Marusia Bohuslavka [Маруся Богуславка]. The main character in a renowned Ukrainian duma of the same name. The heroine is a priest’s daughter from Bohuslav who, enslaved by the Turks, renounces her faith and wins her master’s trust. On Holy Saturday, when the pasha is away, she frees 700 Cossacks from the dungeon. There is no evidence that Marusia Bohuslavka existed, she is probably a composite of slave girls who had helped captive Cossacks in some way. Marusia Bohuslavka became a common image in Ukrainian literature and the subject of several novels and plays and a ballet.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine