Beginning in 1891, peaking in 1895 and continuing until the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the so-called “First Wave” of Ukrainian immigration to Brazil brought some 45,000 pioneers to settle in the country’s sparsely populated southern frontier regions. As with the movement to Canada, it was the search for a better life for themselves and a more prosperous legacy for those who would come after them that led to this mass migration of individuals, families and sometimes whole villages to the New World. What was their journey like? What were their first thoughts and impressions as they arrived in Brazil? How did they adjust to an environment and social structure that was so different from their own? Under the Southern Cross provides the answers to some of these questions. Forgotten and long buried in archives, libraries, scrap books and the pages of the Ukrainian-Brazilian press, these writings have preserved a valuable link to the past. They are the immigrants’ stories in their own words, told as only they could tell them and with all the colour, flavour and emotion that first-hand accounts provide. Presented here for the first time in English translation, they offer the reader the ability to further understand and appreciate the collective courage, sacrifice and determination that was the pioneer experience.
About the Author
Jeffrey Picknicki Morski (Picknicki after his Polish father, Morski for his Ukrainian mother) is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. His books include Under the Southern Cross, based on more than fifteen years of research and writing about the Ukrainian immigration in Brazil.