In 1553 Volyn prince Dmytro Baida Vishnevetsky (year of born is unknown - 1563) summoned a troop of Cossacks (above 300 men), armed them and led beyond the Dnieper Rapids. There he fortified a ston castle - "Sich" - on a remote, but strategically important Mala Khortytsia Island. This name derives from the word "sech/to chop off" ("slashing" - fortification). In 1550 -th Dmitro Vishnevetsky turned the Zaporizhia in the cradle of all Zaporizhians.

Name of Sich, Nizovy Cossacks derives from words “Sich” and “Niz”. For a long period of time the Sich became the centre of the Cossacks’ movement. All Zaporizhian Cossacks were subdivided into Sich and Zimoviy ones (those who lived in winterer abodes).

Sich Cossacks settled in the territory of the Sich. These people were unmarried and experienced in military arts. They were distributed among kurins and made up an army or a knighthood in their own understanding. The word “kurin” meant either a long house, which was used as a barrack, or a military unit. Only Sich Cossacks could elect the starshyna (eng: Head) among themselves. Sich Cossacks officially called each other “comrades”, and a company of Cossacks – “comradeship”. A young Cossack at the Sich was called dzhura. The dzhuras had to learn military arts for three years and only having passed the exams they became full-fledged Cossacks.

Married Cossacks differed from this knighthood greatly. They lived in the Zaporizhia steppes in winterer abodes and slobodas. They were mostly engaged in farming, cattle breeding, trade, workmanship and crafts. They were known not as knights and comrades, but as the subjects or pospolites of the Sich Cossacks.