|Regions with significant populations|
|Predominantly Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Orthodox, with Roman Catholic minorities|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Boykos, Lemkos, Dolynians|
Hutsuls (Ukrainian: Гуцули, singular Гуцул; alternatively spelt Huculs, Huzuls, Hutzuls, Gutsuls, Guculs, Guzuls, or Gutzuls; Polish: Hucuł, plural Huculi, Hucułowie; Romanian: huțul, plural huțuli) are an ethno-cultural group who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains, mainly in Ukraine and in the northern extremity of Romania (in the areas of Bukovina and Maramureş). Hutsuls regard themselves as being part of the broader Rusyn ethnic minority and/or as Ukrainian highlanders.
There are different versions for the origins of the name Hutsul. An explanation is that it comes from the Romanian word for "outlaw" (cf. Rom. hoţ - "thief", hoţul - "the thief"). Other explanations place their origins in the Slavic kochul - "wanderer", "migrant", in reference to their semi-nomadic lifestyle, to the name of the Turkic tribe of the Uzy, and even to the name of the Moravian Grand Duke Hetsyla. However these are obsolete and non-academic assertions. No valid theories have been proposed yet. The name is mostly an exonym, used by neighbouring groups and not Hutsuls themselves, although some embraced it.
History and origins
Hutsuls inhabit areas situated between the south-east of those inhabited by the Boykos, down to the northern part of the Romanian segment of the Carpathians.
Several hypotheses account for the origin of the Hutsuls. Hutsuls, inhabiting the areas of old land of Free Dacians are often stated as being of Dacian stock. According to one of them, Hutsuls descend from the White Croats, a Slavic tribe that inhabited the area from the 4th until the 12th century, or from the Slavic tribe of the Ulichs, who had to leave their previous homes near the Buh river under pressure from the Pechenegs. According to Ukrainian sources, Hutsuls identify themselves as a part of Ukrainian ethnos, having at the same time their local identity as a sub-ethnos. However, many Rusyns disagree.
Due to the current educational system, the Hutsul dialect is in danger of extinction. Since the annexation of Transkarpattia by Stalin compulsory education has been conducted 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), rug weaving, pottery, and egg decorating (see pysanka). 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 and Boykos. These groups also share similarities with other Slavic highlander peoples, such as the Gorals in Poland and Slovakia. Similarities have also been noted with some Vlach cultures such as the Moravian Wallachians in the Czech Republic, as well as some cultures in Romania. Most Hutsuls belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Hutsul society was traditionally based on forestry and logging, as well as cattle and sheep breeding; the Hutsuls are credited with having created the breed of horse known as the Hucul pony. 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" (trâmbiţa), a type of alpenhorn of Dacian origin, as well multiple varieties of the fife, or sopilka, 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.
The Hutsuls served as an inspiration for many writers, such as Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Vasyl Stefanik, Marko Cheremshyna, Mihail Sadoveanu and Stanisław Vincenz, and painters such as Teodor Axentowicz – famous for his portraits and subtle scenes of Hutsul life – and Galyna Zubchenko. Sergei Parajanov's 1964 film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (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, Ukraine: the Pysanky museum and the Museum of Hutsul and Pokuttya Folk Art. Traditional Hutsul sounds and moves were effectively used by the Ukrainian winner of the 2004 Eurovision song contest, Ruslana Lyzhychko.
- Hutsul Republic
- List of Hutsul people
- Arcan dance
- Ukrainian dance
- 49th Hutsul Rifle Regiment
- "Hutsulshchyna: The Name and Origin". KosivArt. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "1. ВСТУПНІ ЗАВВАГИ. Юрій Шевельов. Історична фонологія української мови." (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "На Закарпатті Рахівська районна рада рада звернулася з протестом до Президента та Генпрокуратури проти рішення обласної ради про визнання національності "русин" - UA-REPORTER.COM" (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Youth organizations of Prykarpattia initiate giving regional status to Hutsul dialect". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 2006-06-21. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Clark, Kathy and Bill (1997-07-12). "Kosmach". Kathy and Bill Clark's Ukrainian Vacation. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "The Hutsuls People". Ensemble "Halychyna". Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Volodymyr Kubijovyc, ed. (1989). "Hutsul region". Encyclopedia of Ukraine 2. University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Hutsules" (in French). Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hutsuls.|
- hutsul.museum National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art
- Romanian-Hutsul and Hutsul-English glossaries
- Huţuls of northern Moldavia
- Famous Hutzul leader Oleksa Dovbush
- Introduction to Hutsul Country
- Hutsul Region of Ukraine
- Hutsul Portal (mostly in Romanian)
- The website of Poienile de sub Munte, a Hutsul village in Maramureş, Romania
- Photo exposition about Hutsul people in Ukraine