Who are the Kashubians?

Kashubians are descendants of the Slavic Pomeranian tribes, who had settled between the Oder and Vistula Rivers after the Migration Period, and were at various times Polish and Danish vassals. While most Slavic Pomeranians were assimilated during the medieval German settlement of Pomerania (Ostsiedlung), especially in the Pomeranian Southeast (Pomerelia) some kept and developed their customs and became known as Kashubians. The oldest known mention ofKashubia" dates from 19 March 1238 - Pope Gregor IX wrote about Bogislaw I dux Cassubie - the Duke of Kashubia. The old one dates from 13th century (a seal of Barnim I from the House of Pomerania, Duke of Pomerania-Stettin). The Dukes of Pomerania hence usedDuke of (the) Kashubia(ns)" in their titles, passing it to the Swedish Crown who succeeded in Swedish Pomerania when the House of Pomerania became extinct.

They speak Kashubian, classified either as a language or a Polish dialect. In analogy to the linguistic classification, Kashubians are considered either an ethnic or a linguistic group.

Among larger cities, Gdynia contains the largest proportion of people declaring Kashubian origin. However, the biggest city of the Kashubia region is Gdansk, the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the traditional capital of Kashubia. The traditional occupations of Kashubians were agriculture and fishing; today these are joined by the service and hospitality industry, and agrotourism especially in the so-called Kashubian Switzerland.

The main organization that maintains the Kashubian identity is the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association. The recently formedOdroda" is also dedicated to the renewal of Kashubian culture.