Hutsuls
Overview
 
Hutsuls are an ethno-cultural group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 of Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 highlanders who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, mainly in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, the northern extremity of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 (in the areas of Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 and Maramureş
Maramures
Maramureș may refer to the following:*Maramureș, a geographical, historical, and ethno-cultural region in present-day Romania and Ukraine, that occupies the Maramureș Depression and Maramureș Mountains, a mountain range in North East Carpathians...

).
There are different versions for the origins of the name Hutsul but no consensus was met and most of the explanations offered might have had a political background.
Hutsuls inhabit areas situated between the south-east of those inhabited by the Boyko
Boyko
Boyko or Boiko are a distinctive group of Ukrainian highlanders or mountain-dwellers of the Carpathian highlands. The Boykos inhabited the central and the western half of the Carpathians in Ukraine, including the Dolynskyi and a part of the Rozhniativskyi Raions in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast ,...

s, down to the northern part of the Romanian segment of the Carpathians.
Encyclopedia
Hutsuls are an ethno-cultural group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 of Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 highlanders who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, mainly in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, the northern extremity of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 (in the areas of Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 and Maramureş
Maramures
Maramureș may refer to the following:*Maramureș, a geographical, historical, and ethno-cultural region in present-day Romania and Ukraine, that occupies the Maramureș Depression and Maramureș Mountains, a mountain range in North East Carpathians...

).

Etymology

There are different versions for the origins of the name Hutsul but no consensus was met and most of the explanations offered might have had a political background.

History and origins

Hutsuls inhabit areas situated between the south-east of those inhabited by the Boyko
Boyko
Boyko or Boiko are a distinctive group of Ukrainian highlanders or mountain-dwellers of the Carpathian highlands. The Boykos inhabited the central and the western half of the Carpathians in Ukraine, including the Dolynskyi and a part of the Rozhniativskyi Raions in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast ,...

s, down to the northern part of the Romanian segment of the Carpathians. There are several hypotheses concerning the origin of Hutsuls. According to one of them, Hutsuls are descendants of White Croats
White Croats
White Croats is the designation for the group of Slavic tribes, of which seven tribes led by 5 brothers and 2 sisters migrated to Dalmatia as part of the migration of the Croats in the 7th century, being invited to settle on this vastly depopulated area by Roman...

, Slavic tribe that inhabited area from 4th until 12th century or Slavic tribe Ulichs
Ulichs
The Ulichs were a tribe of Early East Slavs who between the eighth and the tenth century inhabited the territories along the Lower Dnieper, Bug River and the Black Sea littoral....

, that had to leave their previous homes near the Buh river under the pressure of Pechenegs. Hutsuls identify themselves as a part of Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 ethnos, having at the same time their local identity as a sub-ethnos.

Other theories state that the Hutsuls may have begun as an early non-Romanised Thracian or Dacian
Dacians
The Dacians were an Indo-European people, very close or part of the Thracians. Dacians were the ancient inhabitants of Dacia...

 population, which was later linguistically assimilated with the neighboring Slavs, or the origin may only go back as far as a later Romanised Dacian. Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet. Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul , the official newspaper of the Conservative Party...

 who had lived in Bucovina and had contacts with Hutsul people believed that they are descendents of the free Dacians
Free Dacians
The "Free Dacians" is the name given by some modern historians to Dacians who putatively remained outside the Roman empire after the emperor Trajan's Dacian wars...

 who were slavicised. There is also a theory that Hutsuls are a mix of free Dacians and Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 that lived together in Bucovina (the tribes of the Lacringi
Lacringi
The Lacringi were a Germanic peoples mentioned in ancient history for their role in the border wars conducted by the peoples along the Danube against the emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Julius Capitolinus in his Life of Marcus Antoninus tells us that the Lacringes were part of the general invasion over...

, Hasdingi
Hasdingi
The Hasdingi were the southern tribes of the Vandals, an East Germanic tribe. They lived in areas of today's southern Poland, Slovakia and Hungary...

 and Heruli
Heruli
The Heruli were an East Germanic tribe who are famous for their naval exploits. Migrating from Northern Europe to the Black Sea in the third century They were part of the...

).

Language

The Hutsul language is relatively unusual. It is considered to be a dialect of Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 with some Polish influences..

Due to the current educational system, the Hutsul dialect is in danger of extinction. Compulsory education is done only in standardized literary Ukrainian. In recent times there has been a roots movement to keep the traditional Hutsul language alive.

