OriginsSlavs have been in the territory of modern-day Poland for over 1500 years. They organized into Tribe, tribal units, of which the larger ones were later known as the Polish tribes; the names of many tribes are found on the list compiled by the anonymous Bavarian Geographer in the 9th century. In the 9th and 10th centuries the tribes gave rise to developed regions along the upper Vistula (the Vistulans within the Great Moravian Empire sphere), the Baltic Sea coast and in Greater Poland. The last tribal undertaking resulted in the 10th century in a lasting political system, political structure and State (polity), state, , one of the West Slavic nations. The concept which has become known as the Piast Idea, the chief proponent of which was Jan Ludwik Popławski, is based on the statement that the Piast homeland was inhabited by so-called "native" aboriginal Slavs and Slavonic Poles since time immemorial and only later was "infiltrated" by "alien" Celts, Germans, Baltic peoples and others. After 1945 the so-called "autochthonous" or "aboriginal" school of Polish prehistory received official backing in Poland and a considerable degree of popular support. According to this view, the Lusatian Culture which archaeologists have identified between the Oder and the Vistula in the early Iron Age, is said to be Slavonic; all non-Slavonic tribes and peoples recorded in the area at various points in ancient times are dismissed as "migrants" and "visitors". This theory, according to some researchers, including Popławski, is confirmed by a large number of slavicism, slavic toponyms in the territory of modern Germany and Austria.Publikacje Jana Ludwika Popławskiego w serwisie Cyfrowa Biblioteka Myśli Narodowej
StatisticsPolish people are the sixth largest national group in the European Union. Estimates vary depending on source, though available data suggest a total number of around 60 million people worldwide (with roughly 18-20 million living outside of Poland, many of whom are not of Polish ethnicity, but Polish nationals). There are almost 38 million Poles in Poland alone. There are also Polish minorities in the surrounding countries and indigenous peoples, indigenous minorities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, northern and eastern Lithuania, western Ukraine, and western Belarus. There are some smaller indigenous minorities in nearby countries such as Moldova. There is also a Polish minority in Russia which includes indigenous Poles as well as those forcibly deported during and after World War II; the total number of Poles in what was the former Soviet Union is estimated at up to 3 million. The term " Polonia" is usually used in Poland to refer to people of Polish origin who live outside Polish borders, officially estimated at around 10 to 20 million. There is a notable Polish diaspora in the Polish American, United States, Polish Brazilian, Brazil, and Polish Canadians, Canada. France has a historic relationship with Poland and has a relatively large Polish-descendant population. Poles have lived in France since the 18th century. In the early 20th century, over a million Polish people settled in France, mostly during world wars, among them Polish émigrés fleeing either Occupation of Poland (1939–1945), Nazi occupation or later Polish People's Republic, Soviet rule. In the United States, a significant number of Polish immigrants settled in Chicago (billed as the world's most Polish city outside of Poland), Milwaukee, Ohio, Detroit, New Jersey, New York City, Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New York, Buffalo, and New England. The highest concentration of Polish Americans in a single New England municipality is in New Britain, Connecticut. The majority of Polish Canadians have arrived in Canada since World War II. The number of Polish immigrants increased between 1945 and 1970, and again after the End of Communism in Poland (1989), end of Communism in Poland in 1989. In Brazil, the majority of Polish immigrants settled in Paraná (state), Paraná State. Smaller, but significant numbers settled in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Espírito Santo and São Paulo (state). The city of Curitiba has the second largest Polish diaspora in the world (after Chicago) and Polish music, Polish cuisine, dishes and Polish culture, culture are quite common in the region. 21st century economic migration of Poles, A recent large migration of Poles took place following Poland's accession to the European Union in 2004 and with the opening of the EU's labor market; an approximate number of 2 million, primarily young, Poles taking up jobs abroad. It is estimated that over half a million Polish people have come to work in the United Kingdom from Poland. Since 2011, Poles have been able to Freedom of movement for workers, work freely throughout the EU and not just in the United Kingdom, but also countries like Ireland and Sweden where they have had full working rights since Poland's 2004 enlargement of the European Union, EU accession in 2004. The Polish community in Norway has increased substantially and has grown to a total number of 120,000, making Poles the largest immigrant group in Norway. Only in recent years has the population abroad decreased, specifically in the UK with 116.000 leaving the UK in 2018 alone.
