Bortne: A Village Made of Stone

Just released in America is what will surely be the definitive history of the Lemko village Bortne, Бортне – село з каміня (Bortne: A Village Made of Stone), by Lemko Association secretary Bogdan Horbal.

Dating back to at least the last quarter of the 16th century, Bortne (Polish: Bartne) covered almost twenty square kilometers and at its peak was home to more than a thousand people, Lemkos, Jews and Gypsies.

Using historical research as well as memoirs, historical prose and even poetry, the book traces Bortne’s religious, political, economic and cultural development, paying special attention to pivotal historical events like emigration to America as well as the forced resettlements of the 1940s. The stone-mason industry, which once made the village famous, is another major focus. Also included is a biographical dictionary of accomplished individuals who were either born in or at some point lived in Bortne.

The book is huge and richly illustrated — there are 1244 pages in two volumes, with full color throughout. It includes 50 tables, some of which list hundreds of names. Along with original research by Bogdan Horbal, the book also contains works by several other authors.

The text is mostly in the Lemko language, with some chapters in Polish and one in Ukrainian. The many illustrations and the wealth of reference material will be of interest to readers of any language.

A full review will appear in an upcoming issue of Karpatska Rus’.

Price for the two volume set is $185.00, free shipping. Or only $148.00 for Lemko Association members.

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