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Michigan Polonia is the online work of Dr. Hal Learman and Ceil Wendt Jensen. As part of our mission we strive to promote Polish and Polish-American heritage. This outreach includes Facebook. We’ve listed our most recent posts below. We encourage family researchers to open a free Facebook account and follow our posts.

Michigan Polonia updated their cover photo.

Henryk Weyssenhoff
"Spring", 1911, oil on canvas, 47 x 77 cm, National Museum, Krakow
artyzm.com/e_obraz.php?id=2965
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Henryk Weyssenhoff
Spring, 1911, oil on canvas, 47 x 77 cm, National Museum, Krakow
http://artyzm.com/e_obraz.php?id=2965

This is powerful! youtu.be/_FPHQHxkIMc ...

We are writing to you, our dear friend, from the country of Chopin, Copernicus and Zamenhof. We translated these sentences to your language, from native lang...

Michigan Polonia shared Love Poland's post.

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
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Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork This 13th-century fortified monastery belonging to the Teutonic Order was substantially enlarged and embellished after 1309, when the seat of the Grand Master moved here from Venice. A particularly fine example of a medieval brick castle, it later fell into decay, but was meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved here. Following severe damage in the Second World War it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by earlier conservators. Malbork Castle is the most complete and elaborate example of the Gothic brick castle complex in the characteristic and unique style of the Teutonic Order, which evolved independently from the contemporary castles of western Europe and the Near East. The spectacular fortress represents the phenomenon of the monastic state in Prussia, founded in the 13th century and developed in the 14th century by the German communities of military monks who carried out crusades against the pagan Prussians on the south Baltic coast. The fortified monastery on the River Nogat represents the drama of Christianity in the late Middle Ages, stretched between extremes of sanctity and violence. Over a span of two hundred years, since the 18th Century, the Malbork Castle has remained one of the major objects of European fascination with medieval history and its material remains. It also became a sign of the tendency to treat history and its monuments as instruments in the service of political ideologies. From the 19th century onwards Malbork Castle has been the subject of restoration that contributed in an exceptional way to the development of research and conservation theory and practice. At the same time many forgotten medieval art and craft techniques were rediscovered. Extensive conservation works were carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the severe damage that it incurred in the final stage of World War II, the castle was restored once again. Criterion (ii): Malbork Castle is an architectural work of unique character. Many of the methods used by its builders in handling technical and artistic problems greatly influenced not only subsequent castles of the Teutonic Order but also other Gothic buildings in a wide region of north-eastern Europe. The castle also provides perfect evidence of the evolution of modern philosophy and practice in the field of restoration and conservation. It is a historic monument to conservation itself, both in its social aspect and as a scientific and artistic discipline. Criterion (iii): Malbork Castle, a symbol of power and cultural tradition, is the most important monument to the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights, a unique phenomenon in the history of western civilization. The Castle is at the same time the major material manifestation of the Crusades in eastern Europe, the forced baptism of the Baltic peoples, and the colonization of their tribal territories, which played a vital role in the history of Europe. Criterion (iv): Malbork Castle is an outstanding example of the castles of the Teutonic Order, which evolved in the frontiers of medieval western Europe. It is a unique, perfectly planned architectural creation, with no equivalent in Gothic architecture. It was built with the use of the rich repertoire of medieval constructional methods; these were applied on an exceptionally large scale and resulted in the magnificent seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. The Malbork Castle MuseumThe Main Office: +48 55 647 08 00(-02)The Main Office fax: +48 55 647 08 03sekretariat[a]zamek.malbork.pl Ticket Offices+48 55 647 09 78+48 55 647 09 02fax: +48 55 647 09 (-77)kasa[a]zamek.malbork.pl Text via whc.unesco.org/en/list/847 Photos: Karol Nienartowicz, Drosik, Michal Statkiewicz, Adam Tkocz, pintravels.info, vitvodao1, zamek-malbork.pl, matwicks.wordpress.com, inyourpocket.com

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

Michigan Polonia shared a memory.

