Thursday, June 8, 2017

Costume and embroidery of Zakarpattia, Ukraine, Part 3, the East

 Hello all, 
This is my conclusion of the costumes of Zakarpattia. Today I will talk about two costumes that are influenced by Romanian ones south of the border, as well as the Rakhiw region, which is part of the Hutsul cultural area. Again, it would be helpful if you looked up the locations mentioned on Google Maps or some such other app.

Cherna zone
This consists of the small region between the Tisa River and the Romanian border. While the people in this area are Rusyn / Ukrainian, the costume is a version of the Oaş costume which is mostly worn across the border in Romania in the region of Ţara Oaşului. This man's costume is often mistakenly paired with womens' costumes from other regions.

Here are some images of the Romanian Oaş costume.

The costume worn on the Ukrainian side is basically identical. I have documented it from the three villages of Cherna, Novoselytsia and Khyzha. I believe that it was worn in the entire area south of the Tisza river. 

Here are old photographs of a man and a woman from Cherna. Compare their costumes to those of the Romanians above.

Here is a woman's costume from Novoselytsia. 

Here are some people from Khyzha.

The man's costume has the front and back of the shirt in one piece, with embroidery on the shoulders and sleeves set in at right angles. The shirt is short, just barely past the waist, The pants are very full, embroidered, and fringed, a bag is worn over the shoulder, and a small straw hat is also worn.


The women's costume has a rectangular yoke with the opening usually at the back. The yoke is embroidered around all four sides, The body of the chemise is gathered into the bottom of the yoke, and the sleeves into the sides. There is also embroidery on the cuffs and often in a stripe down the outside of the sleeve. The skirt is linen or cotton, very full, and has embroidery on the waistband which matches the yoke, and also has embroidery on the hem of the skirt in much the same way that the men have embroidery on their pants. The apron may be of matching embroidered linen or of a cotton challis print.

This is a stupid pose, but it does show the construction and embroidery well.

The details of the embroidery is quite interesting.



Ukrainians sometimes wear this costume with vests.

Here is a video of a Ukrainian man from the Romanian side singing a kolomyjka. The group on stage is more or less wearing this costume.

North Marmarosh zone

This consists of the Teresva and Apshytsia river valleys, and includes the triangle of Romanian settlement which is centered on The towns of Solovtyno and Apsha.  This is a variant of the costume of Maramureș County which lies across the border in Romania. There is a  Rusyn / Ukrainian minority in some villages in Romania as well. 

Here is the Romanian costume as worn in the area around Nyzhnya Apsha, or Apșa de Jos.
The women wear double aprons with yellow and black or red and black horizontal stripes.

The same type of chemise is worn by the local Rusyn / Ukrainians, but they wear a skirt with it instead of the double aprons. This type of chemise is called Voloshka, and is widespread in this zone. It also has a rectangular neck opening, but is put together differently from the last one. 
Here is a girl from this zone talking with a Hutsul girl.Note the frilled cuffs and the unusual construction of the chemise which includes little epaulets.

Here is a costume of this type from Velykyi Bychkiv, which is right next to the Hutsul region.

Here is an old photograph showing three girls wearing this costume. This gives you a good idea of how the ensemble looked all together.

Here is a voloshka laid out so you can see the construction. The shoulders are relatively narrow strips that extend front and back to the hem. The front and back panels are shorter and very wide, and are smock gathered into a narrow collarband. This band may also edge the shoulder pieces. The upper part of the sleeve is also smock gathered into the shoulders, and short epaulettes may be gathered and attached in the same place. Embroidery is done around the neck opening and on the shoulders.

 These next two images are from Oksana Kosmina's book on Ukrainian costume. While they show the voloshka well, and have the correct vest, she pairs it with an apron from the Khust region and a skirt from the Velykyi Bereznyi region. This is not correct.

 Here are some photos of voloshky which I found online. Looks like they were being sold.

  I found this one image from the north of this region, and it looks like embroidery which is done on a voloshka. This is from the village of Rus'ka Mokra.