CultureThe culture of Poland has a History of Poland, history of over 1000 years. Poland, located in Central Europe, developed a character that was influenced by its geography at the confluence of fellow Central European cultures (Austrian culture, Austrian, Czech culture, Czech, German culture, German, Hungarian culture, Hungarian, and Slovak culture, Slovak) as well as from Western European cultures (French culture, French, Spanish culture, Spanish and Culture of the Netherlands, Dutch), Southern European cultures (Italian culture, Italian and Greek culture, Greek), Northern Europe, Baltic/Northeastern cultures (Lithuanian culture, Lithuanian, Estonian culture, Estonian and Latvian culture, Latvian), Eastern European cultures (Belarusian culture, Belarusian and Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian) and Western Asian/Caucasus, Caucasian cultures (Turkish culture, Ottoman Turkish, Armenian culture, Armenian, and Georgian culture, Georgian). Influences were also conveyed by immigrants (Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, Jewish, German and Dutch), political alliances (with Lithuania, Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages, Hungary, Saxony, France and Sweden), eastern conquests by the Polish-Lithuanian state (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania and Latvia) and conquerors of the Polish lands (the Russian Empire, Kingdom of Prussia and the Habsburg monarchy, later to be known as the Austrian Empire or Austria-Hungary). Over time, Polish culture has been greatly influenced by its ties with the Germanic peoples, Germanic, Hungarians, Hungarian, and Latinate world and other ethnic groups and minorities living in .Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, 2002–2007
LanguageThe ( pl, język polski) is a West Slavic languages, West Slavic language of the Lechitic languages, Lechitic group and the official language of Poland. Its written form uses the Polish alphabet, which is the Latin alphabet with the addition of a few diacritic marks. Poland is the most linguistically homogeneous European country; nearly 97% of Poland's citizens declare Polish language, Polish as their mother tongue. Ethnic Poles constitute large minorities in Germany, northern Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Hungary, northeast Lithuania and western Belarus and Ukraine. Polish is the most widely used minority language in Lithuania's Vilnius County (26% of the population, according to the 2001 census results) and is found elsewhere in northeastern and western Lithuania. In Ukraine it is most common in the western Lviv and Volyn oblast (provinces), while in western Belarus it is used by the significant Polish minority, especially in the Brest, Belarus, Brest and Grodno regions and in areas along the Lithuanian border. The geographical distribution of the was greatly affected by the border changes and population transfers that followed World War II. Poles resettled in the "Recovered Territories" in the west and north. Some Poles remained in the previously Polish-ruled territories in the east that were annexed by the USSR, resulting in the present-day Polish-speaking minorities in Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, although many Poles were expelled or emigrated from those areas to areas within Poland's new borders. Meanwhile, the flight and expulsion of Germans, as well as the expulsion of Ukrainians and resettlement of Ukrainians within Poland, contributed to the country's linguistic homogeneity. Polish-speakers use the language in a uniform manner throughout most of Poland, though numerous languages and dialects coexist alongside the standard Polish language. The most common dialects in Poland are Silesian language, Silesian, spoken in Upper Silesia, and Kashubian language, Kashubian, widely spoken in historic Eastern Pomerania (Pomerelia), today in the northwestern part of Poland.
Science and technologyEducation has been of prime interest to Poland since the early 12th century. The catalog of the library of the Cathedral Chapter in Kraków dating from 1110 shows that Polish scholars already then had access to literature from all over Europe. In 1364 King Casimir III the Great founded the Kraków Academy, which would become Jagiellonian University, one of the great universities of Europe. The Polish people have made considerable contributions in the fields of science, technology and mathematics. The list of early famous scientists in Poland begins with the 13th-century Vitello and includes the polymath and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who formulated a Mathematical model, model of Celestial spheres#Renaissance, the universe that placed Heliocentrism, the Sun rather than the Earth at its center; the publication of Copernicus' book ''De revolutionibus orbium coelestium'' (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543 is considered a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making an important contribution to the Scientific Revolution. In 1773 King Stanisław August Poniatowski established the Commission of National Education, the world's first ministry of education. After the 1795 Partitions of Poland, third partition of Poland, no free Polish state existed. The 19th and 20th centuries saw many Polish scientists working abroad. The greatest was Maria Skłodowska Curie (1867–1934), a physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity and was the List of female Nobel laureates, first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to Nobel Prize#Multiple laureates, win twice, the only person to win twice in multiple sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of Nobel Prize#Family laureates, five Nobel Prizes. Another notable Polish expatriate scientist was Ignacy Domeyko (1802–89), a geologist and mineralogist who lived and worked in South America, in Chile. Kazimierz Funk (1884–1967), whose name is commonly English language, anglicized as "Casimir Funk", was a Polish Biochemistry, biochemist, generally credited with being among the first to formulate (in 1912) the concept of vitamins, which he called "vital amines" or "vitamines". According to NASA, Polish scientists were among the pioneers of rocketry. In the first half of the 20th century, Poland was a world center of mathematics. Outstanding Polish mathematicians formed the Lwów School of Mathematics (including Stefan Banach, Hugo Steinhaus, Stanisław Ulam) and Warsaw School of Mathematics (including Alfred Tarski, Kazimierz Kuratowski, Wacław Sierpiński). World War II pushed many of them into exile; Benoit Mandelbrot's family left Poland when he was still a child. An alumnus of the Warsaw School of Mathematics was Antoni Zygmund, a shaper of 20th-century mathematical analysis.
