the spirit of the carpathian highlanders - presentation for western pennsylvania Slovak cultural association
Randy Legersky gave a presentation on Monday, April 1, 2019 at the monthly meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Slovak Cultural Association (WPSCA) at the Mount Lebanon Public Library. The lecture, based on a presentation created by educator Andrjez Suszka of Koniakow, Poland, explored the origin and roots of the Carpathian Highlanders in the mountains of Slovakia and the Czech Republic along with Poland, Ukraine and Romania.
In addition to delving into antiquity to explore the Dacians and Daco-Romans that originally inhabited the Carpathian Mountain ranges, the information covered the migration routes and settlements of Vlach (Romanian and Aromanian) shepherds and military henchmen from the 13th to the 17th centuries and how these settlers mixed with the surrounding Slavic populations in mostly secluded mountain villages. This led to a unique ethnic minority of highlanders in enclaves of the mountains, each with their unique dialects, variations on the traditional culture and pastoral way of life with an underlying Daco-Roman (Romanian) material culture and traditions tying them together.
Photos and information in the slide show were complimented by clips from these video trailers and movies listed below. Some of the entire original format of the films are linked here, if available:
Part of the presentation focused on the history and the traditional customs, culture and way of life of the highlanders, or "Gorals," in the Beskid Mountain Ranges of Ciezyn and Silesia, Poland, as well as in the Ksycuce region of Slovakia. This region was linked to the Pohoreala, Liptov and Orava regions of Slovakia by Vlach settlers who were brought from those regions to the border area of Slovakia, Czech and Poland in the mid-1600s to defend it.
Two books and a CD about this region where Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland meet were displayed and made available to the pubic at the low cost of 10.00 USD per order to cover shipping and handling for all the material. Both books, in Polish, are written or co-written by Ewa Cudzich, ethnologist and cultural scientist from Istebna, Poland: From the Perspective of the Borderland - in the World of Micro-History of Beskid Highlanders and Gajdy Up Close - Technique and Repertoire (book and CD).
Please contact Randy Legersky to order copies of the books and compact disc for the low cost of $10.00 COD to cover shipping and handling from Poland. Delivery takes about 3 months due to customs. The publications are in Polish, but full of great photos and diagrams on nearly every page. The CD features bagpipe music and poetry in the Beskid area's "po nasziymu" dialect.