Tadas Blinda (1846–1877) was a Lithuanian outlaw and folk hero.
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He was born in the village of Kinčiuliai, Kovno Governorate, in the
region of Samogitia, and inherited his father's 40 hectares at the age
of 20. He then married, had three daughters, and became the village
elder. There are several versions of the turning point in his life
that led to his later career. One story has it that he participated in
the 1863 uprising, and was sentenced to exile in Siberia. Another has
it that his landlord, Duke Ogiński, ordered him to flog some serfs,
became angry when Blinda refused, and then struck him with a whip.
Blinda responded with a counterattack.
After Blinda had chosen to live outside the law, he gathered a band of
followers in the dense forests near Byvainė. According to his
admirers, he was a latter-day
Robin Hood – he stole from the rich
and gave to the poor. His detractors argued that he stole from the
poor as well. Other stories have him disguising himself as a priest
and collecting alms that he then gave away. Many of the tales claim
that he buried a treasure in the forest, which remains undiscovered to
The circumstances surrounding his death have also been an object of
contention. The popularly held version was that Duke Oginskis was
finally able to gain revenge by organizing the local authorities and
murdering him. In 1993 an archivist uncovered police records
indicating that he was lynched as a horse thief on April 22, 1877, and
buried in an unconsecrated corner of a cemetery in Luokė. No traces
of this burial have been found.
His life was first formally dramatized in 1907 by the Lithuanian
Lazdynų Pelėda and Gabrielius Landsbergis-Žemkalnis. The
play, Blinda, the Leveller of the World, presented him as a champion
of the common people, battling the Polish landlords and the Russian
Empire that governed Lithuania, and was enthusiastically received.
The legend lived on and was made into a popular film in 1973. It
featured the actor Vytautas Tomkus, dramatic hand-to-hand combat and
horsemanship, and the scenery of
Aukštaitija National Park
Aukštaitija National Park — it was
an immediate success. Although the film was released with the approval
of the Soviet government, many viewers interpreted it as a veiled
reference to the Lithuanian partisans who, living in the forests,
continued to resist the Soviet occupation during the 1940s and 1950s.
Blinda's life was dramatized in a 2004 eponymous rock musical by
Andrius Mamontovas that debuted in Vilnius. A local railway tour
re-enacts a train robbery by Blinda, and Blindos beer by
Švyturys-Utenos alus appeared in the 2000s.
Tadas Blinda Pradžia, was produced by Taurus
Films/Acme Film in 2011.
^ The rock musical Tadas Blinda
^ Narrow-gauge railroad excursion featuring a Blinda train robbery
^ "Titulinis - tadasblinda.lt" (in Lithuanian). 2011. Retrieved 13
The legend of Tadas Blinda
Tadas Blinda, 1972 film
Sociological analysis of Tadas Blinda's role in