Gorals

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An ethnic Goral with bagpipes in Podhale, Poland Pillati A highlander with bagpipes.jpg
An ethnic Goral with bagpipes in Podhale, Poland

The Gorals (Polish : Górale; Goral dialect: Górole; Slovak : Gorali; Cieszyn Silesian: Gorole; Romanian : Gorali), also known as the Highlanders, and the Polish Highlanders, are an indigenous [1] ethnographic or ethnic group primarily found in their traditional area of southern Poland, northern Slovakia and in the region of Cieszyn Silesia in the Czech Republic, where they are known as the Silesian Gorals. [2] There is also a significant Goral diaspora in the area of Bukovina in western Ukraine and in northern Romania, as well as in Chicago, the seat of the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America.

Contents

History

In the 13th century, Vlach shepherds migrated to the Western Carpathian mountains, gradually moving northwest from the Balkans and settling on Polish lands there. [3] In the 16th and 17th centuries, Gorals settled the upper Kysuca and Orava rivers and part of northern Spiš in Slovakia, [4] which at the time were part of the Kingdom of Hungary. [5] [6] [7] [8] In the 19th century, between 1803–1819, the Gorals migrated to Bukovina. [9]

In 1651, the Gorals and local peasantry rebelled in what became the Kostka-Napierski uprising, led by army captain Aleksander Kostka Napierski. A film was produced about the uprising ( Podhale w ogniu ) in 1956, and distributed in many languages across the Eastern Bloc. [10] [11] [12] The first Polish national opera, titled Krakowiacy i Górale (Cracowians and Gorals) composed by Wojciech Bogusławski premiered in 1794. [13]

During World War II, Nazi Germany sought to Germanize the Gorals, along with the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, and include them in the resettlement plans. [14] Under Nazi racial laws, the majority of Poland's population and its minorities were viewed as "undesirable" and subject to special statutes, slave labour and police law. [15] However, Nazi racial theorists considered the 27,000 strong Goral population as a separate ethnic group from the Poles. [16] Termed Goralenvolk , they were deemed part of the "Greater Germanic Race" and given separate (milder) treatment from other Poles. [17] [18]

Population

Map of areas inhabited by the Gorals Gorals map.png
Map of areas inhabited by the Gorals
Gorals from Zakopane (1967) Fotothek df ps 0006311 Fuhrwerke ^ Pferdefuhrwerke ^ Kutschen ^ sonstige Kutsche.jpg
Gorals from Zakopane (1967)
Young Gorals of the Beskid Mountains (Zywiec) Grojcowianie 15-08-2016.jpg
Young Gorals of the Beskid Mountains (Żywiec)

The Gorals inhabit a number of regions collectively referred to as the "Goral lands" (Goral: Góralscýzno, Polish: Góralszczyzna) split between Poland, Slovakia and Czechia. In Poland, the community inhabits the geographical region of Podhale of the Tatra Mountains and parts of the Beskids (Cieszyn Silesia, Silesian Beskids, Żywiec Beskids). [19] [20] [21] After 1945, some Górals from Bukovina and the Podhale regions found new homes in Lower Silesia in villages such as Krajanów, Czarny Bór, and Borówna in the Central Sudete Mountains, as well as Złotnik, Brzeźnica and Lubomyśl in Lubusz Voivodeship.

In present-day Slovakia they live in 4 separate groups: in northern Spiš (34 villages subdivided into two groups), Orava and Kysuce (2 villages) and smaller groups in 7 other enclave villages in northern Slovakia.

The main settlements of Gorals include:

Language

The various dialects spoken by the Gorals descend from Proto-Indo-European, West Slavic, Lechitic and Eastern Romance languages. In particular, the language of Podhale, called the Podhale dialect (Polish : gwara podhalańska), is of Polish origin, but has been profoundly influenced by Slovak [22] in recent centuries. It is a subdialect of the Lesser Polish dialect cluster. In addition to Polish, the language contains some vocabulary of uncertain origin that have cognates in other languages of the Carpathian region.

