Thursday, January 27, 2022

Boiko costume of Volovets' - Volosianka region, Ukraine

 Hello all, 

Today I would like to talk about the south-central Boiko costume, which is found in Transcarpathia around the town of Volovets', and also over the line into L'viw Oblast in the villages of Volosianka, Oporets', and possibly as far north as Tukhol'ka. Here is an approximate map of this region. It may possibly extend further to the southeast, but I do not have much information on that region. 

This costume seems to have come in three variants, but they are very similar. 

The woman's chemise is similar to that of the Lyuta region, the front being completely smocked and the opening being on the side. 

The original colors of the embroidery were originally red and blue, but the range of colors has since increased. 

The cuffs were either sewn on, with the sleeve ends smocked into them, or formed by smocking the sleeves themselves. 

The skirts were typically Boiko, being of linen smocked into the waistband and having embroidery near the hem. 

I assume that the apron was also originally embroidered linen, but I have no images of that. The aprons which I have images of are made of bought cloth of different kinds, sometimes with ornament of ribbon, etc. 

The chepets of this region is quite unique, consisting of a ring with a sprang top which seems to consist of a tube that is folded to the rear, with decorative ribbons hanging behind. Here is an example from Volovets'. 

This image is of a woman from Volosianka, in L'viw Oblast. Here is a closer look at her chepets. 

And a side view. 

Here is an image from the village of Oporets', with an unmarried girl on the left, and a married woman wearing this chepets on the right.  They are both wearing embroidered linen aprons.

And a final closeup of a chepets from the village of Tukhol'ka.

The western variant of this costume was found around the towns of Nyzhni and Verkhni Vorota. The geometric embroidery was replaced by floral designs, somewhat like that of the Lyuta region, and they developed a linen vest which also had embroidery. 

Outerwear included sheepskin vests, and heavy wool jackets whose cut was influenced by city fashion. Here is a man's vest followed by a woman's.

In the immediate Volovets' region, the embroidery was found in many colors and the aprons were quite large. 

Today skirts of bought cloth may be worn with this costume in the Volovets' area.

The men also seem to have worn the fitted semi urban jacket in this area, along with vests of cloth or sheepskin. The Hunia was also worn.

Here are the few images of the northern variant, found in L'viw oblast that I have found. 


Here again is the image from the village of Oporets'.

And a costume from the village of Tukhol'ka. 

One thing we can notice about this costume is the fitted vest with embroidery, and the trim around the edge dyed in various colors. Here are a couple images from  K. I. Matejko's book 'Ukrajins'kyj Narodnyj Odiah'.

I had always assumed that these vests were of sheepskin, but a close look at this one shows that it was made of woven wool. 

Another feature of this northern region was a unique type of men's shirt, which echoes the construction of the womens' shirts. Here is a plate from L. Krawchuk's 'Ukrajins'ki Narodnyj Vyshywky L'viws'ka Oblast'' of a man's shirt embroidery from Volosianka.

At first glance this image is confusing, but it shows the embroidery on the collar and epaulets, as well as smocking on the front, back, and upper sleeves. 

Here is a sketch by Kul'chytska showing how this type of shirt was worn. She puts the opening in front. 

It is not uncommon for Boiko men to have embroidery on their shoulders, but usually the embroidery is placed horizontally. This example is from Smil'nyk

And here we see a man working in the field in Smerek with an embroidered shirt. 

However, we do see some images from the western Boikos which show embroidered epaulets, without the smocking. Take a look at the boy in the foreground. 

And the man on the left in this image. 

Both clearly have embroidery placed vertically on the shoulders, So this is not just found in Volosianka, although the fronts of the shirts are made differently. 

Here are a few more images of this type of Volosianka shirt.

Thank you for reading, I hope that you have found this to be interesting and informative. I would encourage Boikos or other who are interesting in Boiko culture to make and use some of these costumes, to make the variety of Boiko costume more widely known. 

Roman K. 


Source Material:
Olena Kul'chytska, 'Narodnyj Odiah', reprint L'viw, 2018
L. T. Krawchuk, 'Ukrajins'kyj Narodni Vyshywky L'viws'ka Oblast', Kyjiv, 1961
K. I. Matejko, 'Ukrajinslyj Narodnyj Odiah', Kyjiw, 1977
S. Makovski, 'L'Art Populaire en Russie Subcarpathique', Prague, 1926
Roman Pylyp, 'Khudozhnia Vyshywka Ukrajintsiw Zakarpattia', Uzhhorod, 2012
Sofia Hubash, 'Volovechchyna Moja', Uzhhorod, 2011
Roman Reinfuss, 'Karpacki Swiat Bojkow i Lemkow', Olszanica, 2016