poland maine

LietPol Week To Be Held 12 February - 18 February

Mark your calendars! 

The dates have been decided! Mun apologizes for the delay. LietPol Week will be held on 12 February - 18 February 2017. Here are the days and prompts listed below!

Day 1 - 12 February: Fantasy

Day 2 - 13 February: Lost

Day 3 - 14 February: Commonwealth

Day 4 - 15 February: Friends

Day 5 - 16 February: Birthday

Day 6 - 17 February: Dreams

Day 7 - 18 February: Comfort

The requirements are simple:

  • Follow this blog for everything LietPol Week related.
  • Any type of creative outlet is allowed.
  • It can be as NSFW or SFW as you would like, but please tag it as NSFW if it is.
  • It doesn’t have to be romantic! It can just be friendship.
  • Any form of LietPol is okay! It can be male Lithuania/male Poland, male Lithuania/female Poland, female Lithuania/female Poland, nonbinary Lithuania/Poland, anything! As long as it contains LietPol, it’s good!
  • Background pairings are allowed but please keep Lithuania and Poland as the main focus.
  • Please tag your artwork with #lietpolweek so we can see it and reblog it!

rideswraptors  asked:

I was wondering if you know of any books in English or documentaries (any language) that go into detail on pre-christian Polish customs and religion?

Hello there, and sorry for a late response!

I do know of some books, however didn’t have any occasion to read anything beside a few things available online on that topic in English so far. Such books aren’t that easily available here in Poland, and my main resources are naturally in Polish - here’s a growing list of them (combining various other topics as well) which I’m updating from time to time, with focus on links to books that are available legally in various Polish online libraries.

To be honest, that is a recurring question and I’d really love to prepare a similar list of resources in English eventually - maybe someone reading this has something valuable to recommend? :)

(a bit of general history/background informations right below, so in case you don’t want to read it, just scroll down for a ‘startup list’ of English books and articles that I frequently see are being recommended)

Another detail is the problematic nature of the topic. You might already know that there are basically no original resources about the old-Slavic faith before the arrival of Christianity on the Polish lands. It’s literally impossible to go really deep into detail about the authentic pre-Christian faith from here. We are just still not sure how it looked like, unnless some forgotten chronicle would be discovered.

In a way, we’re among the most enigmatic Slavic countries in this matter. Way too much of the informations were lost on the course of our complicated history.

Theoretically, the closest relatives/neighbours to the old Polish tribes (thinking about the tribe of Polans in particular) were the extinct Polabians and Pomeranians about whom we know much more than about the early Poles. Informations about those tribes were left in medieval German and Danish chronicles. The main canonical ‘trio’ are “Chronica Slavorum”, “Thietmar’s Chronicle” and “Gesta Danorum”, and I highly recommend to check them out for the little bits of authentic paragraphs about the Western Slavic customs and gods (even if some lines might be biased due to the authors being Christian and looking at the Slavs as pagans). I remember seeing English translations of a few interesting chapters online. Meanwhile, the Polish manuscripts we know of were written many centuries after the official introduction of the then-new religion, and the informations written in them are only small mentions, still analyzed nowadays.

On the other hand, there are quite a lot of resources concerning the remnants of old customs and faith within the Polish folklore (18th and 19th-century ethnographers are golden in that matter). I mentioned it already on my blog: many people doesn’t know that the last less or more authentic ‘pagan’ customs/rites were noted on the Polish countryside as late as the early 20th century! A lot of customs of confirmed pre-Christian origins are widely celebrated in Poland also nowadays. Of course, these spheres of knowledge require lots of reading in a wider perspective and with an open mind, where lots of mentions of Christianity appear because these are the customs that were being gradually syncretized to some bigger or smaller extent.

I know that many people are not fond of reading about the folklore and are looking rather for straight-up informations about the Slavic Faith, but I assure you that it is sometimes a valuable read when you know what you’re looking for. Literally, there are rites and traditions where it’s enough to replace the name of the Christian God, the Holy Mary or a Saint with a name of an old-Slavic Deity.

To summarize it shortly, what we know about comes mainly from the knowledge about old rural customs and tales, from bits of informations from manuscripts which were rather late year-wise, and of course from comparative studies of resources about the other Slavic countries.

If you look for informations about the Old Polish Faith, it’s no mistake to turn into resources from other countries as well and to general informations about Rodnovery - everything shares similarities and could be traced to an old common Slavic core (be of course vary of details that are clearly described as coming from other specific countries).

