Boykos: The Silent Inhabitants of the Carpathians

Boykos are the most enigmatic of the Ukrainian Highlanders and are extremely reticent, which is why they have experienced the least foreign influence. At the mention of the Hutsuls, clear associations immediately emerge – kolomyiky, bartka (ceremonial axe), Arkan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Lemkos call to mind the Wisla campaign, […]

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The Wooden Greek Catholic Churches of the Galician Lemko Region

The Lemkos and Their Fate The Lemkos are an ethnic group who historically inhabited the mountain valleys and foothills of the Carpathians in a region (called Lemkovyna or Lemkivshchyna) that today stretches along the border between Poland and Slovakia covering some western territories in Ukraine. The area that today belongs […]

Traces of Zakopane Style Architecture in Lviv

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Art Nouveau spread across Europe and the United States. In the Austrian Empire the new art movement was called the Secession Style. The transition from historicism to modernism—which took place during this period as part of the struggle against academic art—chronologically […]

Stiles in the Carpathians

Stiles, or perelazy in Ukrainian, are structures that provide people with a way to easily pass over a fence while at the same time preventing farm animals from passing through. Stiles are found in the countryside around the world and come in all kinds of forms. In the Carpathians, they […]

‘Krajka. W domu’: Forgotten Music from Polish-Ukrainian Borderland

A folk band from Przemyśl — Krajka, together with Ukrainian musicians — released a new album dedicated to the lands that lie along the current Polish-Ukrainian border. “The album contains traditional music from the Polish-Ukrainian borderland, from the regions of Kholm, Lubaczow, Przemyśl, to the Carpathian mountains and valleys. These lands were once […]

Maramaros: ‘The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania’

“If the real Jewish music of Transylvania is gone, this disc makes sure it will not be forgotten.” – See more here.

Boyko Music: ‘At the Foot of the Carpathian Chain’

My paternal grandfather was born in the village of Lybokhora (Turka District), the “capital” of Boyko instrumental music. His parents, who were from the Sambir and Lviv regions, moved to this Carpathian village in the early 1900s to direct and teach at the local school. This is a picture from […]

‘The Last Hutsul Musical Magician’

I bought my tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) from the Tafiychuks—a family of musicians and instrument makers that lives in the Carpathian Mountains. Mykhailo Tafiychuk, or “the Last Hutsul Musical Magician” as Cobblestone Freeway dubbed him in this article, makes many different ancient instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, tsymbaly, and duda (Ukrainian bagpipe). […]

The Living Fire: Documentary about Dying Tradition of Shepherding

A documentary film was recently released about the dying tradition of shepherding in the Carpathian Mountains. The film, called The Living Fire (Жива Ватра), was directed by my acquaintance Ostap Kostyuk. “ЖИВА ВАТРА” (The Living Fire) Ukraine, 2014, 77’ “A four-year-long project documenting three generations of Ukrainian Carpathian shepherds in […]