Filip, Mariusz. A tribe after all? The problem of Slovincians’ identity in an anthropological approach

Published Date:

For citation: Filip, Mariusz. A tribe after all? The Problem of Slovincians’ Identity in an Anthropological Approach, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2018. № 2. Pp. 145-168. DOI

Title of the article A tribe after all? The problem of Slovincians’ identity in an anthropological approach
Authors Filip, Mariusz — PhD in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; OrcID
In the section Disputatio / Discussion
Year 2018 Issue  2 Pages  145-168
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK  572; 28.71  Index
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.
Keywords Slovincians, Kashubians, tribe, tribalization, fiction, identity
Full text version of the article. Article language  English

Adamczyk, Dariusz. Od dirhemów do fenigów: Reorientacja bałtyckiego systemu handlowego na przełomie X i XI wieku [From dirhem to fenig. Reorientation of the Baltic system of trade at the turn of 10th and 11th century], in Średniowiecze Polskie i Powszechne. 2007. Vol. 4. Pp. 15–27. (in Polish).

Anton, Karl Gottlob. Erste Linien eines Versuches über die alten Slawen Ursprung, Sitten, Gebräuche, Meinungen und Kenntnisse [First Lines of an Essay on the Origin, Manners, Customs, Opinions, and Knowledge of the ancient Slavs]. Leipzig: Adam Friedrich Böhme Publ., 1783. 178 p. (in German).

Appadurai, Arjun. Putting hierarchy in its place, in Cultural Anthropology. 1988. Vol. 3. No. 1. Pp. 36–49.

Ardener, Edwin. Language, Ethnicity and Population, in Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford. 1972. Vol. 3. No. 3. Pp. 125–132.

Ardener, Edwin. Tożsamość i utożsamienie [Identity and Identification], in Mach, Zdzisław; Paluch, Andrzej K. (eds). Sytuacja mniejszościowa i tożsamość [Minority Situation and Identity]. Krakow: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego Press, 1992. Pp. 21–42. (in Polish).

Astuti, Rita. «The Vezo Are Not a Kind of People»: Identity, Difference, and Ethnicity among a Fishing People of Western Madagascar, in American Ethnologist. 1995. Vol. 22. No. 3. Pp. 464–482.

Barth, Fredrik (ed.). Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference. Bergen; Oslo: Universitetsforlaget Publ.; London: George Allen and Unwin Publ., 1969. 153 p.

Bernoulli, Johann. Reisen durch Brandenburg, Pommern, Preußen, Curland, Rußland und Pohlen, in den Jahren 1777 und 1778 [Travels through Brandenburg, Pomerania, Prussia, Courland, and Poland, in the years 1977 and 1778]. Leipzig: Caspar Fritsch Publ., 1779. 298 p. (in German).

Bhabha, Homi. Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse, in October. 1984. Vol. 28. Pp. 125–133.

Bolduan, Tadeusz. Losy społeczne i polityczne Słowińców w Klukach w latach 1945–1975. Próba oceny [The social and political fate of the Slovincians in Kluki over the years 1945–1975. An attempt of evaluation], in Treder, Jerzy (ed.). Studia kaszubsko-słowińskie. Materiały z II Konferencji Słowińskiej (Łeba 11–13.05.1992) [The Kaschubian-Slovincian Studies. Proceedings of the Second Slovincian Conference (Leba, May 11–15, 1992)]. Leba: Zrzeszenie Kaszubsko-Pomorskie Publ., 1992. Pp. 9–30. (in Polish).

Bourdieu, Pierre. What makes a social class? On the theoretical and practical existence of groups, in Berkeley Journal of Sociology. 1987. Vol. 32. Pp. 1–17.

Brüggeman, Ludewig Wilhelm. Ausführliche Beschreibung des gegenwärtigen Zustandes des Königl. Preußischen Herzogthums Vor- und Hinter-Pommern. Erster Theil welcher außer der allgemeinen Einleitung die Beschreibung des Preußischen Vorpommern enthält [Thorough Description of the Present Condition of the Royal Prussian Duchy of Hither and Farther Pomerania. The first part, which contains, besides the general introduction, the description of Prussian Hither Pomerania]. Stettin: H. G. Effenbart Publ., 1779. 276 p. (in German).

Buko, Andrzej. The Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland: Discoveries — Hypotheses — Interpretations. Leiden; Boston: Brill Publ., 2008. 475 p.

Carsten, Janet. The Politics of Forgetting: Migration, Kinship and Memory on the Periphery of the Southeast Asian State, in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 1995. Vol. 1. No. 2. Pp. 317–335.

Cassirer, Ernst. An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books Publ., 1944. 294 p.