MusicThe origin of Polish music can be traced as far back as the 13th century, from which manuscripts have been found in Stary Sącz, containing polyphony, polyphonic compositions related to the Parisian Notre Dame School. Other early compositions, such as the melody of ''Bogurodzica'', may also date back to this period. The first known notable composer, however, Mikołaj z Radomia, lived in the 15th century. During the 16th century, mostly two musical groups—both based in Kraków and belonging to the King and Archbishop of Wawel—led the rapid innovation of Polish music. Composers writing during this period include Wacław of Szamotuły, Mikołaj Zieleński, and Mikołaj Gomółka. Diomedes Cato, a native-born Italian who lived in Kraków from about the age of five, became one of the most famous lutenists at the court of Sigismund III, and not only imported some of the musical styles from southern Europe, but blended them with native folk music.
17th–18th centuriesIn the last years of the 16th century and the first part of the 17th century, a number of Italian musicians were guests at the royal courts of King Sigismund III Vasa and his son Ladislaus IV of Poland, Władysław IV. These included Luca Marenzio, Giovanni Francesco Anerio, and Marco Scacchi. Polish composers from this period focused on baroque religious music, concertos for voices, instruments, and basso continuo, a tradition that continued into the 18th century. The best-remembered composer of this period is Adam Jarzębski, known for his instrumental works such as ''Chromatica'', ''Tamburetta'', ''Sentinella'', ''Bentrovata'', and ''Nova Casa''. Other composers include Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Franciszek Lilius, Bartłomiej Pękiel, Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński and Marcin Mielczewski. In addition, a tradition of operatic production began in Warsaw in 1628, with a performance of ''Galatea'' (composer uncertain), the first Italian opera produced outside Italy. Shortly after this performance, the court produced Francesca Caccini's opera ''La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d’Alcina'', which she had written for Prince Władysław IV, Władysław three years earlier when he was in Italy. Another first, this is the earliest surviving opera written by a woman. When Władysław became king (as Władysław IV) he oversaw the production of at least ten operas during the late 1630s and 1640s, making Warsaw a center of the art. The composers of these operas are not known: they may have been Poles working under Marco Scacchi in the royal chapel, or they may have been among the Italians imported by Władysław. The late 17th century and the 18th century saw Poland in sociopolitical decline, which hindered the development of music. Some composers (such as Jan Stefani and Maciej Kamieński) attempted to create a Polish opera; others imitated foreign composers such as Joseph Haydn, Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart. The most important development in this time, however, was the polonaise (dance), polonaise, perhaps the first distinctively Polish art music. Polonaises for piano were and remain popular, such as those by Michał Kleofas Ogiński, Karol Kurpiński, Juliusz Zarębski, Henryk Wieniawski, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Józef Elsner, and, most famously, Fryderyk Chopin. Chopin remains very well known, and is regarded for composing a wide variety of works, including mazurkas, nocturnes, waltzes and concertos, and using traditional Polish elements in his pieces. The same period saw Stanislaw Moniuszko, Stanisław Moniuszko, the leading individual in the successful development of Polish opera, still renowned for operas like ''Halka'' and ''The Haunted Manor''.
Traditional musicPolish folk music was collected in the 19th century by Oskar Kolberg, as part of a wave of Polish Romantic nationalism, national revival. With the coming of the world wars and then the Communist state, folk traditions were oppressed or subsumed into state-approved folk ensembles.''Ibidem'', p. 219. The most famous of the state ensembles are Mazowsze (folk group), Mazowsze and Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble, Śląsk, both of which still perform. Though these bands had a regional touch to their output, the overall sound was a homogenized mixture of Polish styles. There were more authentic state-supported groups, such as Slowianki, Słowianki, but the Communist sanitized image of folk music made the whole field seem unhip to young audiences, and many traditions dwindled rapidly. Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise (dance), polonaise, were popularized by Frédéric Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere. These are triple time dances, while five-beat forms are more common in the northeast and duple-time dances like the krakowiak come from the south. The polonaise comes from the French word for ''Polish'' to identify its origin among the Polish aristocracy and nobility, who had adapted the dance from a slower walking dance called ''chodzony''. The polonaise then re-entered the lower-class musical life, and became an integral part of Polish music.
LiteraturePolish literature is the literary tradition of Poland. Most Polish literature has been written in the Polish language, though other languages, used in Poland over the centuries, have also contributed to Polish literary traditions, including Latin, German, Yiddish, Ruthenian language, Ruthenian, Ukrainian language, Ukrainian, Belarusian language, Belarusian, Hungarian language, Hungarian, Slovak language, Slovak, Czech language, Czech, Lithuanian language, Lithuanian, and Esperanto.
