of museums is Roman Kumlyk’s Museum of Hutsul Life, Ethnography and Musical Instruments.
Roman Kumlyk’s private museum is a whole treasury of interesting items of Hutsul domestic life.You can see casual as well as wedding clothes of Hutsuls, specific handwritten plates, old coins, wooden locks, bartky (Hutsul axes), a collection of unusual musical instruments.
But the highlight of the museum is, of course, its host, a real Hutsul - Roman Kumlyk.During the excursion Roman will play virtuoso the violin, flute, trembita, cymbals and other exhibits of a museum. The apt and witty jokes and anecdotes, constantly poured by Mr. Roman, spiced with Hutsul acuteness will be remembered by visitors for long.
Roman Kumlyk's private museum is located in his family house, it was opened on January 7, 2000. It took 30 years to collect the exhibits, they are household goods, ancient Hutsul clothes, money bills of different periods etc., which all together give a general idea of the Hutsuls life. The host's pride is a collection of musical instruments.
The guide is Natalya Huzak, the daughter of Roman Kumlyk. After her father's death, she continued his museum work. Natalya is a doctor by profession; she plays the violin, dulcimer, trimba, dviynytsya (flute), ocarina, zozulya (ocarina type), pelynka, lyre and naya and also can excitingly tell about each instrument.
For example, the horn is an ancient 'mobile phone', as it was used to send messages to a great distance.
Drymba is another interesting instrument. Drymba (Vargan) - plucked instrument used in the Hutsul music life. A small metal calk with steel tongue pressed against the middle of the mouth. The tool is pressed against the teeth, oral cavity resonator is the sound that occurs as a result of pressing.
Trembita is a ritual instrument, which was used in Kolyada, during funerals and weddings. In his collection there are hollow violins as well as a rectangular violin. During the excursion you can hear national Ukrainian and Hutsul songs.
Syrinx– multilateral flute, consisting of several (3 or more) bamboo, bone or metal hollow tubes of different lengths that decreases in steps, closed bottom. The upper, open end arranged in one or two rows.
Tsymbaly – stringed musical instrument. It consists of a wooden hull, rectangular, trapezoidal shape with increasingly strained over his strings. The upper deck is made of spruce or fir, bottom - from maple.
Fife - national wind instrument in the form of a hollow tube with holes.
Every single excursion is an improvisation, and even if you visit the museum for a few times, you will still get lots of new and curious details about the Hutsuls' life, their hard everyday life and bright holidays, their sharp wit and original art.
From an hour, spent in the museum, visitors will learn about interesting moments of Hutsul life, wedding ceremony and peculiar features of family life, the forest trade and darab rafting, the particular nature of Hutsul character and their attitude to life.
The main advantage of private museums is the entire ability of a tourist to experience and "to touch" the everyday life, as it is also their main competitive advantage since most national or departmental museums are located outside the usual environment of artifacts on display.
In general, you can notice that private museums have different specificity and profile. It should be mentioned that the number of such historical museums of regional ethnography is constantly growing in the Carpathian region (not only in Ukraine but also in Romania and Slovakia) indicating an increasing interest in the past of the region and tourist demand. The museums of this type have good prospects due to the fact that they play a positive social role performing the following functions:
- create conditions for the development of green, wine, gastronomic and other types of tourism (this is a promising direction for the development of the regional economics and promotes the increase of tourist image of the region);
- play an important role in the national and cultural revival of the region;
- stimulate the development of local history, studying and preservation of historical sights, promotion of traditional culture elements (crafts, trades, etc.). This feature of the private museums allows a person to find the roots of their history and their identity, return for something true and traditional; – as private museums are often associated with so-called "places of memory", due to this specificity they reflect the outlook and identity of communities that created them. Besides, these places do not only reflect, but are also involved in the design (formation) process of identity, educating people a sense of pride in its history, respect for the culture and its people.
Despite the positive aspects associated with the development of museums, the disadvantages should be also noted and the needs of private museology in the region may be pointed out. Among the problems there is the lack of government support, low level of funding and the poor level of national museum marketing. Museums often exist due to the enthusiasm of a founder, in spite of adverse conditions they have to be located in small premises. Private museums are founded mostly by the amateurs without special knowledge of museums, who lack experience; they have to learn a lot of things through attempts and mistakes. The positive side is a desire to combine museology with the attempts to get profit from it, to improve and develop the range of services. Describing the development of a network of museums in recent years, it is worth mentioning the disadvantages of the legislation framework. According to the law of museum organization and activities in Ukraine there is no such a concept as a "private museum".
The latter can be opened only on the basis of public organizations. There is no instruction designed to determine the procedure and basic forms of accounting, scientific processing, preservation and restoration of museum objects and museum collections of public funds. In such a way, almost all the questions about museums funds created by individuals are actually outside the field of legal regulation. Thus, a necessary prerequisite for proper functioning of private museum institutions is a further development of the legislation framework, creating a network of educational institutions (or even specialized courses) on museum marketing and management, state support of the institutions where it is necessary because of the nature and profile of the museum.
at the Ivano-Frankivsk State College
for Technology and Business