Cohen, Anthony P. The symbolic construction of community. London; New York: Routledge Publ., 1985. 128 p.

Connerton, Paul. Seven Types of Forgetting, in Memory Studies. 2008. Vol. 1. No. 1. Pp. 59–71.

Curta, Florin. The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region c. 500–700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 463 p.

Czarnik, Andrzej. Gardna Wielka. Słupsk: Pomorska Akademia Pedagogiczna Press, 2001. 202 p. (in Polish).

Dulichenko, Aleksandr Dmitrievich. K nezatukhayushchemu sporu o slovintsakh (eshche odin skromniy golos) [For the not-expiring dispute about Slovincians (another humble voice)], in Rocznik Gdański. 1995. Vol. 55. No. 1. Pp. 83–91. (in Russian).

Fabian, Johannes. Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes its Object. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983. 205 p.

Filip, Mariusz. Od Kaszubów do Niemców. Tożsamość Słowińców z perspektywy antropologii historii [From Kashubians to Germans. Slovincians’ Identity from the Perspective of the Anthropology of History]. Poznan: Wydawnictwo Nauka i Innowacje Publ., 2012. 237 p. (in Polish).

Frank, Andre Gunder. The Development of Underdevelopment, in Monthly Review. September, 1966. Vol. 18. No. 4. Pp. 17–31.

Frank, Erwin H. Etnicidad: contribuciones etnohistóricas a un concepto difícil [Ethnicity: The Ethnohistorical Contributions to a Difficult Concept], in Jorna, Peter; Malaver, Leonor; Oostra, Menno (eds). Etnohistoria del Amazonas [Ethnohistory of the Amazon]. Quito: Abya-Yala Publ., 1991. Pp. 63–81. (in Spanish).

Fried, Morton H. On the Concepts of «Tribe» and «Tribal Society», in Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1966. Vol. 28. No. 4. Pp. 527–540.

Geary, Patrick J. Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. 259 p.

Geertz, Clifford. Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture, in The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books Publ., 1973. Pp. 3–30.

Gow, Peter. «Ex-Cocama»: Transforming Identities in Peruvian Amazonia, in Fausto, Carlos; Heckenberger, Michael (eds). Time and Memory in Indigenous Amazonia: Anthropological Perspectives. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007. Pp. 194–215.

Hacking, Ian. The Social Construction of What? Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. 261 p.

Haken, [Christian Wilhelm]. Etwas von den Pommerschen Cassuben (…) zu Stolpe in Hinter-Pommern [Somewhat about the Pomeranian Kashubians (…) by Słupsk in Farther Pomerania], in Wöchentliche Nachrichten von neuen Landcharten, geographischen, statistischen und historischen Büchern und Sachen. 1779. Vol. 7. No. 24. June 14. Pp. 189–193. (in German).

Haken, [Christian Wilhelm]. Beschluß der Nachricht (…) von den Cassuben [Resolution of the Message (…) about Kashubians], in Wöchentliche Nachrichten von neuen Landcharten, geographischen, statistischen und historischen Büchern und Sachen. 1779. Vol. 7. No. 25. June 21. Pp. 197–204. (in German).

Hastrup, Kirsten. Nature as Historical Space, in Folk. Journal of the Danish Ethnographic Society. 1989. Vol. 31. Pp. 5–20.

Hechter, Michael. Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development, 1536–1966. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975. 361 p.

Herder, Johann Gottfried. J. G. Herder on Social and Political Culture. Ed. by Barnard, Frederick M. London: Cambridge University Press, 1969. 329 p.

Hilferding, Aleksander. Ostatki Słowian na południowym brzegu Bałtyckiego Morza [The Last Remnants of the Slavs on the Southern Coast of the Baltic], in Kolberg, Oskar (ed.). Pomorze [Pomerania]. Krakow: Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Publ.; Warszawa: Ludowa Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza Publ., 1965. Pp. 311–452. (in Polish).

Hilferding, Aleksandr Fyodorovich. Ostatki slavyan na yuzhnom beregu Baltiyskogo morya [The Last Remnants of the Slavs on the Southern Coast of the Baltic]. St. Petersburg: Imperatorskoe Russkoe geograficheskoe obshhestvo Publ., 1862. 191 p. (in Russian).

Hinze, Friedhelm. Slovinzische Fischzugnamen von Garder See in Hinterpommern. Nachleben und Etymologie slovinzische Namen [Slovincian names for fishing plots of the Lake Gardno in Farther Pomerania. The Afterlife and Etymology of Slovincian Names], in Zeitschrift für Slawistik. 1970. Vol. 15. No. 3. Pp. 386–392. (in German).

Hirsch, Eric; Stewart, Charles. Introduction: Ethnographies of Historicity, in History and Anthropology. 2005. Vol. 16. No. 3. Pp. 261–274.

