|The Koshuba family in Butsniv, Galicia. Joseph, in the second row has a Sich sash|
There are several photographs of my ancestors wearing sashes. Their children and grandchildren had no idea why the person was swearing the sash or what the sash meant. I have pictures of my grandfather, John Koshuba and his brother Joseph wearing a uniform with a sash. My great aunt Kathrine Pylatiuk and her husband Olexa wore the sashes on their wedding day. I have a family picture of the Kociuba (Koshuba) family, wearing sashes in a picture taken in their village, Butsniv in Galicia, and the sashes looked like the ones worn by family in Minnesota. A helpful person was able to read the Ukrainian letters on the sash, and told me that it was a Sich society sash. Was this the same Sich society as the one in Minneapolis? My research told me the answer is yes.
|Joseph(left) and John Koshuba(right), wearing Sich sashes.|
|Katherine and Olexa Pylatiuk wearing sashes|
|Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. Photo: Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine|
The society continued after World War I, when Galicia became part of Poland. In 1924 it was abolished by Polish government authorities.
In the United States, The Sich Society began as a physical education and rifle society in 1915. By 1920, there were 60 branches and 3,000 members. From 1918 to 1923 they put out a biweekly publication, Sichovi Visty. In Minneapolis, a group called the Zaparhrozia Sich Social Society was organized in 1915. My grandfather and uncle were members. Other than the pictures above, I have found no other information about this group.
"The Sich Society", Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine
"Ukrainian Sich Riflemen" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
The Koshuba Family, collection of E. Wons
Joseph and John Koshuba, collection of Pauline Noznick
Katherine and Olexa Pylatiuk, the Pylatiuk Family.