Traditional Polish is an aesthetic that revolves around the traditions and folklore associated with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, its nobility and various other groups. There are variations which vary depending on influences, social status, wealth and area.

Variations

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a melting pot of cultures and religions, its borders incorporating Ruthenia and Lithuania. The Polish nobility was, however, the most influential.

Szlachta

The szlachta had many unique and strict traditions, emphacising defending their homeland and honour. They, accordingly to their wealth, were divided into:

  • magnates (pol: magnateria) - the wealthiest nobles, comparable to British dukes; usually owned vast lands (often including several towns) and in some cases even private armies; they were the most politically powerful of the social classes and their influence was often of a national scale;
  • middle nobility (pol: szlachta średnia) - owners of one or more villages; they were mainly holders of certain official titles or envoys from the local Land Assemblies to the General Assembly;
  • petty nobility (pol: drobna szlachta) - owners of part of a village or less; they were sometimes seen settling together in related families in one village;
    • gołota - the poorest of all; often easily bought, they later lost voting powers;
    • szlachta brukowa - nobility living in towns and cities; often gained income through trade.

The Polish nobility was the most dominant and had a great influence over the Lithuanian and Ruthenian part, as both of the latter were subject to polonisation. Throughout most of the class' history, it followed the same Sarmatism concept - the dominant Baroque culture and ideology of the Polish nobility. The main part of a typical gentry outfit was a robe called żupan, often worn with a long fur trimmed coat kontusz, knee high boots and sirwal trousers. Another important part of szlachta attire was the polish sabre (szabla). The most common types of that sword were the closed hilt hussar sabre or the open karabela sabre. There were, however, cases of of french or even puritan attire.

Townsfolk

The Polish middle class formed itself around the 13th century. In order to meet the conditions for becoming a burgher, one had to first acquire a municipal citizenship under certain legal conditions regulated by the sometimes very strict municipal regulations. The burghers often gained wealth through craftsmanship or engaging in trade. The cities often had jewish communities and a lower class without its own rights called plebs. Their clothing did not differ largely from typical European townsfolk, only having certain Sarmatian influences.

Peasantry

The Polish peasantry was largely uneducated and isolated from urban communities. We can identify several distinct ethnographic groups, mainly Łęczycanie, Sieradzanie, Małopolanie, Mazowszanie, Mazurzy i Warmiacy, Pomorzanie, Ślązacy and Wielkopolanie. Another group were górale, inhabiting the Polish highlands. Each had its own unique way of dressing and in some cases a local accent.

Polonez (Pan Tadeusz -1999 r.)





Activities

Szlachta:

  • Mushroom picking
  • Hunting
  • Dancing the polonez, mazurek, oberek, krakowiak or kujawiak
  • Setting up feasts
  • Horseback riding
  • Singing patriotic songs
  • Stargazing
  • Taking part in noble assemblies

Townsfolk:

  • Organizing or taking part in balls
  • Practicing crafts
  • Visiting the market
  • Engaging in local community activities

Peasantry:

  • Listening and singing folk songs
  • Taking care of farm animals
  • Celebrating Dziady or Midsummer night
  • Knitting and embroidery (women)
  • Dancing to folk music

Media

Pan Tadeusz (1999r)

Books

  • Pan Tadeusz - Adam Mickiewicz
  • Zemsta - Aleksander Fredro
  • Chłopi - Władysław Reymont
  • Na polu chwały - Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Dziady - Adam Mickiewicz
  • Ballady i romanse - Adam Mickiewicz
  • Lalka - Bolesław Prus
  • Syzyfowe prace - Stefan Żeromski
  • Śluby panieńskie - Aleksander Fredro
  • Ogniem i mieczem - Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Potop - Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Pan Wołodyjowski - Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Doktor Piotr - Stefan Żeromski
  • Nad Niemnem - Eliza Orzechowska
  • Przedwiośnie - Stefan Żeromski
  • Pamiętniki - Jan Chryzostom Pasek
  • Pieśń świętojańska o sobótce - Jan Kochanowski
  • Szkice węglem - Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Janko Muzykant - Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Pokój wsi - Leopold Staff
  • Wesele - Stanisław Wyspiański
  • Noce i dnie - Maria Dąbrowska
  • Halka - Włodzimierz Wolski
  • Na skalnym Podhalu - Kazimierz Przerwa - Tetmajera
  • The Hawk's Song - KirieSempai (comic)

Films

  • Pan Tadeusz - 1999 Andrzej Wajda
  • Pan Tadeusz - 1928 Ryszard Ordyński
  • Zemsta - 2002 Andrzej Wajda
  • Chłopi - 1973 Jan Rybkowski
  • Chłopi - (only concept trailer) BreakThru Films
  • Lalka - 1968 Wojciech Has
  • Lawa - 1986 Tadeusz Konwicki
  • Syzyfowe prace - 2000 Paweł Komorowski
  • Nad Niemnem - 1987 Zbigniew Kuźmiński, Karol Chodura, Maria Burdecka
  • Potop - 1974 Jerzy Hoffman
  • Przedwiośnie - 2001 Filip Bajon
  • Śluby panieńskie - 2010 Filip Bajon
  • Janko Muzykant - 1930 Ryszard Ordyński
  • Wesele - 1973 Andrzej Wajda
  • Ogniem i mieczem - 1999 Jerzy Hoffman
  • Pan Wołodyjowski - 1969 Jerzy Hoffman
  • Czarne chmury - serial 1973 - 1974 Andrzej Konic
  • Noce i dnie - 1975 Jerzy Antczak
Lalka serial (1977 - 1978)

Lalka serial (1977 - 1978)

Dance videos

Pinterest board

Traditional Polish aesthetic

Music

Artists

Examples of typical folk or patriotic music

Playlists and channels with different artists

Gallery


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