Knoop, Otto. Etwas von den Kaschuben [Somewhat about the Kashubians], in Unsere Heimat. Beilage zur Kösliner Zeitung. 1925. No. 1 (January 31), no. 2 (February 21), no. 4 (March 28), no. 6 (April 27). (in German).

Koblischke, Julius. Der Name «Slovinzen» [ The Name «Slovincians»], in Mitteilungen des Vereins für Kaschubische Volkskunde. 1908. Vol. 1. No. 1. Pp. 12–14. (in German).

Kroeber, Alfred L. Nature of the land-holding group, in Ethnohistory. 1955. Vol. 2. Pp. 303–314.

Krofey, Szyman. Duchowne piesnie D. Marcina Luthera y ynßich naboznich męzow. Zniemieckiego w Slawięsky ięzik wilozone [Spiritual Songs by Dr. Martin Luther and Other Pious Christians. From German to the Slavic language translated]. Gdańsk, 1586. 158 p. (in Kashubian & Polish).

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. The Elementary Structures of Kinship. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969. 541 p.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Tristes tropiques. New York: Criterion Books Publ., 1961. 404 p.

Linnekin, Jocelyn; Poyer, Lin (eds). Cultural Identity and Ethnicity in the Pacific. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990. 323 p.

Lorek, Gottlieb Leberecht. Charakterystyka Kaszubów znad Łeby. Z rysunkami kaszubskich strojów ludowych / Zur Charakteristik der Kassuben am Leba-Strome. Mit einer Abbildung kassubischer Volkstrachten [To the characteristics of the Kashubians on the Łeba river. With picture of Kashubian folk costumes], in Borzyszkowski, Józef (ed.). Niemcy o Kaszubach w XIX wieku. Obraz Kaszubów w pracach G. L. Lorka, W. Seidla i F. Tetznera / Deutsche Berichte über die Kaschuben im 19. Jahrhundert. Das Bild der Kaschuben in den Abhandlungen von G. L. Lorek, W. Seidel und F. Tetzner [German reports on the Kashubians in the 19th century. The picture of the Kashubians in the treatises of G. L. Lorek, W. Seidel und F. Tetzner]. Gdańsk: Instytut Kaszubski Press, 2009. Pp. 37–78, 83–126. (in Polish & German).

Lorentz, Friedrich. Nochmals der Name «Slovinzen» [Once more the Name «Slovincians»], in Mitteilungen des Vereins für kaschubische Volkskunde. 1908. Vol. 1. No. 1. Pp. 14–16. (in German).

Lowenthal, David. The Past is a Foreign Country. Cambridge: University Press, 1985. 489 p.

Lozoviuk, Petr. The Problems of the Issue of «Ethnic Indifference» in the Czech Language Milieu, in Uherek, Zdeněk (ed.). Ethnic studies and the urbanized space in social anthropological reflections. Praha: Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Press, 1998. Pp. 41–47.

Morgan, Lewis H. Ancient Society. Or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization. Chicago: C. H. Kerr Publ., 1877. 570 p.

Nowak, Oskar; Liczbińska, Grażyna; Piontek, Janusz. Opportunity for the Operation of Natural Selection in a Contemporary Local Population (The Case of Slovincians, Poland), in Advances in Anthropology. 2013. Vol. 3. No. 3. Pp. 121–126.

Obrębski, Józef. Problem grup etnicznych w etnologji i jego socjologiczne ujęcie [Problem of Ethnic Groups in Ethnology and its Sociological Interpretation], in Przegląd Socjologiczny. 1936. Vol. 4. Pp. 177–195. (in Polish).

Pontanus [=Brüggeman(n), Michael]. Parvus Catechismus D. Martini Lvtheri Germanica – Vandalicus = Der kleine Catechißmus D. Martini Lutheri / Deutsch vnnd Wendisch gegen einander gesetzt. Mit anhange der Sieben Bußpsalmen König DAVIDS = Mały Catechism D Marciná Lutherá Niemiecko Wándalski ábo Słowięski [The Small Cathechism by Dr. Martin Luther German Vandalic or Slavic]. Gdansk: Jerzy Rhet Publ., 1643. 68 p. (in Kashubian & Polish).

Rybicki, Hieronim. Nazywano ich Słowińcami [They Were Called Slovincians]. Slupsk: Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna Publ., 1995. 278 p. (in Polish).

Rybicki, Hieronim. Nazywano ich Słowińcami. Cz. 2. Wybór źródeł [They Were Called Slovincians. Part II: The Chosen Sources]. Gdansk: Instytut Kaszubski Press; Wejherowo: Muzeum Piśmiennictwa i Muzyki Kaszubsko-Pomorskiej Publ., 2003. 262 p. (in Polish).

