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  Chumak (Ukrainian: чумак, pl. chumaky) are a class of merchants and traders from the area comprising modern Ukraine. The term's origin is from the Turkic word chum, a storage container. Chumaky grew as a merchant class facilitating trade of salt from the areas of Halychyna as well as the Black Sea, in addition to other items. They prospered until the end of the nineteenth century, when competition from railroads made longer trade routes unprofitable. Further modernization marginalized traditional economic activity, and relegated Chumak traders to areas in western Ukraine with the lowest levels of service.

Chumak traders also feature heavily in Ukrainian folklore and fables.


  • Kharchenko, Serhiy. "The Chumak: Ukraine's first venture capitalist", in The Ukrainian Observer, issue 211.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chumak". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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