Middle AgesAlmost nothing remains of Polish literature prior to the Baptism of Poland, country's Christianization in 966. Poland's pagan inhabitants certainly possessed an oral literature extending to Slavic songs, legends and beliefs, but early Christian writers did not deem it worthy of mention in the obligatory Latin, and so it has perished.Czesław Miłosz
RenaissanceWith the advent of the Renaissance, the Polish language was finally accepted in Poland on an equal footing with Latin. Polish art and culture flourished under the Jagiellonian Dynasty, and many foreign poets and writers settled in Poland, bringing new literary trends with them. These writers included Kallimach (Filippo Buonaccorsi) and Conrad Celtis. Mikołaj Rej and Jan Kochanowski laid the foundations for the Polish literary language and modern Polish grammar. The first book written entirely in the appeared in this period: a Breviary, prayer-book by Biernat of Lublin (ca. 1465 – after 1529), ''Raj duszny'' (''Hortulus Animae'', Eden of the Soul), printed in Kraków in 1513 at one of Poland's first printing establishments, operated by Florian Ungler (originally from Bavaria). Many Polish writers studied abroad and at the Kraków Academy (now Jagiellonian University), which became a melting pot for new ideas and currents. In this period (as she had had earlier, and would also have in the future), Poland had notable philosophers, including Nicolaus Copernicus, Sebastian Petrycy, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski, Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki, Jan Jonston (a Briton), Jan Amos Komensky (a Czech), and Stanisław Leszczyński (a Polish king). Another notable literary figure from this period is Piotr Skarga (1536–1612), a Polish Jesuit, preacher, hagiography, hagiographer, polemicist, and leading figure of the Counter-Reformation in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. His greatest works include ''The Lives of the Saints'' (''Żywoty świętych'', 1579), which was for several centuries one of the most popular books in the Polish language and the ''Sejm Sermons'' (''Kazania Sejmowe'', 1597), a political treatise, which became popular in the second half of the 19th century, when Skarga was seen as the "patriotic seer" who predicted the partitions of Poland. In 1488 the world's first literary society, the ''Sodalitas Litterarum Vistulana'' (the Vistula Literary Society) was founded in Kraków. Notable members included Conrad Celtes, Albert Brudzewski, Filip Callimachus, and Laurentius Corvinus.
BaroqueBaroque in Poland, Polish Baroque literatureStanisław Barańczak
EnlightenmentThe period of Enlightenment in Poland, Polish Enlightenment began in the 1730s–40s and peaked in the second half of the 18th century during the reign of Polish kings, Poland's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski.Jacek Adamczyk, book review
RomanticismDue to the three successive Partitions of Poland, Partitions carried out by three adjacent empires—ending the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, sovereign Polish state in 1795—Polish Romanticism, unlike Romanticism elsewhere in Europe, was largely a movement for independence from foreign occupation, and expressed the ideals and traditional way of life of the Polish people. The period of Romanticism in Poland ended with the Russian Empire's suppression of the January Uprising, January 1863 Uprising, culminating in public executions and deportations to Siberia. The literature of Polish Romanticism falls into two distinct sub-periods, each ended by an insurgency: the first, circa 1820–30, ending with the November Uprising, November 1830 Uprising; and the second, 1830–64, giving rise to Positivism in Poland, Polish Positivism. In the first Romantic sub-period, Polish Romantics were heavily influenced by other European Romantics: their work featured emotionalism and imagination, folklore, and country life, in addition to the aspiration for independence. The sub-period's most famous writers were Adam Mickiewicz, Seweryn Goszczyński, Tomasz Zan, and Maurycy Mochnacki. In the second Romantic sub-period, after the November Uprising, November 1830 Uprising, many Polish Romantics worked abroad, driven from Poland by the occupying powers. Their work became dominated by the aspiration to regain their country's lost sovereignty. Elements of mysticism became more prominent. Also, the concept of Three Bards, the Three Bards (''trzej wieszcze'') developed. The ''wieszcz'' functioned as spiritual leader to the suppressed people. The most notable poet of the Three Bards, so recognized in both Polish Romantic sub-periods, was Adam Mickiewicz. The other two national bards were Juliusz Słowacki and Zygmunt Krasiński.
PositivismIn the wake of the failed January Uprising, January 1863 Uprising against Imperial Russia, Russian occupation, a new period of thought and literature, Positivism in Poland, Polish "Positivism", proceeded to advocate level-headedness, skepticism, the exercise of reason, and "organic work". "Positivist" writers argued for the establishment of civil rights, equal rights for all members of society; for the cultural assimilation, assimilation of Poland's History of the Jews in Poland, Jewish minority; and for defense of western Poland's population, in the German-occupied part of Poland, against the German ''Kulturkampf'' and the Prussian deportations, displacement of the Polish populace by German colonization. Writers such as Bolesław Prus sought to educate the public about a constructive patriotism that would enable Polish society to function as a fully integrated ''social organism,'' regardless of external circumstances. Another influential Polish novelist active in that period was Henryk Sienkiewicz who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905. The Positivist period lasted until the turn of the 20th century and the advent of the Young Poland movement.
