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Boyko inhabitants of Galicia, lithograph from 1837

The Boyko or Boiko are a distinctive group of Ukrainian Carpathian highlanders or mountain-dwellers of the Carpathian highlands. The Boykos inhabited the central and the western half of the Carpathians in Ukraine, including the Dolynskyi and a part of the Rozhniativskyi Raions (districts) in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (province), the Skolivskyi, Turkivskyi, and parts of the Drohobytskyi, Sambirskyi and Starosambirskyi Raions in the Lviv Oblast, and parts of the Mizhhirskyi Raion in the Zakarpattia Oblast), as well as the adjacent areas of southeast Poland and northeast Slovakia.

Boykos identify themselves as part of the Ukrainian ethnos. Indeed, in the 19th century and in the first part of the 20th century Boykos, as well as most of the population of the present day's Western Ukraine called themselves Ruthenians (Ukrainian: Русини, Rusyny). Then the term "Ukrainian", that replaced the term "Ruthenians" in Eastern Ukraine a century earlier, became more common among Western Ruthenians/Ukrainians, including Boykos, as well. According to the recent census practically all Boykos in Ukraine declared their ethnicity as Ukrainian.

The Boyko language is based on the Ruthenian language, much influenced by the liturgic Old Church Slavonic language.[1] The name, "Boyko" is thought by some to originate in their patterns of speech, specifically the use of the exclamation "bah!".

Genetically, the Boykos are distinct from other Ukrainians and other European populations.[2]

Most Boykos belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with a minority belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The distinctive wooden church architecture of the Boyko region is a three-domed church, with the domes arranged in one line, and the middle dome slightly larger than the others.

Boyko (Cyrillic: Бойко, Polish: Bojko) is also a common surname among people with origins in Western Ukraine, including in Canada and the United States.

See also

  • Boyko
  • Bojko
  • Boychuk
  • Bojchuk
  • Boichuk


  1. ^ Boykos]
  2. ^ Nikitin, AG; Kochkin IT, June CM, Willis CM, McBain I, Videiko MY (February 2009). "Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in Boyko, Hutsul and Lemko populations of Carpathian highlands.". Human Biology 81 (1): 43-58. doi:10.1353/hub.0.0048. ISBN 0018-7143. OCLC 432539982. PMID 19589018. "MtDNA haplogroup frequencies in Boykos were different from most modern European populations.".  


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