Ostap Kostyuk is a singer from a village in the Carpathian Mountains. I sketched him in watercolor last night during a performance at Bard College in New York.
He and his group recreated the Koliada, an ancient mid-winter ritual still practiced in their villages of Kryvorivnia and Verkhovyna, high in the mountains of western Ukraine.
In the tradition, musicians enter every household of the village, ringing bells, blowing long mountain horns, and playing a hammer dulcimer. The Koliadnyky sing a separate song to every member of the household, both living and recently deceased. If the songs are not sung properly, the spring and the harvest will not arrive.