« 2022. # 4 (166)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 4 (166), 814—826

UDK: 393.1(477.85/.87)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.04.814



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7780-5876
  • Doctor of Sciences in the field of History,
  • Professor of the Department of Ethnology,
  • Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
  • 1, Universytetska Str., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine
  • Contacts: e-mail: halay_czuk@ukr.net

Abstract. Formulation of the problem. The study of funeral and memorial motifs provides the key to understanding many phenomena of the traditional culture of Ukrainians. Therefore, the need to publish new ethnographic materials is still relevant.

The degree of research of the topic and the source base of the research. Funeral and memorial customs and rites of the Hutsuls are well known to researchers. At one time, they were the object of interest of such famous ethnographers as Raimund Kaindl, Volodymyr Shukhevych, Anton Onyschuk, Petro Shekeryk-Donykiv, Zenon Kuzelya, Filaret Kolessa. Modern ethnologists, folklorists, and linguists continue to work on the specified topic — Roman Huziy, Mykhailo Zelenchuk, Valentyna Sushko, Iryna Koval-Fuchylo, Olha Pyskach, and others. The basis for this publication was the author’s field materials recorded from respondents from the Verkhovyna and Kosiv districts of the Ivano-Frankivsk region.

The purpose of the study is to introduce into scientific circulation, systematize and partly analyze a mass of new information about traditional funeral and memorial customs and rites of the Hutsul region, including the calendar component.

The omens that seem to foretell death are considered; features of the agony of people who are «acquainted with evil spirits»; funeral preparations; apotropaic from the deceased; «sitting» next to the dead, in particular the tradition of games with the deceased; burial customs; actions with certain funeral attributes; commemoration of the deceased immediately after the funeral; arrangement of the grave; features of mourning.

Customs and superstitions related to the burial of children, including unbaptized children, suicides, witches and ghouls, became micro-themes of the research.

A separate block of research concerns commemorative motifs in customs and rites of the annual cycle. Considered the commemoration of the souls of the departed on «soul days» and on Christmas Eve; baking memorial «knуshі» during Great Lent; dedicated to Maundy Thursday the customs of «khodyty u vohnyky» and «hrity dida»; the custom of honoring «rakchmans»; commemorative customs of Easter and the Savior.

Keywords: Hutsul region, funeral and memorial customs and rites, beliefs, spiritual culture, the deceased, «vohnyky», «rakhmany».

Received 11.07.2022


  • Kaindl, R. (2000). Hutsuls: their life, customs and folk tales. Chernivtsi: Molodyі Bukovynets [in Ukrainian].
  • Shukhevych, V. (1902). Hutsul land (Part 3). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Hnatiuk, V. (1912). Funeral customs and rites. Etnografichnyj zbirnyk (Vol. ХХХІ—ХХХІІ, pp. 131—424). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Kuzelia, Z. (1914). Sitting and entertainment at the dead in the Ukrainian funeral rite. Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva imeni Shevchenka (Vol. СХХІ, pp. 173—224). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Kuzelia, Z. (1915). Sitting and fun at the dead in the Ukrainian funeral rite (Thе еnd). Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva imeni Shevchenka (Vol. СХХІІ, pp. 103—166). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Kolessa, F. (2001). Beliefs about the soul and the afterlife in Ukrainian funeral and memorial rituals. Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva imeni Shevchenka (Vol. ССХLII : Proceedings of the Section of Ethnography and Folkloristics, pp. 7—82). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Huzij, R. (2007). From folk thanatology: Carpathian studies. Lviv: Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [in Ukrainian].
  • Zelenchuk, M. (2003). Funeral customs and rites in the Hutsul region: games and fun at the deceased. Dialectological studies (Issue 2 : Language and culture, pp. 241—247). Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Sushko, V. (2014). Perceptions of death and funeral customs of the Hutsuls. Narodna tvorchist ta etnolohiia, 1, 91—97 [in Ukrainian].
  • Koval-Fuchylo, I. (2012). Character code of the funeral rite in Kosiv region: Trembitar. Narodna tvorchist ta etnolohiia, 4, 89—93 [in Ukrainian].
  • Pyskach, O. (2016). Names related to funeral and memorial rites in dialect dictionaries of the southwestern dialect of the Ukrainian language. Suchasni problemy movoznavstva ta literaturoznavstva : coll. of science works (Issue 21 : Areology and onomastics, pp. 124—130). Uzhhorod [in Ukrainian].
  • Skrypnyk, H. (Chairman ed.). (2020). Ethnographic image of modern Ukraine. Corpus of expeditionary folklore and ethnographic materials (Vol. 5 : Funeral and memorial customs and rites). Kyiv [in Ukrainian].
  • Archive of Ivan Franko Lviv National University, f. 119, op. 17, od. save 317-E [in Ukrainian].
  • Archive of Ivan Franko Lviv National University, f. 119, op. 17, od. save 715-E [in Ukrainian].
  • Archive of Ivan Franko Lviv National University, f. 119, op. 17, od. save 719-E [in Ukrainian].
  • Denysiuk, I. (2003). Hadyerka. Visnyk of the Lviv University. Philological series (Issue31, pp. 422—428). Lviv: Ivan Franko National University of Lviv [in Ukrainian].
  • Struk, M. Vohnyky, kukutsi, khapanky, zhyvnyky. The ancient Hutsul tradition has been preserved in Kosiv region. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5dfaHCr44w (Last accessed: 03.06.2022).


Our authors
On field exploration of russian and belarusian ethnologists and etnolinguists in Ukrainian Polisia 1945—1980s
In the study based on a wide range of literary materials have been comprehensively characterised field research in Polisia of Ukraine, performed by Russian and Belarusian ethnologists during 1945—1980s as well as Moscow ethnolinguists and other researchers from ethnologic centres of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in the course of realization of Ethnolinguistic Atlas of Polisia program. Particular attention has been paid to geography, methods, themes and research results of scientific projects.
Read »

On bessarabian and moldavian ukrainians in the studies of historical ethnography
The article has thrown some light upon a sum of scientific findings got during XIX to XXI cc. in historio-ethnographic studies of Bessarabia and Moldavian Ukrainians. In the pre­sent paper has been given author’s answer to the problem of lacking progress as for the numerous themes concerning Ukrainians. State and achievements of the research-works in Ukrainians’ material and spiritual culture by the scientists of Moldavia and Ukraine through the years of independence has been exposed.
Read »

Traditional folk clothes of velikobychkovsky hutsuly of XIX — the first half of XX century
In the study based upon numerous field materials, literature sources as well as ethnographic, historio-cultural and regional museum collections has been performed complex analysis in traditional folk clothes by Hutzul population of Velyky Bychkiv village in Transcarpathian region. Detailed descriptions of femi­nine and masculine clothing complexes of the mentioned area have been presented. In characterizing of those main attention has been paid to the detail of cut in separate components of dress; cut of feminine shirt has been added as an illustration.
Read »

Daily bread baking of ukrainians in the south-western ethnographical region at the late XIX to early XXI cc.
The paper has dealt with analytic study in prescriptions, signs, customs, methods, ways of selection, procurement and some peculiarities in usage of subsidiary means — water, firewood and leaves in bread baking. The final aim of the mentioned actions had been (and still is) selection of the means and ingredients fit, by their characteristics, for the backing of bread. The paper has demonstrated dependence of bread backing subsi­diary means criteria from the folk nutritional standards and world outlook stereotypes as well as from regional social and economic, natural and geographical factors and peculiarities of material culture.
Read »