“The last of the Mohicans” of the native culture in “de-masurised” Masuria Cover Image

„Ostatni Mohikanie” rodzimej kultury na „zdemazuryzowanych” Mazurach
“The last of the Mohicans” of the native culture in “de-masurised” Masuria

Author(s): Jacek Poniedziałek
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Masurians; identity; native culture; regionalism; Evangelicalism

Summary/Abstract: The Masurians as an ethno-regional group have almost disappeared from the ethnic map of the world: their descendents now live in Germany in great numbers, while there are just a few thousand in their native Masuria. At the same time, the Masurians’ original culture spanning between Evangelism, the Polish dialect and culture, and German identity, is vanishing. Probably the last formally organized group of representatives of the local native population is the one active in the Masuria Evangelical Association (MEA). Its members’ main aim is to preserve and maintain their native culture, and thus saving it from complete eradication. The article presents some of the unique measures taken by the activists of MEA in a concrete response to the marginalization of the Masurians and their vanishing in the region due to Germanisation policies and, later Polonisation policies in Masuria which were introduced by force when necessary. Many attempts at establishing the institutional means to rescue the native Masuria identity, which to a large extent proved unsuccessful, are briefly described in the text. The activities of MEA, as an institution of a regionalist character, are shown both in the historical and contemporary contexts. The author also presents the tasks, forms and contents of the Association’s work, taking into account the ideological and practical perspectives of its efforts to support the Masurian population.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 40
  • Page Range: 197-217
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Polish