In the Carpathian Mountains of 19th-century Ukraine, love, hate, life and death among the Hutsul people are as they’ve been since time began. Little Hutsul Ivanko Paliychuk witnesses the death of his father in a fight with a man from the enemy Gutenyuk family. During these events, Ivan meets Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer.
Ivan and Marichka grow up and spend a lot of time together and fall in love with each other. Ivan goes to work in the meadows, planning to return before winter and marry Marichka. However, Marichka dies suddenly. Ivan marries another woman - but he still longs for Marichka.