Young Poland (1890–1918)The modernist period known as the Young Poland movement in visual arts, literature and Polish music, music, came into being around 1890, and concluded with the Second Polish Republic, Poland's return to independence (1918). The period was based on two concepts. Its early stage was characterized by a strong Aesthetics, aesthetic opposition to the ideals of Positivism in Poland, its own predecessor (promoting ''organic work'' in the face of foreign occupation). Artists following this early philosophy of Young Poland believed in Decadent movement, decadence, Symbolism (arts), symbolism, conflict between human values and civilization, and the existence of art for art's sake. Prominent authors who followed this trend included Joseph Conrad, Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, Stanisław Przybyszewski and Jan Kasprowicz.
Restored independence (1918–39)Literature in the Second Polish Republic (1918–39) spanned a brief but exceptionally fertile period. With the restoration of the country's independence at the end of World War I, Poland developed sociopolitically and culturally. New avant-garde currents emerged. The Interbellum of just twenty years between the World Wars fostered numerous notable writers, including Julian Tuwim, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz, Witold Gombrowicz, Czesław Miłosz, Maria Dąbrowska, and Zofia Nałkowska, who saw themselves as exponents of an evolving and advancing European civilization.
After 1945Much of Polish literature written during the occupation of Poland appeared in print only after the end of World War II, including books by Zofia Nałkowska, Nałkowska, Adolf Rudnicki, Rudnicki, Tadeusz Borowski, Borowski and others. The Soviet takeover of the country did not discourage émigrés and exiles from returning, especially before the advent of Stalinism in Poland, Stalinism. Indeed, many writers attempted to recreate the Polish literary scene, often with a touch of nostalgia for the prewar reality, including Jerzy Andrzejewski, author of ''Ashes and Diamonds'', describing the political and moral dilemmas associated with the Anti-communist resistance in Poland (1944–1946), anti-communist resistance in Poland. His novel was adapted into film a decade later by Andrzej Wajda, Wajda. The new emerging prose writers such as Stanisław Dygat and Stefan Kisielewski approached the catastrophe of war from their own perspective. Kazimierz Wyka coined a term "borderline novel" for documentary fiction.Jean Albert Bédé, William Benbow Edgerton
Theatre and cinemaAt present, the Polish theatre actor possibly best known outside the country is Andrzej Seweryn, who in the years 1984–1988 was a member of the international group formed by Peter Brook to work on the staging of the Mahabharata, and since 1993 has been linked with the Comédie Française. The most revered actor of the second half of the twentieth century in Poland is generally considered to be Tadeusz Łomnicki, who died in 1992 of a heart attack while rehearsing King Lear. During the second half of the nineties, there appeared in Polish dramatic theatre a new generation of young directors, who have attempted to create productions relevant to the experience and problems of a thirty-something generation brought up surrounded by mass culture, habituated to a fast-moving lifestyle, but at the same time ever more lost in the world of consumer capitalism. There is no strict division in Poland between theatre and film directors and actors, therefore many stage artists are known to theatre goers from films of Andrzej Wajda, for example: Wojciech Pszoniak, Daniel Olbrychski, Krystyna Janda, Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, and from films of Krzysztof Kieślowski. Notable actors from include Jerzy Stuhr, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Skolimowski and Michał Żebrowski. Polish actors and actresses that achieved great success overseas, mostly in Hollywood, include Bella Darvi, Pola Negri, Ross Martin, Ingrid Pitt, Ned Glass, Lee Strasberg, Izabella Scorupco, Paul Wesley and John Bluthal. Notable Hollywood American actors and actresses of Polish descent include David Arquette, Caroll Baker (born Karolina Piekarski), Christine Baranski, Kristen Bell, Maria Bello, Jack Benny, Charles Bronson, Mayim Bialik, Cate Blanchett, Alex Borstein, David Burtka, Steve Carell, Anna Chlumsky, Jennifer Connelly, Jesse Eisenberg, Estelle Getty, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, John Krasinski, Lisa Kudrow, Ben Stiller, Carole Landis, Téa Leoni, Paul Newman, Eli Wallach, Jared Padalecki, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Prosky, Maggie Q, William Shatner, Sarah Silverman, Leelee Sobieski, Loretta Swit and others.
