A tribe after all? The problem of Slovincians’ identity in an anthropological approach Cover Image

A tribe after all? The problem of Slovincians’ identity in an anthropological approach
A tribe after all? The problem of Slovincians’ identity in an anthropological approach

Author(s): Mariusz Filip
Subject(s): History, Anthropology, Cultural history, Ethnohistory, 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: Slovincians; Kashubians; tribe; tribalization; fiction; identity;

Summary/Abstract: The question about the (non)existence of Slovincians has been one of the more intriguing issues in Slavic studies. Slovincians, discovered initially as an “ethnic group” (Hilferding, 1862), was 130 years later rejected as a “fiction” (Szultka, 1992). Assimilating the lessons of the epistemological turn, which suggests shifting the emphasis from “whether” to “how” does anything exist, I critically examine the foundations and significance of the argument that there never was any “ethnic group” of Slovincians (in modern period) since there was no such a tribe in early medieval times. In the first part of the paper, I reveal that Szultka’s claim is supported by very limited evidence following the conceptually limited (“archaeological”) naturalist notion of tribe. In the second part, after familiarizing the reader with an antinaturalist anthropological notion of tribes as “secondary phenomena”, I seek to demonstrate that in the course of history, the Slovincians were constantly tribalized on the material and symbolic level by the Germans and the Poles (and some other actors of Slavic identity). Even if to be a tribe does not entail to be an ethnic group, Slovincians may be a fiction only in terms of social construction or making of.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 2(24)
  • Page Range: 145-168
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: English