The Podhale dialect is the de facto standard literary Goral dialect due to Podhale being the most famously known region however, the majority of Gorals speak closely related dialects. Gorals themselves rarely differentiate between their dialects and just refer to them as Górolski. [23]

The Polish dialects spoken by the Gorals share linguistic features with neighboring languages spoken by the Carpathian highlanders to the east, especially the Rusyn language of the Hutsuls, Lemkos, and Boykos.

Jabłonkowanie, a phonological feature similar to mazurzenie, occurs in some Silesian dialects. 14th- and 15th-century palatal consonant pronunciation features (called "Podhale archaisms") are preserved in the Podhale dialect. [24] [ not specific enough to verify ] K. Dobroslowski asserted that the Podhale dialect had loan-words from Romanian and Albanian (1938), as well as similar belief system elements, music and material culture. [25]

National identity

Gorals of Podhale, Zakopane "A Goral Wedding" at Dom Ludowy Theatre.jpg
Gorals of Podhale, Zakopane
Goral from Zakopane (1938) Goralka-Zakopane-17.07.1938.jpg
Goral from Zakopane (1938)

For most Gorals today, the decisive factor in their self-identification with nationality is not ethnic but territorial.[ citation needed ] For example, those living in areas under a long tradition of belonging to the Polish state identify themselves as Polish,[ citation needed ] while those living in Slovakia have identified themselves as Slovaks,[ citation needed ] with notable exceptions to this rule on both sides of the border. While the origin of the Goral dialect is Polish, [26] the language of Gorals in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic is gradually shifting and increasingly becoming more similar to the literary standard in their respective countries. Silesian Gorals of the Czech Republic identify themselves on the nationality level as Poles and are members of the Polish minority in Zaolzie, which is proved by their communal activity: the annual Gorolski Święto festival held in Jablunkov (Jabłonków) is a showcase of a local Polish Goral traditions and is organized by the PZKO (Polish Cultural and Educational Union). This Goral festival preserves the traditions of the Polish nationality group in Zaolzie. [27] It is the largest cultural and folklore festival in Zaolzie gathering thousands of spectators each day of festivities.

However, the Poles do not form a majority in any of the towns and villages of the area, and some local Gorals identify themselves on the nationality level as Czechs. In this respect, the village of Hrčava (the second easternmost village in the Czech Republic), with the vast majority of citizens declaring Czech nationality, can be noted. In this village, the Poles form only a 2% minority. [28] Local Gorals formed (as indigenous people) a majority in the past. They speak the regional Cieszyn Silesian dialect in everyday communication.

Historically, the issue of their ethnic identity has been controversial and resulted in claims and counterclaims by both Poland and Czechoslovakia. Gorals, like many other peasant communities in Central Europe, determined their own ethnic identities within the nation-state system during the 19th and early 20th century. [29] Although nationalist propaganda was generated by both Poles and Slovaks, this process of the Gorals' identification with a nationality was still not complete when the border was finalized in 1924. A notable example was Ferdynand Machay, a priest born in Jabłonka, Orava, Piotr Borowy from Rabča, Orava and Wojciech Halczyn from Lendak, Spiš, who went to the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and, during a personal audience, lobbied U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to sign these lands over to Poland.

Currently, there is an ongoing national revival for Goral culture and identity. In Slovakia, Gorals are in the process of gaining autonomous recognition in Slovakia. [30]

The Gorals have a similar belief system elements, music and material culture as that of the Vlachs and related groups (e.g. Moravian Vlachs), from whom it has been argued they originate. [31] [ page needed ] Carleton S. Coon grouped Gorals with the Hutsuls, who dwelled in what was then the southeastern corner of Poland and is now southwestern Ukraine. [32] In the 19th century, Polish scholars viewed the Gorals as linguistically close to the Poles, but having close ties with Slovak folk culture. [33] It was noted that Gorals' social and economic life resembled that of Vlach shepherd culture. [33]

Culture

Architecture

Traditional Goral wooden house (drzewionka) near Filipka mountain meadow in Silesian Beskids. Gorolsko drzewionka.jpg
Traditional Goral wooden house (drzewiónka) near Filipka mountain meadow in Silesian Beskids.

