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Carpathian hutsuls in retro photos

Сентябрь 18, 2015    
Carpathian hutsuls in retro photos

 

Carpathian secrets

The Carpathians seem to harbour many secrets. Some historians think it was from the area of the Carpathian Mountains that the Indo-Europeans began to spread across Europe in the western and eastern directions; the mysterious White Croatians are believed to have had their state there; there are stories of strongholds which were carved into the face of rock but which have not been discovered yet.

The Hutsuls themselves believe there are caches with treasures in various parts of the mountains. Particularly many of such caches were left behind by Dovbush, a notorious, or famous, outlaw, a Carpathian Robin Hood. Dovbush is said to have left marks in the vicinity of hidden treasures in order to find them later.

One of such marks — a representation of the deer — is still to be seen on the Dovbush Rock above the Cheremosh River. In spite of this supposed indication, no treasures have yet been found, though the search for them never seems to stop.

Also, the Hutsuls believe in the existence of all kinds of spirits and fabulous creatures that live in the forests, rocks, streams, precipices, lakes and bogs. The Hutsuls tend to ascribe all their failures and mishaps to the evil influences and tricks of these spirits. Their supreme leader is Aridnyk, Satan of sorts. The forests are full of lisovyks who are prone to mischief and who can do really nasty things.

Chuhaystyr is a much more cheerful and helpful creature — he protects people from the evil nyavkas, who are a sort of forest witches.

Rusalkas who live in mountain rivers and lakes once in a while come out of the water to sing songs, to chant chants and to tell tales. At the sunset, those who were drowned also come out of the water to lie on the rocks by the waterside. In the Hutsul villages you can come across molfars — wizards and soothsayers who can protect good people from evil spirits. They can make rain storms and hail pass by without causing damage, or make rain in a drought.

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