Goryuns (also Goriuns, Goryuny), a little-documented ethnic group of East Slavs, live around Putyvl in the Sumy Oblast of north-eastern Ukraine. The dialect of the Russian language spoken by Goryuns has some features of Belarusian and Ukrainian.
Goryuns are sometimes considered[by whom?] a tiny sub-ethnos of Russians.[dead link] Regardless, they consider themselves as distinct from other Russians, as well as distinct from Ukrainians living in the same region.
Chronicles first mention Goryun villages in the sixteenth century, shortly after the annexation of the region to Muscovy. From this the Belarusian scientist Fiodar Klimchuk concludes that the Goryuns might have lived in the region before the year 1500.
Different hypotheses address the origins of the Goriuns. James Stuart Olson describes them as a Ukrainianized subgroup of the Polekhs. According to Fiodar Klimchuk, the Goryuns may be descendants of local Severians or they might be of mixed Severian-Radimich stock, or their Severian ancestors might have moved to north-west and then returned. Some researchers believe that they are autochthonous to the region and are related to the local early Slavic population; according to others they descend from migrants from what is now Belarus - mixed with the local population.
Goryuns have a reputation for their unique style of polyphonic singing.
- F.D. Klimchuk, About ethnoliguistic history of Left Bank of Dnieper (in connection to the ethnogenesis of Goriuns). Published in "Goriuns: history, language, culture" Proceedings of International scientific conference, (Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, February 13, 2004)
- Russians in Ukraine
- Radio Free Europe about the Goryuns
- Olson, James Stuart. An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Greenwood Press, 1994. ISBN 0-313-27497-5. Page 554.
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