Sahlins, Marshall D. Islands of History. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press, 1985. 180 p.

Sahlins, Marshall D. The Original Affluent Society, in Stone Age Economics. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton Publ., 1972. Pp. 1–39.

Sahlins, Marshall D.; Service, Elman R. (eds). Evolution and Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1960. 131 p.

Scott, James C. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1985. 389 p.

Shirokogoroff, Sergei Mikhailovich. Psychomental complex of the Tungus. London: Kegan Paul Publ., 1935. 469 p.

Ślaski, Kazimierz. Dzieje ziemi kołobrzeskiej do czasów jej germanizacji [History of the Kołobrzeg Land until its Germanization]. Torun: Towarzystwo Naukowe Publ., 1948. 116 p. (in Polish).

Stelmachowska, Bożena. Słowińcy i ich kultura [The Slovincians and their Culture]. Poznan: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie Publ.; Slupsk: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne Publ., 1963. 153 p. (in Polish).

Szultka, Zygmunt. Studia nad rodowodem i językiem Kaszubów [Studies on the Ancestry and Language of the Kashubians]. Gdansk: Muzeum Piśmiennictwa i Muzyki Kaszubsko-Pomorskiej w Wejherowie Publ., 1992. 187 p. (in Polish).

Taussig, Michael. Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses. New York: Routledge Publ., 1993. 299 p.

Tonkin, Elizabeth; McDonald, Maryon; Chapman, Malcolm (eds). History and Ethnicity. London: Routledge Publ., 1989. 240 p.

Treder, Jerzy. Komu może przeszkadzać etnonim Słowińcy? [Who might be disturbed by the ethnonym Slovincians?], in Czarnik, Andrzej (ed.). Obrazy Ziemi Słupskiej. Społeczeństwo — administracja — kultura. Materiały z VII Konferencji Kaszubsko-Pomorskiej, Słupsk 5–6 grudnia 2002 [Images of the Słupsk Land. Society administration culture. Proceedings of the Eighth Kashubian-Pomeranian Conference, Słupsk, December 5–6, 2002]. Slupsk: Starostwo Powiatowe Publ., 2003. Pp. 59–70. (in Polish).

Wachowiak, Bogdan (ed.). Źródła do kaszubsko-polskich aspektów dziejów Pomorza Zachodniego do roku 1945 [Sources for Kashubian-Polish Aspects of the History of Western Pomerania until 1945]. Vol. I: Pomorze Zachodnie pod rządami książąt plemiennych i władców z dynastii Gryfitów (990–1121–1637–1648/1653) [Western Pomerania under the Rule of Tribal Princes and Dukes of the Griffin Dynasty (990–1121–1637–1648/1653)]; Vol. II: Pomorze Zachodnie w państwie brandenbursko-pruskim (1653–1815) [Western Pomerania in the Brandenburg-Prussian State (1653–1815)]. Szultka, Zygmunt (pub.). Poznan: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie Publ.; Gdansk: Zrzeszenie Kaszubsko-Pomorskie Publ., 2006. 745 p.; 580 p. (in Polish).

Wachtel, Nathan. Men of the Water: The Uru Problem (Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries), in Murra, John V.; Wachtel, Nathan; Revel, Jacques (eds). Anthropological History of Andean Polities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Pp. 283–310.

Wagner, Roy. Are there Social Groups in the New Guinea Highlands?, in Leaf, Murray J. (ed.). Frontiers of Anthropology: An Introduction to Anthropological Thinking. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Publ., 1974. Pp. 95–122.

White, Hayden. Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. 448 p.

Whitehead, Neil L. Tribes Make States and States Make Tribes: Warfare and the Creation of Colonial Tribes and States in Northeastern South America, in Ferguson, R. Brian; Whitehead, Neil L. (eds). War in the tribal zone: Expanding states and indigenous warfare. Santa Fe; New Mexico: School of American Research Press, 1992. Pp. 127–150.

Wimmer, Andreas. Herder’s Heritage and the Boundary-Making Approach: Studying Ethnicity in Immigrant Societies, in Sociological Theory. 2009. Vol. 27. No. 3. Pp. 244–270.

Wobeser, [Peter H.]. Etwas von dem Wohnsitz der Cassuben in Pommern [Somewhat about the residence of the Kashubians in Pomerania], in Wöchentliche Nachrichten von neuen Landcharten, geographischen, statistischen und historischen Büchern und Sachen. 1779. Vol. 7. No. 23. June 7. Pp. 182–183 (in German).

Wolf, Eric R. Europe and the people without history. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982. 503 p.