Slovak Heritage Live


Slovak Folklore
is featured in book

European Contexts of the Folk Culture

You will find every town and village in the
Slovak Army 
Auto Atlas

Genealogical research

Ancestral Village Videos

Ancestral Village Photography

Journey Through Slovakia Videos

Folklore Videos

All photographs
are for sale

Get the history of any
village or town in Slovakia



Terchova is a small village located at the entrance to the famous Vratna Valley and its rock formations of which the most famous is the Mnich-Monk and near by mounts of Rozsutec, Chleb and Velky Krivan. This is the village that the legendary Janosik, the hero of all Slovaks was born some 350 years ago.

The village is a home of the Mucha Brothers one of the most famous character's musicians of Slovakia. They have played in most countries of Europe and in November 1992, they been performing in South America in Argentina.

I was introduced to The Mucha Brothers by my friend, whom I met in Vancouver, Prof. Martin Slivka, shortly after their performance at Vychodná in 1987. During their performance I knew this was a music and songs I never heard before, different and beautiful and I fell in love with it. Prof. Slivka took me behind the stage and they played few songs just for me while I was video taping from close range going around and between them. These are by far some of my best shots ever. We stayed friends ever since.

Muchovci2.jpg (46555 bytes) Muchovci3.jpg (47386 bytes) Muchovci4.jpg (40315 bytes)

In 1989 I have participated in choreography course by Matica Slovenska and we were all in Slovakia. That means my wife Maria and our two children, Julia and Mathew. While at Vychodna I met Mucha Brothers again and we were invited to visit them in Terchova after the course. Towards the end of the two week course both of my knees gave up to such extend that I was barely able to walk, but we went to Terchova despite my walking problems. Fero lives in a beautiful and huge two story house, he is married and has two children. After few hours and gathering of all brothers we went to their birth place, their parents house located directly under the north side of mount Rozsutec. They all dressed up in their folk costumes took their instruments and we went through the Vratna Valley to the beautiful green hay fields above the village and under the mount Rozsutec. This was a picture perfect setting. Mount Rozsutec forming a back drop for the stage, the green hay as the carpet and the beautiful and crystal blue sky above. Unbelievable. They played and sung just for me and my camera. I took lot of pictures and they are beautiful too. After we went to the Vratna Valley Under Mnich next to the creek Vratanka and they played and sung some more songs. We almost caused a traffic jam as many tourist stopped their cars and were watching and listening to the beautiful songs and music of Mucha Brothers from Terchova. I have made a video of this memorable experience together with shots from their different performances at the festivals in Vychodna and Detva called "Mucha Brothers From Terchova," but since they aren't very well known in North America, it didn't sell well. Later on I have added this footage to the movie called "Gorali and The Mucha Brothers from Terchova." Both videos are still available through Linder Video Productions at US$ 44,45 all inclusive.

Last summer we visited Fero Mucha and his family in Terchova again and discovered that Fero now not only plays accordion, heligonka, contra violin and sings, but he started to paint pictures of Terchova and surrounding area and in this field, he is great too. During summer he sells them to many foreign tourists from around the world who visit Terhcova and Vratna Valley. Business is good.

Just prior to last year's Christmas, on December 5, while visiting Slovakia for the second time in 1994 we visited Fero Mucha in Terchova again. I had asked him few questions and discovered that:

Fero is the oldest of the four brothers now in the Mucha Brothers Music. The fifth man is Rudo Patrnciak, not a family member, director of the cultural center in Terchova and the only musically educated member. All brothers are self-taught musicians. From the early childhood while growing up the brothers were dedicated to folk songs and singing. Fero is the oldest brother, the primas of the music is 14 years junior. Fero is playing with different groups since 1968. He was also playing and singing for folk music Rozsutec in Zilina and in 1980's they had an idea to form their own family folk music group. I am glad they did. Their parents had taught them all the folk songs they know from Terchova. They taught them songs, melodies, text and everything they know about singing. Father and mother knew how to sing, but didn't play any instruments. The settlement they were born is still existing, it's called Pod Rozsutcom and there were no musicians living there. To this day there is one elderly man, over 80 years old, named Duro Mucha still residing there. The other houses are now converted to summer cottages as the natives have moved away to areas where there were jobs and industry.

MuchaFero.jpg (22732 bytes)

Later on they gained musical instruments and were observing older musicians at play and took over the relay of the folklore and folklore traditions that existed in Terchova. In 1982 they have formed the foundation for their music and are active playing ever since 12-13 years.

Fero  played heligonka, accordion, guitar and sung since early childhood. In 1975 Fero finally taken private violin lessons.
Since 1987, they participated for what I know personally in almost all Vychodna and Detva's festivals always having great success. Fero explained why: "The cooperation with our group is very good. We are very responsible group. This is one of our big advantages. There are many groups around here difficult to work with and irresponsible. We were always trying to be in these matters very punctual, serious and we are very happy performers. Our motto for all the festivals was to perform well to the best of our ability, to have fun, but always to give 100% to the public, to well represent our village, Terchova. This is how we gained our good reputation and the interest for the Mucha Brothers from Terchova grew. We were forced and wanted to get better to produce better quality music so we can get to radio and television. We traveled the whole Europe: Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Germany and Austria. Recently I have been performing alone twice in Paris for Slovaks living there. Singing and playing my heligonka and accordion. I guess, our biggest accomplishment was in November 1993 with three weeks long tour of Argentina. The Ministry of Culture has financed the airline tickets, Peter Csabaday an employee of Matica Slvenska had organized connections and contacts and we went. Final details were made in Argentina. We performed for Slovaks, taped show for radio and television. We had a great success. At the end of our tour we had a final concert in Buenos Aires Radio concert hall for 200 invited guests that included European diplomatic core. Giving the conditions and that Slovaks were performing in Buenos Aires, for 200 people to come to a concert is a great
success. We have published a book about our trip titled "We jumped over to Argentina," a book full of wonderful memories and pictures."

Fero you've mentioned that you are also involved with a group from Zazriva a village nearby, called Zazrivcek.

"Yes, it is a children folk dance and singing group. Three people take care of the children. My responsibility is the music, my daughter Hanka is directing the choir and Mirka Stevkova is taking care of the dance group. I am the oldest member of the group and with them since beginning, therefore if anything needs to be done I end up doing it all."

Past Christmas a three from Zazriva was presented to the Holy Father in Vatican and the folk dance group Zazrivcek had a performance at its dedication on December 17, 1994, together with a singing group Sklo and many others. The president of the Slovak republic, Ing. Michal Kovac was present too.

Fero Mucha is very enterprising individual. He can play violin from Terchova region, sing songs and play accordion from all Slovak regions and he can paint. He could perform as a soloist with 20 minute program if required and could be a valuable asset to any group in Canada or USA for guest performances.

You can contact him at:

Fero Mucha
01306 Terchova 265

All photographs are for sale

MUCHA BROTHERS are featured on VIDEO


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 3, No.1, Spring 1995
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1995 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6

The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.