Hutsulshchyna is the part of the mountainous region between the river Prut and Cheremosh and upper reaches of the Tysa Rivers. Hutsuls, one of the ethnic branches of Ukrainians, have been living here from time immemorial. They speak a peculiar Ukrainian dialect. They differ from their neighbours with the occupations such as cattle-breeding, felling and floating of wood, wood work and of course with their way of life.
Hutsuls created their own wooden arhitecture. They are famous for their consummate house-building. Inborn aesthetic taste, sense of beauty together with natural-economic conditions led to the development of folk decorative-applied art in this region. Many centuries Hutsuls have been thrilling the world with their wood-carving, poker-work, weaving, embroidery, ceramics, pysanka-making.
In XIX century works by the Hutsulian masters were exhibited at the world exhibitions in Paris, Vienna, Berlin. Great fame was achieved by the wood-carvers Yuriy Shkriblyak, Marko Mehedynyuk, Yuriy and Semen Korpanyuky, Vasyl Devdyuk, Mykola Hrepynyak, Ivan Pavlyk, ceramists Ulexa Bakhmetyuk, Petro Koshak, Pavlyna Tsvilyk, weavers Petro and Roman Horbovi, Olha Horbova, Hanna Vasylashchuk and others. Generations of young masters carry on their traditions. Our visitors may meet with them in their workshops and see the birth of masterpieces.
The bright hutsulian dress fascinates one’s view. Hutsuls have preserved their customs and traditions which date back into the far past. Many of them are connected with cattle-breeding, the main occupation of Hutsuls. At the end of May they celebrate as a big holiday seeing-off of the cattle to the mountain pastures (polonyny). Especially magic are traditions and ceremonies on Christmas, New Year, Easter, St. Yuriy etc.
Hutsulian word, music and choreographic folklore impresses with it’s richness. Mountain people have their favourite dishes, which are very nourishing, ecologically clean, health-giving (for example, kulesha and banush from corn-flour, sour-milk, brynsa-salted cheese, mushrooms etc).
Ethnography of Hutsulshchyna is interesting not only for Ukrainian scientists and writers (V. Hnatyuk, V. Shukhevych, M. Kotsyubunskiy, H. Khotkevych) by Polish (S. Vincenz), Austrian (L. Sacher-Masoch, K. E. Francoz), English (M. Dowie, J. Conrad), Swiss (H. Zbinder) and other. The film by S. Paradjanow «Shades of the Forgotten Ancestors» gained world acclaim in 1960-th. This film was shot after M. Kotstyubynskiy’s story, which depicted mode of life, religious beliefs, customs and traditions of Hutsuls.