The Hutsuls, an ethnographic group of pastoral highlanders in the Carpathians, are intensely proud of their heritage. They are known today, among other things, for their distinctive embroidery, folk dress, wood carving, painted Easter eggs, wooden church architecture, rhythmic music, folk dancing, kilims, and as a source of inspiration for well-known writers. Fascinating displays of Hutsul artifacts past and present are preserved in museums both large and small. Verkhovyna is the capital of the Hutsul region located in a basin of the Black Cheremosh River and surrounded by the Carpathians. This village is a center of Hutsul culture.
Polonyna “Pertsi” in Yablunytsia village will greet you with a festive atmosphere. It is an incredibly colorful place. You’ll enjoy folk music produced by traditional musical instruments, and can learn more about the lifestyle, traditions, dwellings, and clothes of the native inhabitants called Hutsuls. You can also have a couple photos taken in Hutsul costumes and even try milking a cow. There is no better place for trying Hutsul dishes than a meadow where you can sample and purchase cheese products, taste banosh (grits) with cracklings, fish, and a traditional roasted lamb. Masterclasses in wooden carving and weaving woolen blankets are also on the list.
“Pertsi” is also open in winter. Sledding and snow tubing, learning how to make Christmas decorations, visiting St. Nicholas (similar to Santa Claus), soaking in hot tubs, and drinking warming traditional drinks are among winter entertainments on offer.
Hutsul Land Ethno-Park
The “Hutsul Land” ethno-park tells the fascinating story of the lives of the highlanders of the Ukrainian Carpathians: Hutsuly, Lemky and Boiky. It is located at the Bukovel resort near the lake. It features an interactive, open-air museum. Visit a 200-year-old house, grind wheat, weave a doormat, watch cheese being made, and even participate in a theatrical performance of a Hutsulian wedding. Children and adults may enjoy an interactive zoo with native and exotic animals and birds. There are workshops where you can observe and learn about fast-disappearing folk crafts and techniques. The open-air museum features folk wooden buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries that have been moved from the far corners of the Carpathians and reassembled here.
Dress in Hutsul Attire
Step into Hutsul history by dressing up in traditional Hutsul clothing and take your photograph. Women wear a wraparound skirt, beautifully decorated linen shirt, and a headband or kerchief, while men wear linen trousers, a long shirt belted with purses and brass, and a wide-brimmed hat. Both wear leather moccasins laced above the ankle, similar coats of black or dark red, and a sleeveless, often ornamented, white sheepskin jacket. Smile - you look marvelous!
Traditional Craft Markets
Prices can vary widely, so take time to comparison shop to find just the items you love to remind you of your visit. At Yaremche souvenir markets, you can support local artisans while finding the two most famous Ukrainian crafts: hand painted easter eggs (pysanky) and embroidered Ukrainian blouses and shirts (Vyshyvanka). Carved vases, custom carpets, beautiful jewelry, and various wood and leather products are also for sale.