Also, don’t forget about archaeology where some descriptions of old-Polish/Slavic places of worship, symbolical decorations, can be found. These are spread around, and once I started collecting valuable bits on a side blog @west-slavs

Polish folk legends and fairy tales are nice for side-reading too :)

For a start I might put below some titles (books and articles) that I saw being recommended, or stumbled across online. Various approaches, from archaeology to folklore:

  1. Andrzej Buko: The Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland. Discoveries - Hypotheses - Interpretations
  2. Leszek Pawel Słupecki: Slavonic Pagan Sanctuaries
  3. Marija Gimbutas: The Slavs
  4. Kamil Kajkowski: Islands as symbolic centres of the Early Medieval settlement patterns in Middle Pomerania (Northern Poland) [online on sms.zrc-sazu.si - pdf format]
  5. Kamil Kajkowski: The Boar in the symbolic and religious system of Baltic Slavs in the Early Middle Ages [online on sms.zrc-sazu.si - pdf format]
  6. Kamil Kajkowski: Slavic Journeys to the Otherworld. Remarks on the Eschatology of Early Medieval Pomeranians [online on sms.zrc-sazu.si - pdf format]
  7. Kamil Kajkowski, Paweł Szczepanik: The multi-faced so-called miniature idols from the Baltic Sea area [online on sms.zrc-sazu.si - pdf format] 
  8. Leszek Paweł Słupecki: The Krakus’ and Wanda’s Burial Mounds of Cracow [online on sms.zrc-sazu.si - pdf format]
  9. Dominika Czop: Structure of the universein the Norse and Slavic beliefs [online on academia.eu]
  10. Roman Zaroff: The Origins of Sventovit of Rügen [online on sms.zrc-sazu.si - pdf format] 
  11. Urszula Lehr: The transcendental side of life. Aquatic demons in Polish folklore [online on folklore.ee - pdf format]
  12. Michael Ostling: Between the Devil and the Host. Imagining Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland
  13. Anna Brzozowska-Krajka: Coexistence or Conflict? The Problem of Dual Belief in Polish Folklore [online on journals.ku.edu]
  14. Elwira Grossman: Studies in Language, Literature, and Cultural Mythology in Poland: Investigating the Other (Slavic Studies, V. 7)
  15. Anna Chrypinski: Polish Customs
  16. Anna Czekanowska: Polish Folk Music: Slavonic Heritage - Polish Tradition - Contemporary Trends
  17. Joanne Asala: Polish Folklore and Myth
  18. Sophie Hodorowicz Knab: Polish Traditions, Customs, and Folklore 
  19. Sophie Hodorowicz Knab: Polish Herbs, Flowers & Folk Medicine
  20. Włodzimierz Piątkowski, Anita Majchrowska: Health, illness and dying in Polish folk medicine [online on progress.umb.edu.pl - pdf format]
  21. Włodzimierz Piątkowski, Anita Majchrowska: Unconventional therapists and their patients in Polish traditional folk medicine [online on degruyter.com]
  22. Anna Lubecka: Polish ritual year – a reflection of Polish cultural policy [online on folklore.ee - pdf format]
  23. Traditional design of the Lublin region - popular motifs (article prepared by organization Warsztaty Kultury for a project Patterns of Europe, available on the project’s website)

I need to check out my bookmarks and look for more, and will try to prepare a separate list similar to the one with resources in Polish!

If anyone reading this would like to share good books and articles in English or some documentaries focusing specifically on Poland (and also as analysis on the Polabians or Pomeranians) I’d be more than happy to see and collect as many good recommendations as possible :)

LietPol Week
February 15 - February 21

Hear ye! Hear ye! Come one, come all for Tumblr’s first ever LietPol Week! To celebrate our favorite Pole and Lithuanian, this entire week shall be filled with fanart, fanfic, fsts, musical compositions, anything you would like to show your love for this pairing. It shall be the week of Sunday February 15 - Saturday February 21. The prompts for each day are:

February 15 - Day 1: Kissing

February 16 - Day 2: Lithuania’s Birthday

February 17 - Day 3: The Commonwealth

February 18 - Day 4: Tears

February 19 - Day 5: Awkward

February 20 - Day 6: Riding

February 21 - Day 7: Peace

The requirements are very simple:

  • Follow this blog for everything LietPol Week related. (You do not have to follow my main!)
  • Any type of creative outlet is allowed.
  • It can be as NSFW or SFW as you would like.
  • If you can only do art for a few or only one of the days, it’s okay! 
  • It doesn’t have to be romantic! It can just be friendship.
  • It also doesn’t have to be male Lithuania/male Poland. It can be male Lithuania/female Poland, female Lithuania/female Poland, nonbinary Lithuania/Poland, anything! As long as it contains LietPol, it’s good!
  • Background pairings are allowed but please keep Lithuania and Poland as the main focus.
  • Please tag your artwork with #lietpolweek so we can see it and reblog it!

Have fun!