Carpatho-Rusyns - Settlements



Until quite recently virtually all Carpatho-Rusyns lived in small villages with a few hundred to at most 1,500 inhabitants. The nearby towns and small cities (Uzhgorod, Mukachevo, Humenné, Bardejov, Sanok, Gorlice, Nowy Sącz), whether within or immediately adjacent to Carpatho-Rusyn ethnic territory, were inhabited primarily by Poles and Jews in the north and Hungarians or Slovaks and Jews in the south. Only since post-World War II industrialization have Carpatho-Rusyns settled in nearby towns and cities, so that today only 60 percent of the group resides in villages. The villages are generally laid out in a linear pattern along both banks of a mountain river or creek with individual houses surrounded by half a hectare or so of garden. Traditional houses were built of wood logs and were sometimes covered with stucco and painted a bright sky-blue color. The steeply sloped roofs were of thatched straw. The shape was a rectangle consisting of roughly three equal parts—the living quarters, kitchen, and a stable for animals. Today the village layout remains the same, although many traditional houses have been replaced by square, two-floor structures constructed with stucco-covered brick and covered by a gently sloping roof made of tin.


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