 The men's shirts are cut much the same as the ones from the Cherna region, above. they may be open or have cuffs. They have modest embroidery on them. The front may be smocked as the women's shirts are. They wear open linen pants in summer and heavy wool pants in winter.

 Highly embroidered sheepskin vests are also worn here, as you can see.

 These are a man's and a woman's kyptar from Velykyj Bychkiv.

 This vest is from the village of  Bedevlja.

Here is a video of a Ukrainian woman, Larissa Boychuk, from the Romanian side singing. Her group is wearing this costume. She is singing in Transcarpathian Rusyn dialect.

Rakhiw zone

This lies in the easternmost part of Zakarpattia, including the town of Kobylets'ka Polyana and all points east of that. The people in this area are Hutsul, and wear their own version of the typical Hutsul costume.

Here is the church in the village of Lazeshchyna.

A couple of old photographs. 


From these images it is clear that the men had embroidery on their shoulders. The kyptars of this region have a particular ornamentation that includes a floral motif on the lower front corners. Observe these three kyptars from Jasinya, Bohdan, and Kobylets'ka Polyana.

This kyptar is from Yasinya.

The embroidery, as everywhere in the Hutsul region, was well done. They did the normal Hutsul stitches, such as nyzynka and cross stitch;


 But also more unusual ones, such as satin stitch and brick stitch.

Here are a couple that I find very interesting and unusual, from Yasinya.

 This woman's shirt is from Kobylets'ka Polyana.

Here is both a man's and a woman's shirt from Rosishka.

The women wore double aprons, the men red or white pants with wide leather belts. They both wore heavy red jackets called serdaky, and embroidered footcloths with moccasins. Here are some images from the fashion show. 


Thank you for reading. I hope that you have found this to be interesting and informative. If you do costumes for a Ukrainian dance group, please use this information and make real costumes for Zakarpattia, and not some gaudy fantasy or some  mish mosh of different regions. Feel free to write me to ask questions or to get more ideas. Even these three articles fail to exhaust the subject.

Roman K.


A video from Zakarpattia made in the 1930's, narrated in Czech.

A 'fashion show' of some of the folk costumes of Zakarpattia.


Source material:

S. Makovski, 'L'Art Populaire en Russie Subcarpathique', Prague, 1926
Roman Pylyp, 'Khudozhnia Vyshywka Ukrajintsiw Zakarpattia', Uzhhorod, 2012
Sofia Hubash, 'Volovechchyna Moja', Uzhhorod, 2011
Myroslava Kot, 'Ukrajins'ka Vyshyta Sorochka', Drohobych, 2007
R. V. Zakharchuk-Chuhaj' 'Ukrajins'ka Narodna Vyshywka Zakhidni Oblasti URSR', Kyjiv, 1988
Iryna Hurhula, 'Narodne Mystetsvo Zakhidnykh Oblastej Ukrajiny', Kyjiv, 1966
K I Matejko, 'Ukrajins'kyj Narodnyj Odjah', Kyjiv, 1977
Tetiana Kara-Vasylieva, 'Ukrajins'ka Vyshywka',  Kyjiv, 1993
O. I. Kubajevych et al, 'Derzhawnyj Muzej Etnohrafiji ta Khudozhn'oho Promyslu AN URSR', Kyjiv, 1976
Robert Papik'ian, "Zacharovanyj Kraj', Kyjiv, 1988
Oksana Kosmina, 'Tradytsijne Vbrannia Ukrajintsiw', Kyjiv, 2001
Petro Odarchenko et al, 'Ukrainian Folk Costumes', Toronto-New York, 1992
M. S. Bilan et al, 'Ukrajins'kyj Stryj', L'viw, 2000
Tamara Nikolajeva, 'Ukrajins'kyj Kostium, Nadija na Renensans', Kyjiw, 2005
V. H. Bilozub et al, 'Ukrajins'ke Narodne Mystetstvo - Tkanyny ta Vyshywky', Kyjiw, 1960
V. H. Bilozub et al, 'Ukrajins'ke Narodne Mystetsvo -  Vbrannia', Kyjiw, 1961