George Popstoychev Popayanov was a Bulgarian revolutionary, active figure in the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization. In the museum community George Popayanov is known as the father of ethnography in the Burgas region.
He was born on 02.09.1881 in the village Derekyoy, Lozengrad (nowadays Turkey). He graduated school in Edirne and then worked as a teacher in Malko Tarnovo. Mr. Popayanov is one of the last secretaries of the revolutionary committee in this city.
After the suppression of Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising, he left to Sofia and in few years graduated from the Historic-Philology Faculty in Sofia University. He returned to Turkey and started working as a teacher in the High School of Edirne.
When ethnic cleansing in 1913, the Turks finally drove the Bulgarian population out of Eastern Thrace region and Mr. Popayanov settled in Burgas.
From an early age he was fascinated by historic issues and after 1923 he fully focused his interest on the history of Eastern Thrace. He travelled all over Bulgaria searching for other Thracian settlers and refugees.
George Popayanov is the most comprehensive researcher of Strandzha Region and Malko Tarnovo, precision collector of archaeological, historical and ethnographic materials. He has over 100 publications and is a source of the most modern studies on the cultural phenomenon "Strandzha". Among his most valuable books are: "Strandzha. Ethnographic, geographic and historical research" and "Malko Tarnovo and its surroundings" from 1939.
George Popayanov died on 24.02.1951 in Burgas.