The Zakopane Style architecture, established at the end of the 19th century, is held as a Goral tradition. The architectural style draws on local architecture and Vernacular architecture of the Carpathians, and is widespread in the Podhale region.

Music

Gorol men's choir from Jablunkov (Jablonkow) during the parade at the beginning of the Jubileuszowy Festiwal PZKO 2007 in Karvina (Karwina). Festiwal pzko 1078.jpg
Gorol men's choir from Jablunkov (Jabłonków) during the parade at the beginning of the Jubileuszowy Festiwal PZKO 2007 in Karviná (Karwina).
Goral of Podhale - member of Trebunie-Tutki folk band from Zakopane 43. TKB - Trebunie-Tutki 07.JPG
Goral of Podhale – member of Trebunie-Tutki folk band from Zakopane

Zakopower is a popular folk-pop musical group from Zakopane. The Trebunie-Tutki folk musical group from Zakopane blend traditional Goral music with reggae.

Folk costume

Clasps

For centuries clasps have been an important element of Goral traditional costumes. Originally used for fastening shirts, they fell out of use when buttons became popular, remaining only as ornaments. In the early 20th century they were already rare, used only by senior and young shepherds, who grazed their sheep on mountain pastures. In the 1920s and the 1930s, they were considered collector's items and sought after by tourists. In Zakopane, they were often worn as ornaments for the "cucha" (outerwear), sweaters, or occasionally on leather bags. Today the clasps are a popular element of highlanders from the Podhale region, but the way they are worn differs from the original one: instead of fastening shirts they are usually attached to them or sewed on. [34]

Parzenica (embroidery)

The parzenica embroidery dates back to the mid-19th century. Initially, they were simple string loops, used for reinforcing cuts in front of cloth trousers. They had practical functions and protected the cloth from fraying. The modern look parzenica got from those tailors who began using red or navy blue string, simultaneously increasing the number of loops. Later the appliqué design was replaced with embroidery. Using woollen yarn allowed the parzenica to become more colourful and eventually it became a stand-alone trouser ornamentation, developed by talented tailors and embroiderers. [35]

Corsets

In the second half of the 19th century, it became fashionable in the Podhale region to adorn corsets with depictions of thistle and edelweiss. These motifs were the most popular in the early 20th century. When "Kraków style" came into fashion, highlanders of the Podhale region began ornamenting the corsets with shiny sequins and glass beads. [36]

Other

In Cieszyn Silesia and northern Slovakia, the shepherd's axe and elements of the folk costume are termed Vlach (Polish : wałaska, wałaszczaki, Slovak : valaška). [37]

Goral folk costumes can be found in the National Museum of Ethnography in Warsaw, [38] [39] The Tatra Museum in Zakopane, the Ethnographic Museum of Kraków, and the City Museum of Żywiec.

Religion

Most Gorals are adherents of the Roman Catholic Church and are often noted for their staunch religiosity.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ludźmierz is of particular importance to the Gorals, being the oldest monument in the Podhale region. There are numerous cults connected to the church.

A notable portion of Gorals are Augsburg Confession Lutherans, who are clustered around the town of Wisła. This is the main centre of protestant Gorals, and it is the only city in Poland where Catholics are a minority. [40]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe that lies mostly within Poland, with small parts in Czechia and Germany. Its area is approximately 40,000 km2 (15,400 sq mi), and the population is estimated at around 8,000,000. Silesia is split into two main subregions, Lower Silesia in the west and Upper Silesia in the east. Silesia has a diverse culture, including architecture, costumes, cuisine, traditions, and the Silesian language.

Cieszyn Place in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Cieszyn is a border town in southern Poland on the east bank of the Olza River, and the administrative seat of Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship. The town has 34,513 inhabitants, and lies opposite Český Těšín in the Czech Republic. Both towns belong to the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia, and formerly as one town composed the capital of the Duchy of Cieszyn.