ReligionPoland, Poles have traditionally adhered to the Christian faith, with the majority belonging to the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church, with 87.5% of Poles in 2011 identifying as Roman Catholic.GUS,
ExonymsAmong exonyms for "Pole", not native to the Polish people or language, is лях (''lyakh''), used in East Slavic languages. Today the word ''Lachy'' ("Poles") is used in Belarusian, Ukrainian (but now considered offensive and replaced by the neutral поляк, ''polyak''), and Russian. Foreign exonyms also include: Lithuanian language, Lithuanian ''Lenkai''; Hungarian language, Hungarian ''Lengyelek''; Turkish language, Turkish ''Leh''; hy, Լեհաստան ''Lehastan''; and fa, لهستان (''Lahestān'').
Central PolesŁęczycanie live between Greater Poland and Mazovia, and are an intermediate group, originally closer to Greater Poles but with significant Masurians, Mazur influences. Sieradzanie on the other hand, are surrounded by Greater Poland, Lesser Poland and Upper Silesia, Silesia, and have been under strong influences of all three provinces. They lost much of their original distinctness. The main city in this region is Łódź, but it originated during the Industrial Revolution, being just a small town before that.
Greater PolesGreater Poles (Wielkopolanie) inhabit more or less the original territory of the tribe of Polans (western), Polans (from which the names Poland and Poles are derived), as well as other areas where Wielkopolanie and their dialect expanded throughout history. Greater Poland is where Poland in the Early Middle Ages, the Polish statehood emerged during the 9th and 10th centuries. With places such as Gniezno, Giecz and Ostrów Lednicki, it is the oldest province of Poland. Poznań is its main city. We can distinguish smaller ethnographic subdivisions among Greater Poles, for example the Pałuki, Pałuczanie, Biskupianie (near Krobia), Bambrzy and Hanobrzy (descended from Polonized German settlers from the areas of Bamberg and Hanover), Kaliszacy, Wieleń Mazurs, Szamotuły, Szamotulanie, Gostyń, Gostynianie, and others. Due to past migrations and shifting borders of historical regions, also two Silesian ethnographic groups live in the territory of Wielkopolska – Hazacy, who inhabit the area of Rawicz; and Chwalimiacy, who live around Chwalim, Nowe Kramsko and Stare Kramsko.
KuyaviansSome linguists and ethnographers counted Cuiavians as a subdivision of Greater Poles, but most recognize their distinct culture and identity. They inhabit the areas from Gopło, Lake Gopło in the south to Noteć River in the north-west, and to Vistula River in the north-east. Toruń, listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1997, is located on the border between Kuyavia, Kujawy, Chełmno Land and Dobrzyń Land. Other important cities include Bydgoszcz, Włocławek and Inowrocław.
Lesser PolesLesser Poland, Małopolanie (Southern Poles) can be divided into several major subgroups – Krakowiacy (in the historical Land of Kraków), Lasowiacy, Sandomierz, Sandomirians, Gorals, Górale (Gorals, Polish Highlanders), Lachy Sądeckie, Lachy, Posaniacy, Wymysorys language, Vilamovians, Halcnovians, Lubliniacy and inhabitants of Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Podkarpacie (Polish Subcarpathia, Subcarpathia), such as Dolinianie, Rzeszów, Rzeszowiacy, Polish Uplanders or Walddeutsche, Deaf Germans. Krakowiacy live to the north of Gorals, to the east of Silesians, to the west of Sandomirians, in the north they extend as far as Częstochowa and Kielce. This group can be further subdivided into smaller ethnographic regions. Among Lesser Poles, especially strongly differentiated are the Gorals, who can be further divided into Beskids, Beskid Gorals, Podhalanie, Kliszczacy, Spiš, Spiszacy, Orava (region), Oravians, and several smaller groups. In the east, Lesser Polish Gorals have Ruthenian language, Ruthenian-speaking Gorals (Boykos, Lemkos, Hutsuls) and Rusyns as their neighbours. There is overlap with Slovak language, Slovak-speaking Gorals in the south. Sandomirians extend in the north as far as Skaryszew and Iłża, in the west beyond Chęciny. Lubliniacy live to the east of Sandomirians, around Lublin, Chełm, Zamość, Tomaszów Lubelski, Janów Lubelski and Biłgoraj.
