A game for two, six years old and up.
Game Pieces: twenty white Sheep (to be cut out and folded), two black Wolves (to be cut out and folded), game board, rules, story of the game.
Object of Game:
This game is known in Ukrainian as Wiwtsi.
"Wiwtsi" is Ukrainian for "sheep." It is pronounced "veew-TSEE."
This is an old Ukrainian game whose origins are lost in history. Nobody knows who invented the game, and it could be that people other than Ukrainians have similar games. These days, not many people know the game, and it is time we reintroduced it to the world.
The game was introduced to Danny Evanishen of Ethnic Enterprises by Gloria Atamanenko, who learned it from her father, Peter Chomiak. Peter, who emigrated to Canada, learned the game when he was working for some Ukrainian farmers near Prelate, Saskatchewan.
Peter Chomiak came from a village called Radelych, Drohobych County, Halychyna, Western Ukraine. He came to Saskatchewan in 1926 and worked as a farm labourer until the spring of 1930, when he had earned enough money to bring his fiance to Canada and go homesteading.
In those long and cold winter prairie evenings there was a need for entertainment. Peter enjoyed reading and he worked for a couple who loved it when he read to them in winter. Card games were played in many homes, but some people felt that cards were morally suspect in some way. "Wiwtsi" was definitely a game beyond reproach!
Although the game does not appear to be widely known or remembered, Gloria was once on a train in western Canada, when she taught it to a young bored fellow passenger. As she and the child were engrossed in making and playing the game, the conductor came by, took one look and said, "Oh, you're playing Wiwtsi!"
Gloria taught the game to her son Peter, and when Evanishen was visiting for Ukrainian Christmas in 2004, they showed him the game.
Now you and your friends can play and enjoy this wonderful piece of history!
© www.ETHNIC.BC.CA May/2004