# Gesendet: 18 Feb 2006 21:12
The Hutsul (Romanian - Huţul) are mountain peoples with occupations in cattle breeding, and shepherding, forestry, and timber, who live in the upper reaches of the river Prut, in Pokutia (Romanian - Pocuţia). The origin of the Hutsul has been suggested to be one of the migrating peoples - Cuman, Scythian, Celtic, Gothic, Dacian, Romanian etc. However, they speak a dialect of Ukrainian and are generally thought to be Slavic, but have many Romanian influences in their language, costume and customs,
In the 9th century the political unity of the Ukraine was formed around the Poianian tribe of the Kiev region. Most of the original tribal names are only left as geographical and territorial names but in the mountainous Carpathians some diversity and traces of the old tribal characteristics have been preserved in the Slavic peoples of the Hutsul, Lemko and Boiko peoples.
The first references to the Hutsul are in the 14th century in current southern Ukraine. During the 15th century they colonised along the Prut river, over the mountains and along the Tisa river into Maramureş, and along the Ceremuş river towards northern Moldavia. In the 17th century they migrated across the mountains to the upper Suceava valley. By the late 17th century there were around 40 villages and further migration continued into the upper valleys of the Moldova and Bistriţa rivers.