MasoviansMazurs (Masovians) consist of Masovians, proper Mazurs, known also as Central Mazurs, who live from the area between Sierpc and Płock, up to the lower Wieprz River. Between Central Mazurs and Podlachia, Podlasie is the homeland of Eastern Mazurs, and in southern parts of Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Warmia-Masuria – the homeland of Masurians, Lutheran, Prussian Mazurs, descended from Central Mazurs who settled there in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, and assimilated remnants of Old Prussians, Baltic-speaking Old Prussian population. Another Medieval expansion of Mazurs, to the east, into former Yotvingians, Yotvingian (ethnically Baltic languages, West Baltic) territories, led to the emergence of Suwałki Region, Sudovian Poles and of Podlachian language, Podlasie Mazurs (in the areas around Węgrów, Siedlce, Puławy, Łuków, Sokołów Podlaski, Włodawa, as far as Biebrza River). Another group descended from a mix of Poles (mostly Mazurs) and West Balts are the Kurpie, who live primarily in Puszcza Zielona and Puszcza Biała (the Green Forest and the White Forest). Yet another subdivision of Mazurs, which developed a very rich folk culture thanks to having special privileges and prosperity, are Łowiczanie (around Łowicz). Another group are Poborzanie in the areas of Mława and Zawkrze. The capital of Poland, , is located in the land of Central Mazurs. However, as any large city it has always been a melting pot of people from all regions of Poland and foreigners from abroad. It is home to the largest History of the Jews in Poland, Jewish community in Poland, as well as the cultural centre of Polish Karaims. Citizens of Warsaw are called Varsovians. In the Early Middle Ages, Płock was the main city in Mazovia. Along the eastern border of Poland, between Podlachia, Podlasie and Lublin Voivodeship, Lubelszczyzna, we can find some people who identify as Poleshuks. In Suwałki Region, Suwalszczyzna and Podlaskie Voivodeship, Podlasie, we can find dispersed communities of Lipka Tatars, Polish Tatars and Old Believers, Starovers, as well as settlements of Lithuanian minority in Poland, Lithuanian and Belarusian minority in Poland, Belarusian minorities.
Northern PolesGroups intermediate between Greater Poles and Masovians, Mazurs (but closer to Greater Poles), are Chełmniacy and Dobrzyniacy (who live in the lands of Chełmno and Dobrzyń nad Wisłą, Dobrzyń), as well as Lubawiacy (in the land of Lubawa). Another intermediate group, but closer to Mazurs, are Catholic Warmiaks in the East Prussian region of Warmia. From the Early Middle Ages onwards, Pomerania was under strong Polish (especially Greater Polish and Cuiavian) influences. From the mixture of Kashubians and Greater Poles, emerged an ethnographic group called Borowiacy Tucholscy, who live in the Tuchola Forest region, between Tuchola, Koronowo, Świecie and Starogard Gdański, Starogard. Borowiacy are intermediary, whereas another mixed group – Krajniacy – have a mostly Greater Polish character, with relatively minor Kashubian influences. They live in the region of Krajna. Two other ethnographic group in Northern Poland are Powiślanie (whose homelands are the areas around Sztum, Kwidzyn, Kwidzyń and Malbork) and :File:Koschneiderei 1926.gif, Kosznajdrzy. Żuławy Wiślane in North Poland used to be the homeland of Vistula delta Mennonites, Mennonites, who are considered to be either Dutch, German, or a group on their own.
PomeraniansEarly Medieval Pomeranians (Slavic tribe), Pomeranians used to inhabit the entire land located to the north of Polans (western), Polans, between Noteć and the Baltic Sea. In the west, Pomeranians extended perhaps up to Usedom. In the east, they extended as far as the Vistula Lagoon, and their eastern neighbours were Old Prussians, Baltic-speaking Prussians. Krynica Morska was the easternmost Slavic-speaking village on the Baltic coast, while the area of Truso (today Elbląg) to the south was ethnically Old Prussian. Most of Pomeranians became Germanisation, Germanized throughout history. Only Eastern Pomeranians preserved their Slavic ethnicity, and are commonly known as Kashubians today. Kashubians who were Royal Prussia, under Polish rule during the 16th–18th centuries remained Catholic Church, Roman Catholic, while those who lived in Brandenburg-Prussia in the 1700s, became Lutheranism, Lutherans following the Reformation, Protestant Reformation. Kashubians can be divided into many subdivisions, such as the Slovincian language, Slovincians. From the Early Middle Ages onwards, Pomerania was under strong Polish (especially Greater Polish and Cuiavian) influences, which led to the emergence of several intermediary ethnographic groups. Descended mainly from Greater Polish and Cuiavian settlers who mixed with Kashubians, are Kociewiacy in the region of Kociewie, located between Starogard Gdański, Starogard Pomorski, Tczew, Gniew, Świecie and up to the outskirts of Gdańsk in the north. The main city in Eastern Pomerania has always been History of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, located on the border between three regions: Kashubia to the west, Kociewie to the south, East Prussia, Prussia to the east.
