I recently received a request as to how to tell the difference between Ukrainian Bukovyna embroidery and Romanian Bucovina embroidery. There is no straightforward answer. In the local communities, the people know which village is inhabited by which ethnicity, and they could tell you, but there are no overarching rules which always apply. Nevertheless, there are regional differences, and some of these regions are overwhelmingly of one nationality or the other, only the central region being mixed. Kolbenheier was an Austrian who traveled in Bukovyna before the fall of the empire, and recorded some designs from various regions. He made a notation of the ethnicity of each local community. I have the reprint which was done in the 1970's by the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada, which omitted that information. Nonetheless, I will sort his prints here for you by region. There is a notable difference in style, and some can be difinitively attributed to one nation or the other. Above you see a map which shows the ethnic composition and distribution of Bukovyna under the Austrians. Ukrainians are shown in black, Romanians in white, and other ethnicities in various cross hatching. The present border crosses this region from west to east at about the center.
Here is a modern map of the same area.
I personally divide Bukovyna-Bucovina into four zones, each of which has a recognizable embroidery style.
I. Western zone.
This is inhabited by Hutsuls, who are Ukrainian. This consists of the counties of Vyzhnytsia, and the western parts of Radiwtsi and Câmpulung Moldovenesc counties. These are not really Bukovynian, but belong to the Hutsul ethnic group. Their embroidery has been influenced by that of Bukovyna, however. They sometimes have the stripes down the lower sleeve, but often do not have the contrasting band across the center. These are depicted on Kolbenheier plates 62-74
Some of the designs in these last two look more Romanian.
I have provided the contemporary Romanian names of these municipalities.
This is almost completely inhabited by Romanians. A surprising number of these are executed in just red and black. This consists of the remainder of Câmpulung Moldovenesc county, as well as the counties of Humora and Suceava. These are shown on Kolbenheier plates 1-24. I will put the contemporary Romanian names of the communities before the plates.
The designs on this first one are very striking and unique.
The two top designs on this plate could be Austrian in origin.
Again, the top right design could be Austrian in origin.
Here the bottom left design is Hutsul.
The name of this village has been changed to Ciprian Porumbescu
Pârteştii de Sus and Pârteştii de Jos
III. Northern zone
This is overwhelmingly inhabited by Ukrainians.
The embroidery style is dominated by large motifs, some of them rather bizarre, resembling nothing else in the area, but having some Balkan elements; asymmetry, outlines with hooks, etc. This zone consists of the counties of Vashkiwtsi, Zastawna and Kitsman. They are represented by Kolbenheier plates 45-61.
Malyi Kuchuriv Малий Кучурів
Chornyi Potik Чорний Потік [Black Creek]
Borivtsi Борівці - Kyseliv Киселів
Stara Zhadova Стара Жадова and Nova Zhadova Нова Жадова
IV Central zone
Horodnic de Sus
This community is also currently on the Romanian side of the border. The population is overwhelmingly Romanian, with some Roma and formerly some Germans.
This community is currently on the Romanian side of the border. It is 100% Romanian.
This is currently on the Romanian side of the Border and is overwhelmingly Romanian.
This community is currently on the Romanian side of the border and is overwhelmingly Romanian.
Crasna - Krasnoil's'k Красноїльськ
This municipality is on the Ukrainian side of the border, and despite having a name of obviously Slavic origin, is overwhelmingly Romanian.
Kam'yanka Кам'янка In Romanian Camenca or modern - Petriceni
This is near Siret - Seret, it is currently on the Ukrainian side of the border. The population is 92% Ukrainian and 8% Romanian.
Sinăuţii de Sus - Nyzhni Synivtsi Нижні Синівці
This municipality is currently on the Ukrainian side of the border. It is inhabited by Romanians.
Tereblecea - Terebleche Тереблече
This municipality is currently on the Ukrainian side of the border. It is 62% Romanian and 34% Ukrainian.
Carapciu Karapchiv Карапчів and Prisăcăreni Prosokyryany Просокиряни
This municipality is currently on the Ukrainian side of the border. It is 91% Romanian and 8% Ukrainian.
Velykyi Kuchuriv Великий Кучурів - Cuciurul Mare and Voloca pe Derelui - Voloka Волока
These neighboring towns are currently on the Ukrainian side of the border. Velykyi Kuchuriv is overwhelmingly Ukrainian, and Voloka overwhelmingly Romanian.
Bobivtsi Бобівці - Bobeşti
This municipality is currently on the Ukrainian side of the border and is overwhelmingly Ukrainian.
Novoselytsya Новоселиця - Noua Suliță
This municipality is found on the Ukrainian side of the border, It is 55% Ukrainian and 34% Romanian.
Boian - Boyany Бояни
This municipality is on the Ukrainian side of the border. It is 92% Romanian and 8% Ukrainian.
Mahala - Магала
This municipality is on the Ukrainian side of the border. The name is from Romany, but this municipality is 92% Romanian and 6% Ukrainian.
I was unable to find this municipality on a map, but I did find it as a district within the current boundaries of the city of Chernivtsi Чернівці. I would take this to be Ukrainian.
The following two communities I was also unable to find on the map. The author indicates that they were in the county of Chernivtsi Чернівці.
I hope that you have found this to be interesting and informative.
There are some wonderful designs here. I would encourage you to take them and use them.
As to whether it is easy to tell the Ukrainian designs from the Romanian designs, I find myself still unable to formulate definitive rules. I would want more samples from central Bukovyna.