From Terra Incognita to Carpathian Rus’ — a Histography

Source: Rusyn Literature Society

August 16, 2021


This article is put forward as a grand overview of historical names for Rusyns and their homeland and is intended as a reference as much as a work of prose.


“I come from nowhere.” Those mystifying words of Andy Warhol have both simultaneously illustrated and also haunted the reality of Rusyn cultural awareness in the diaspora.

We should not however laugh at these words, as regardless of his intentions, whether he said it in humility, to seem mysterious, or even as a joke, we mustn’t forget that in all likelihood, like so many other Rusyns, Warhol very likely struggled to understand concretely from whence came his family and his roots.

Without making assumptions, we may say that Warhol certainly wasn’t trying to imply with these words, that one day he literally materialized ex nihilo out of the land of oblivion. Rather he was faced with the dilemma which has tormented millions of Rusyns.

How does one understand and describe where they are from when it is not contained within a single country when its borders have changed dramatically over the last century alone when one’s people have never really had a distinct self-contained state when one is born across the ocean from their ancestral land to parents who possibly identified as anything from Russian to Hungarian and from Greeks to Uniates. One could literally be faced with an issue where their parents were born in different states from both each other and their own parents and grandparents, even if they were all born in the same exact land or villages. One could be an Orthodox Christian and call themselves a Russian Greek Catholic or one could be a Uniate and call themselves Orthodox.

... Read the rest at Rusyn Literature Society.

Matfey Shaheen

Rusyn Literature Society


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