Way of life and culture

Traditional Hutsul culture is often represented by the colorful and intricate craftsmanship of their clothing, sculpture, architecture, woodworking, metalworking (especially in brass
Brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

), rug weaving, pottery, and egg decorating (see pysanka
Pysanka
A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist method. The word comes from the verb pysaty, "to write", as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax...

). Along with other Hutsul traditions, as well as their songs and dances, this culture is often celebrated and highlighted by the different countries that Hutsuls inhabit.

Ukrainian Hutsul culture bears a resemblance to neighboring cultures of western and southwestern Ukraine , particularly Lemkos
Lemkos
Lemkos , one of several quantitatively and territorially small ethnic groups who also call themselves Rusyns , are one of the ethnic groups inhabiting the Carpathian Mountains...

 and Boykos. These groups also share similarities with other Slavic highlander peoples, such as the Gorals
Gorals
The Gorale are a group of indigenous people found along southern Poland, northern Slovakia, and in the region of Cieszyn Silesia in the Czech Republic...

 in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

. Similarities have also been noted with some Vlach cultures such as the Moravian Wallachia
Moravian Wallachia
Moravian Wallachia is a mountainous region located in the easternmost part of Moravia, Czech Republic, near the Slovakian border. The name Wallachia was formerly applied to all the highlands of Moravia and neighboring Silesia, although in the nineteenth century a smaller area came to be defined...

ns in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, as well as some cultures in Romania
Culture of Romania
Romania has a unique culture, which is the product of its geography and of its distinct historical evolution. Like Romanians themselves, it is defined as the meeting point of three regions: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, but cannot be truly included in any of them...

 . Most Hutsuls belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church in full communion with the Holy See, and is directly subject to the Pope...

 and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Hutsul society was traditionally based on forestry
Forestry
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

 and logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

, as well as cattle and sheep breeding; the Hutsuls are credited with having created the breed of horse known as the Hucul pony
Hucul pony
The Hucul or Carpathian is a pony or small horse breed originally from the Carpathian Mountains. It has a heavy build and possesses great endurance and hardiness. The breed is also referred to as the Carpathian pony, Huculska, Hutsul, Huţul, Huţan or Huzul...

. One of the main attributes of Hutsul males is their bartok, a small head axe on a long handle. They use unique musical instruments, including the "trembita
Trembita
The trembita is a Ukrainian alpine horn made of wood.Used primarily by mountain dwellers known as Hutsuls in the Carpathians. It was used as a signaling device to announce deaths, funerals, weddings....

" (trâmbiţa), a type of alpenhorn of Dacian origin, as well multiple varieties of the fife
Fife (musical instrument)
A fife is a small, high-pitched, transverse flute that is similar to the piccolo, but louder and shriller due to its narrower bore. The fife originated in medieval Europe and is often used in military and marching bands. Someone who plays the fife is called a fifer...

, or sopilka
Sopilka
Sopilka is a name applied to a variety of woodwind instruments of the flute family used by Ukrainian folk instrumentalists. Sopilka most commonly refers to a fife made of a variety of materials and has six to ten finger holes...

, that are used to create unique folk melodies and rhythms. Also frequently used are the bagpipe (duda), the jaw harp (drymba), and the hammered dulcimer - tsymbaly
Tsymbaly
The tsymbaly is the Ukrainian version of the hammer dulcimer. It is a chordophone made up of a trapezoidal box with metal strings strung across it. The tsymbaly is played by striking two beaters against the strings....

.

The Hutsuls served as an inspiration for many writers, such as Ivan Franko
Ivan Franko
Ivan Yakovych Franko was a Ukrainian poet, writer, social and literary critic, journalist, interpreter, economist, political activist, doctor of philosophy, the author of the first detective novels and modern poetry in the Ukrainian language....

, Lesya Ukrainka
Lesya Ukrainka
Larysa Petrivna Kosach-Kvitka better known under her literary pseudonym Lesya Ukrainka , was one of Ukraine's best-known poets and writers and the foremost woman writer in Ukrainian literature. She also was a political, civil, and female activist....

, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky
Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky
Mykhailo Mykhailovych Kotsiubynsky , was a Ukrainian author whose writings described typical Ukrainian life at the start of the 20th century...

, Vasyl Stefanik, Marko Cheremshyna
Marko Cheremshyna
Marko Cheremshyna , was a Ukrainian writer of Hutsul background.- Biography :...