SilesiansIn the Early Middle Ages, Silesia was inhabited by several Lechites, Lechitic tribes, known from Primary source, written sources under their Latinisation of names, Latinised names. The most significant tribe (which ultimately gave its name to the region) were the Silesians (tribe), Sleenzane (Slenzans; Ślężanie) who lived in areas near modern Wrocław and along the Ślęza river, as well as near Ślęża, mount Ślęża. The Opolans, Opolini (Opolans; Opolanie) lived in lands near modern Opole. The Dadodesani or Dedosize (Dyadosans; Dziadoszanie) lived in areas near modern Głogów. The Golensizi (Golensizians; Golęszyce) dwelled near modern Racibórz, Cieszyn and Opawa. The Lupiglaa (Głubczyce) probably lived on the Głubczyce Plateau, near Głubczyce. The Trebouane (Tryebovians; Trzebowianie), mentioned by the ''Prague Document'' (which describes the situation as of year 973 or earlier), occupied areas near modern Legnica. The Poborane (Bobrans; Bobrzanie) – mentioned by the same document – lived along the lower and middle course of the Bóbr river. The Psyovians (Psouane; Pszowianie) lived near Pszów, to the east of the Opolans and to the west of Kraków. Along the borderland between Lower Silesia and Lusatia, lived tribes related to modern Sorbs. At the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries (), the total population of Silesia is estimated as around 250,000 people. By the 2nd half of the 12th century (c. AD 1150–1200) the population increased to 330,000, still in vast majority Slavic languages, Slavic-speakers. Following the Ostsiedlung, German Ostsiedlung (c. AD 1350–1400), the population of Lower Silesia was around 2/3 Slavs, Slavic and 1/3 German (according to estimates by Kokot, Karol Maleczynski and Tomasz Kamusella) while Upper Silesia remained 80% ethnically Polish, with the remaining 20% split mainly between Germans and Czechs. During the following centuries cultural Germanisation, Germanization gradually shifted the ethnic structure of Silesia, so that by the 20th century nearly all of Lower Silesia had a German-speaking majority. But Upper Silesia remained majority Silesian Polish, Polish-speaking. There have also been Moravians, Moravian and Czechs, Czech communities. Silesian Polish, Polish Silesians can be divided into many smaller groups, such as Cieszyn Vlachs, Lach dialects, Lachians, Silesian Gorals, Opolans and others. The oldest Polish town in the US – Panna Maria, Texas – was established by Silesians in 1854. They speak the Texas Silesian dialect of Polish.
Eastern KresyPoles from the Territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union, former eastern territories of Poland and other areas of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. From the 14th century onwards, the expansion of Polish (mostly Mazur from Masovia, but also Greater Polish and other) settlers towards the north-east, as well as Polonization of local inhabitants, led to the emergence of Republic of Central Lithuania, Wilniuki (North-East Kresowiacy) in the Grodno Region and Vilnius, Vilno Region (Vilnius Region, Wileńszczyzna), which encompasses the borderlands of northern Belarus, southern Lithuania and southern Latvia (former Inflanty Voivodeship, including Daugavpils, Dyneburg and Ilūkste). At the same time, the expansion of Polish settlers (mostly Lesser Poles and Mazurs) towards the south-east, as well as Polonization of local inhabitants, led to the emergence of South-East Kresowiacy in Bolesław-Jerzy II, Halychna, Red Ruthenia (with its main city – Lviv, Lvov), Volhynia and Podolia.
National minoritiesTraditional national and ethnic Minority group, minorities within the modern borders of Poland include the Germans, History of the Jews in Poland, Jews, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Czechs (including Polonization, Polonized descendants of the Unity of the Brethren (Czech Republic), Bohemian Brethren refugees), Slovaks, Romani people in Poland, Romani people, Dutch people (Olędrzy, most of whom were Polonized), Armenians (there were at least four waves of Armenians in Poland, Armenian immigration to Poland, the earliest of which took place in the 11th century), Vlachs (Romance-speaking shepherds) and Scottish people, Scots (most of Scottish people#Poland, Scots in Poland have been Polonized as well). Historically, there were also smaller communities of Hungarians, Russians, Walloons, France–Poland relations, French, Italy–Poland relations, Italians and others. Today Polish Germans reside mainly in Silesia, where they first came during the Late Middle Ages. Prior to World War II, around a third of Poland's population was composed of ethnic minority, ethnic minorities. Following the war, however, Poland's minorities were mostly gone, due to the 1945 revision of borders of Poland (1945), revision of borders, and the Holocaust. Most notably, the population of Jews in Poland, which formed the second largest (History of the Jews in the Soviet Union, after the USSR) Jewish community in pre-war Europe at about 3 million people, was almost completely annihilated by 1945.
See also* Demographics of Poland * ''Karta Polaka'' * Lechites * List of Polish people, List of Poles * Name of Poland (etymology of the demonym) * Pole, Hungarian, two good friends * Poles in Germany * Poles in Lithuania * Poles in Romania * Poles in the former Soviet Union * Poles in the United Kingdom * Polish Americans * Polish Argentines * Polish Australians * Polish Brazilians * Polish British * Polish Canadians * Polish Chileans * Polish Mexicans * Polish minority in France * Polish minority in Spain * Poles in Latvia * Polish minority in the Czech Republic, Polish Czechs * Polish nationality law * Polish New Zealanders * Poles in Norway, Polish Norwegians * Polish Uruguayan * Polish Venezuelans * Polonization * Sons of Poland * West Slavs