Humenna, Dokia

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Humenna, Dokia

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Humenna, Dokiia

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1904-1996

History

Dokia (Dokiia) Humenna was born on March 10, 1904, in Zhashkiv, Tarashcha povit, Kyiv gubernia, Russian Empire (currently Ukraine) to Dariia Kravchenko and Kuz’ma Humennyi. She graduated with a literature degree from the Institute of People’s Education in Kyiv in 1926. Her first literary sketch, U Stepu (In the Steppe) was published in 1924, and thereafter her prose appeared in major Soviet Ukrainian literary journals. Stalinist terror prevented her from publishing during the 1930s. In 1937 she participated in an archaeological field school at the Trypillian culture site of Khalep-ia under the supervision of Tetiana Passek. This experience, as well as Ukrainian wedding traditions, inspired Romashky na Skhylakh (Daisies on the Hill). Humenna also drew inspiration from Ukrainian archaeology and prehistory, Ukrainian folk traditions for some of her other works, including Velykyi Tsabe (The Big Shot), and Mana (Delusion). Topics of love and romance are explored in Humenna’s novel Mana. Epizod iz Zhyttia Ievropy Kryts’koi (An Episode in the Life of Europa of Crete) was also drawn from prehistory, including Greek mythology.
During World War II Humenna escaped to the western Ukrainian city of L’viv where she contributed her prose to the periodic press. Emigrating after the war, she lived in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Austria and Germany where she began her famous tetralogy, Dity Chumats’koho Shliakhu (Children of the Milky Way), which she finished after moving to New York City. The book’s themes included a critique of 1920-1930s literary life in the Soviet Union. “Materialy do romanu Hnizdo nad bezodneiu” (Materials for the novel Nest over the Abyss) was the basis for her novel Khreshchatyi iar (Kyiv 1941-43): Roman-khronika (Decussate Ravine [Kyiv 1941-43]: A Novel-Chronicle) describing Kyiv under German occupation in the early months of the invasion. While in the DP camps she became a member of the literary and artistic organization “Mystets’kyi Ukrains’ky Rukh” (MUR).
Humenna became an American citizen in 1959. She continued to write in the United States, publishing 15 books, including Vichni Vohni Al’berty (Eternal Flames of Alberta), travel reflections after visiting Alberta, as well as contributing to journals and collections. Her main themes were feminism, prehistoric life, mythology and archaeology. Her works criticized the Soviet and Nazi regimes, and endorsed Ukrainian independence. Humenna died in New York on April 4, 1996.
For more information on Humenna and some of the works in the fonds see two articles by Myroslav Shkandrij: “Dokia Humenna’s Representation of the Second World War in her Novel and Diary” in Harvard Ukrainian Studies 32-33 (2011-2014), 665-679; and “Dokia Humenna’s Depiction of the Second World War and the OUN in Khreshchatyi iar: How Readers Responded” in East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies III (1) (2016), 89-109.

Places

Place of Birth: Zhashkiv, Tarashcha povit, Kyiv gubernia, Russian Empire (currently Ukraine)
Long Term Residence: New York, New York state, the United States of America
Place of Death: New York, New York state, the United States of America

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Ukrainian writer in Soviet Union and in the U.S. from 1950s.
Her main themes were feminism, prehistoric life, mythology and archaeology. Her works criticized the Soviet and Nazi regimes, and endorsed Ukrainian independence.

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

Humenna_D

Institution identifier

UCECA

Rules and/or conventions used

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created March 2021

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places