Online Encyclopedia

KASHUBES (sing. Kaszub, plur. Kaszebe)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 693 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KASHUBES (sing. Kaszub, plur. Kaszebe), a Slavonic people numbering about 200,000, and living on the borders of West Prussia and Pomerania, along the Baltic coast between Danzig and Lake Garden, and inland as far as Konitz. They have no literature and no history, as they consist of peasants and fisher-men, the educated classes being mostly Germans or Poles. Their language has been held to be but a dialect of Polish, but it seems better to separate it, as in some points it is quite independent, in some it offers a resemblance to the language of the Polabs (q.v.). This is most seen in the western dialect of the so-called Slovinci (of whom there are about 250 left) and Kabatki, whereas the eastern Kashube is more like Polish, which is encroaching upon and assimilating it. Lorentz calls the western dialect a language, and distinguishes 38 vowels. The chief points of Kashube as against Polish are that all its vowels can be nasal instead of a and e only, that it has preserved quantity and a free accent, has developed several special vowels, e. g. o, iv, u, and has preserved the original order, e.g. gard as against grod. The consonants are very like Polish. (See also Slows.)
End of Article: KASHUBES (sing. Kaszub, plur. Kaszebe)
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Additional information and Comments

"No literature"!!!???? "no history" !!!!???? Whoever wrote this should refer to "Historia Kaszubów" Gerard Labuda. Professor Labuda died before he finished his work and only volume 1 on Middle Ages is available (MIDDLE AGES - that should give you an idea how old their history is) but there are plenty of other sources. Any history of the Pomeranian region would include Kashubian history. And literature - For centuries the Kashubian language has survived between two dominant languages, German and Polish. Never studied at schools, pushed into the status of 'second rate' language, spoken at home only by supposedly uneducated people, it has survived in the oral form, creating a rich output of legends, tales, and beliefs (I recommend here looking through seven volumes of Bernard Sychta's dictionary). True, it has been only in the last hundred fifty years that literature in the written form developed. But it did develop and I refer here to the works of Hieronim Derdowski, Aleksander Majkowski, Jan Karnowski, Leon Heyke, Franciszek Sędzicki, Anna Łajming, Jan Drzeżdżon, to name just a few.
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