The first Ukrainian settlers in Canada often built this type of house if winter was coming and they didn't have time to build a wooden structure. Tight, cramped and dark but it got them through the winter.
The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village near Edmonton, Alberta is a living museum - people role play the Ukrainian pioneer experience throughout the village. This is one of a series of three treatments of the same image.
So many pioneer Ukrainian-Canadian articles- the icons and embroidery which were always present; Canadian-style pots of different shapes and sizes, and drying flowers all show the busy and varied life of a pioneer family. I'm interested to know what the wooden block is for.