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Hutsulia is a mysterious and mystical land. According to modern administrative division it comprises Verkhovyna, Kosiv, and Nadvirna districts, the villages of Kolomyia district lying by the Prut River, the territory of Yaremcha city council, Vyzhnytsia and Putyl districts of Chernivtsi oblast, and Rakhiv district of Trans-Carpathian oblast. The total area occupies 9,204 square km., the population makes up about forty five thousand (2001). The Polish researcher G.Gonsiorovski considered the Hutsuls one of the most interesting ethnographic memorials of Europe. Until the mid-19 th century scholars knew almost nothing about their daily life. The peculiarities of mountain climate and their way of life reveal themselves in their culture in the form of an unusual mixture of Christian beliefs with real daily natural forces. The icons of St. Elijah and St. Nicholas co-exist in Hutsulian homes with the stories of pagan molfars (sorcerers), chuhaisters (white-bearded old men dressed in white, who like to talk and dance with people), niavkies (slender blond beauties helping look after cattle, sow herbs and flowers…). Starting from the mid-20 th century the greatest threat to Hutsulia comes with exterior”civilizing”impacts. Unemployment and labor emigration destroy the main value of this ethnos -the significance and place of family links, the feeling of power and the role of the community.

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