, Mihail Sadoveanu
Mihail Sadoveanu
Mihail Sadoveanu was a Romanian novelist, short story writer, journalist and political figure, who twice served as acting republican head of state under the communist regime . One of the most prolific Romanian-language writers, he is remembered mostly for his historical and adventure novels, as...

, Stanisław Vincenz and painters, such as Teodor Axentowicz
Teodor Axentowicz
Teodor Axentowicz was a Polish-Armenian painter and university professor. A renowned artist of his times, he was also the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków...

 famous for his portraits and subtle scenes of Hutsul life. Sergei Parajanov's 1964 film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors , also called Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors, Shadows of Our Ancestors, or Wild Horses of Fire – is a 1964 film by the Soviet-Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov based on the book by Ukrainian writer Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky...

(Тіні забутих предків), which is based on the book by Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, portrays scenes of traditional Hutsul life.

Every summer, the village of Sheshory in Ukraine hosts a three-day international festival of folk music and art. Two Hutsul-related museums are located in Kolomyia
Kolomyia
Kolomyia or Kolomyya, formerly known as Kolomea , is a city located on the Prut River in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast , in western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative centre of the Kolomyia Raion , the city is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast...

, Ukraine: the Pysanky museum and the Museum of Hutsul and Pokuttya
Pokuttya
Pokuttya or Pokuttia is a historical area of East-Central Europe, between upper Prut and Cheremosh rivers, in modern Ukraine. Historically it was a culturally distinct area inhabitated by Ukrainians and Romanians on the previously unpopulated borderlands between the lands of Lviv and Halych...

 Folk Art. Traditional Hutsul sounds and moves were effectively used by the Ukrainian winner of the 2004 Eurovision song contest
Eurovision Song Contest 2004
The Eurovision Song Contest 2004, was the 49th Contest and it was held in the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. This was the first occasion in which the contest was held in Turkey after they had won the competition in 2003 with Sertab Erener singing "Everyway That I Can"...

, Ruslana Lyzhychko.

See also

  • Free Dacians
    Free Dacians
    The "Free Dacians" is the name given by some modern historians to Dacians who putatively remained outside the Roman empire after the emperor Trajan's Dacian wars...

  • Hutsul Republic
    Hutsul Republic
    The Hutsul Republic was a short-lived state, formed in the aftermath of World War I. The republic was declared on January 8, 1919, claiming Ukrainian-speaking areas of Hungary, when original plans to unite this area with the Western Ukrainian National Republic failed.General Stepan Klochurak was...

  • List of Hutsul people
  • Arkan
    Arkan (dance)
    Arkan is a popular dance of the Ukrainian Hutsul people . It is performed by amateurs, professional Ukrainian dance ensembles, as well as other performers of folk dances....

  • Arcan dance
    Arcan (dance)
    The Arcan is the name of a custom, and of the associated popular dance and melody, of Romania . It is sometimes also called laţ or pripon, meaning "lasso"/"tether" or "aiguillette". There is a version called Arcanul bătrânesc, which is a slow arcan danced in the Moldavian region of Romania...

  • Hutsulka
    Hutsulka
    The Hutsulka is a popular Ukrainian folk dance from southwestern Ukraine. It is performed by amateurs, professional Ukrainian dance ensembles as well as other performers of folk dances....

  • Kolomyjka
    Kolomyjka
    The kolomyjka is a Ukrainian folk dance especially popular in southwestern Ukraine. It originated in the eastern Galician town of Kolomyia...

  • Holubka
    Holubka
    Holubka is a popular folk dance from western Ukraine. It is performed by amateurs, professional Ukrainian dance ensembles as well as other performers of folk dances....

  • Ukrainian dance
    Ukrainian dance
    Ukrainian dance refers to the traditional folk dances of the peoples of Ukraine.Today, Ukrainian dance is primarily represented by what ethnographers, folklorists and dance historians refer to as "Ukrainian Folk-Stage Dances" , which are stylized representations of traditional dances and their...

  • 49th Hutsul Rifle Regiment
    49th Hutsul Rifle Regiment
    The 49th Hutsul Rifle Regiment was a unit of the Polish Army, which belonged to the 11th Carpathian Infantry Division . Stationed in the interbellum in the garrison in Kolomyja, it participated in the Polish September Campaign, fighting in southern Poland...


External links

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