Kashubians – Kaszëbi – are a West Slavic ethnic group, one of the biggest ethnic group in Poland. Kashubians are living in Gdańsk Pomerania, in north-central Poland.
Kashubians descend from the Slavic Pomeranian tribes and were first mentioned when Pope Gregor IX wrote about Bogislaw I dux Cassubie – the Duke of Kashubia in 1238. Kashubians never had their own country – through centuries they have been ruled by Germans, Poles, and even Swedes. Despite attempts by the Germans and the Poles, who have tried to assimilate the Kashubians, their culture survived and is still alive today.
An important part of Kashubian’s culture is their language. Kashubian is one of the Slavic languages, with major similarities to Polish and influence from Low German, Polabian and Old Prussian. One of characteristic folklore elements is Kaszëbsczé nótë – a traditional wedding song, which consists basic words and requires a illustrated board and allow to learn Kashubian pronunciation and names of everyday items.
Kashubians have their characteristic architecture, dances, regional costumes and folk crafts such as pottery, glasspainting or amber-working, but the most recognizable are Kashubian embroidery. It was started by the Norbertine sisters, around 1209. Motifs for Kashubian embroidery comes from nature – mostly from regional flowers. In traditional embroidery, all shapes are precisely matched and seven used colors have symbolic meaning. Things with characteristic, delicate pattern of blue flowers are one of the favorite polish souvenirs.