Żywiec Place in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Żywiec is a town on the River Soła in southern Poland with 31,194 inhabitants (2019). It is situated within the Silesian Voivodeship, near the Żywiec Lake and Żywiec Landscape Park, one of the eight protected areas in the voivodeship. Historically, the town has been part of the Lesser Poland region and is the capital of the Żywiecczyzna region, which is ethnically part of the Goral Lands.

Wisła Place in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Wisła is a town in Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland, with a population of about 11,132 (2019), near the border with Czech Republic. It is situated in the Silesian Beskids mountain range in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia and ethnic region of the Silesian Gorals.Wisła is the Polish name for the Vistula River, which has its source in the mountains near the town. It is the only town in Poland with a majority Protestant population.

Ustroń Place in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

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Cieszyn Silesia Historical Region

Cieszyn Silesia, Těšín Silesia or Teschen Silesia is a historical region in south-eastern Silesia, centered on the towns of Cieszyn and Český Těšín and bisected by the Olza River. Since 1920 it has been divided between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic. It covers an area of about 2,280 square kilometres (880 sq mi) and has about 810,000 inhabitants, of which 1,002 square kilometres (387 sq mi) (44%) is in Poland, while 1,280 square kilometres (494 sq mi) (56%) is in the Czech Republic.

Beskids

The Beskids or Beskid Mountains are a series of mountain ranges in the Carpathians, stretching from the Czech Republic in the west along the border of Poland with Slovakia up to Ukraine in the east.

Podhale Region of meadows

Podhale is Poland's southernmost region, sometimes referred to as the "Polish Highlands". The Podhale is located in the foothills of the Tatra range of the Carpathian mountains. It is the most famous region of the Goral Lands which are a network of historical regions inhabited by Gorals.

Polish–Czechoslovak border conflicts Conflicts from 1918 to 1958

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Cieszyn Silesian dialect Silesian dialect spoken across the Polish-Czech border

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Jablunkov Town in Moravian-Silesian, Czech Republic

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Moravian Wallachia Ethnoregion of Czechia with a Romance history

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Goralenvolk

Goralenvolk was a geopolitical term invented by the German Nazis in World War II in reference to the Goral highlander population of Podhale region in the south of Poland near the Slovak border. The Germans postulated a separate nationality for people of that region in an effort to extract them from the Polish citizenry during their occupation of Poland's highlands. The term Goralenvolk was a neologism derived from the Polish word Górale commonly referring to the people living in the mountains. In order to attempt to make Gorals collaborate with the SS, the Nazis proclaimed that this group was descended from Germanic people and were thus worthy of Germanization and separate treatment from the Poles.

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Dialects of Polish Overview of dialects of the Polish language

Polish dialects are regional vernacular varieties of the Polish language.

Western Beskids

The Western Beskids are a set of mountain ranges spanning the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. Geologically the Western Beskids are part of the Outer Western Carpathians.

National costumes of Poland National costumes of Poland vary by region.

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Lesser Poland dialect Dialect of the Polish language

The Lesser Polish dialect is a cluster of regional varieties of the Polish language around the Lesser Poland historical region. The exact area is difficult to delineate due to the expansion of its features and the existence of transitional subdialects.

Cieszyn Vlachs

The Cieszyn Vlachs are a Polish ethnographic group living around the towns of Cieszyn and Skoczów, one of the four major ethnographic groups in Cieszyn Silesia, the one mostly associated with wearing Cieszyn folk costume but not the only one speaking Cieszyn Silesian dialect. The name, identical to Vlachs, is probably not directly associated with that group but was coined by adjacent groups as a nickname.

Silesian Gorals

Silesian Gorals are an ethnographic group living in Silesian Beskids and Moravian-Silesian Beskids within historical region of Cieszyn Silesia. They are one of the four major ethnographic groups of Cieszyn Silesia.

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