Does your family have rituals and superstitions regarding bread? Here is a short history of bread baking in the Polish home. (Painting by Kirill Datsouk, 2010.)
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„Do kraju tego, gdzie kruszynę chleba podnoszą z ziemi przez uszanowanie dla darów Nieba….Tęskno mi Panie…” C. K. Norwid Do rzadkości należy już czynność pieczenia chleba domowym sposobem. Dawniej był to cały rytuał. Swoiste święto, które miało swój niezapomniany urok. Kiedyś wypiekano placki na węglach w popiele i na rozżarzonym kamieniu. Z biegiem czasu zaczęto używać rynienek z gliny. Pozostałością z dawnych lat są u nas podpłomyki pieczone na węglach wygarniętych z pieca chlebowego. Inaczej smakuje chleb z pieca , w którym rozpala się ogień, a inaczej z nowoczesnych pieców ogrzewanych gazem. Kiedy na przełomie XVII i XVIII w skonstruowano pierwszą nowoczesną mieszarkę do ciasta ludzie bojkotowali bojąc się spożywać chleb z ciasta „męczonego maszynami”. Szacunek dla chleba tak wielki, że nie krojono go, tylko łamano. Zakaz krojenia był powiązany z Ostatnią Wieczerzą i dzieleniem chleba przez Jezusa pomiędzy apostołów. Pieczywo było stale obecne przy pracach w polu, takich jak pierwsza orka, pierwszy siew, żniwa. Obecność chleba miała wspomóc siły witalne i niejako dopomóc ziemi, żeby wydała dobre plony. Przy orce symbolicznie otwierała się ziemia i stał się możliwy kontakt z zaświatami, więc chleb ochraniał przed złymi mocami, które mogły przypadkiem zostać uwolnione. Chleb i narzędzia używane do wypieku wykorzystywano także do leczenia. Któż z nas nie pamięta sceny z prusowskiego „Antka", w którym to mała Rozalka była wkładana na 3 zdrowaśki do pieca chlebowego. Takie zachowania były popularne na wsi. Chleb pomagał w pozbyciu się doleglowości. Chleb pieczono raz w tygodniu, w sobotę. Jednak rozczyn przygotowywano już w piątek - jedyny dzień tygodnia, w którym obowiązywał bezwzględny zakaz pieczenia. Piątek był dniem męki Chrystusa, w kulturach pogańskich także miał związki ze śmiercią, wtedy też łatwiejszy był kontakt z zaświatami. Z tego samego powodu chleba nie pieczono w święta doroczne i rodzinne związane ze śmiercią. Praca w dzień świąteczny była uważana z grzech. Na dobry wypiek wpływało wiele czynników, należało uważać, żeby wyrobionych bochnów chleba nie przewiał wiatr, ponieważ będzie zakalec. Chleba nie kładziono bezpośrednio w piecu, tylko na liściach, najczęściej chrzanu, kapusty lub tataraku. Chleb w domostwie leżał na honorowym miejscu, bardzo często przy świętym kącie. Wszelakie rygory obowiązywały także przy zaczynaniu nowego bochenka: stary musiał być całkowicie zjedzony, nie zaczynano nowego bochenka po zachodzie słońca, a od spodu kreślono znak krzyża. Razem z chlebem gospodynie piekły bardzo często mniejsze placuszki, tzw. podpłomyki, którymi obdarowywano dzieci, starców, żebraków. W okresie międzywojennym w wielu domach nie starczało mąki na wypiek chleba. Był pożywieniem odświętnym. W codziennym użyciu były placki jęczmienne, nieraz jedzone na gorąco, górale zaś piekli placki owsiane. Na Kurpiach jedzono czarny chleb – ale tylko w zamożnych domach. W Polsce dopiero po I wojnie światowej, zaczęto wprowadzać maszyny do wypieku chleba na skalę przemysłową.

Does your family have rituals and superstitions regarding bread? Here is a short history of bread baking in the Polish home. (Painting by Kirill Datsouk, 2010.)

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I love this still life!

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Michigan Polonia shared Ancestry's photo.

Your direct ancestors, without siblings and cousins.
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In case someone says their family tree is complete, remind them of this.

Your direct ancestors, without siblings and cousins.

Michigan Polonia shared Love Poland's post.

Wicker
Poland is famous for handmade wicker ware. This is a tradition in areas of the country where willow grows wild and is very much a village and family industry.
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Wicker Poland is famous for hand made wicker ware. This is a tradition in areas of the country where willow grows wild and is very much a village and family industry. Beautifully crafted and sturdy, these items can last a generation or longer. Story from Rudnik Wicker has always grown wild in the poor soil along the river San. But it was not utilized until 1870 when an Austrian count, Ferdinand Hompesch, sent a group of villagers to Vienna to learn the wicker trade. At the time Rudnik was part of the Austrian-controlled province of Galicia. The town showed its appreciation by erecting a bust of the count in its main square. Between World War I and II, about 10,000 people in the area worked in the wicker industry. In the 1960's there were 496 hectares of wicker plantations in the area. But the transition from Communism to a democratic, market-driven society after 1989 were difficult ones for the wicker industry. Both of Rudnik's two main wicker plants, Jednosc and Wikplast, closed down. In recent years, demand for traditionally-styled wicker products has been rising, especially in Western Europe where the craft of using wicker has declined. So Rudnik's people are returning to wicker. There are now 10 large firms and around 100 smaller ones. Firstly the wicker is stripped of its tough outer bark on a machine. Then it is soaked in water for two hours to make it workable. Franciszek and Stanislawa Baran buy their own wicker and work between 10 and 16 hours a day sitting in a small, spartan basement. "Afterwards everything aches, my back and my hands. I sometimes wake up at night because my hands are aching," says Stanislawa. The whole family can make five baskets a day, earning 200 zlotys ($58). It takes at least three years to learn the basic skills, says Stanislawa. Their parents taught them. Now, they've passed on the knowledge to their children. "We try to encourage our children but we don't know if they'll carry it on, but we wanted them to know how to do it," she says. Rudnik hosts a summer wicker festival every year. One of the more popular events is the wicker fashion show. Last year's collection included wicker hats, skirts and even conical bras. But it's not clear the trend for wicker underwear will catch on. Thanks to BBC news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4739481.stm wiklina.wordpress.com/page/19/ Photos via igd-tur.org, plecionka.pl, garnek.pl, wikpol.pl, blogozielono.blogpost.com, gaba.pl, wikpol.pl, ogrodowisko.pl, wiano.eu, myszyniec.pl, mamycel.pl

Wicker
Poland is famous for handmade wicker ware. This is a tradition in areas of the country where willow grows wild and is very much a village and family industry.

Michigan Polonia shared Learn Polish Daily's post.

Polish Pisanki (singular pisanka) or jaja wielkanocne (Easter eggs).
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Polish Pisanki (singular pisanka) or jaja wielkanocne (Easter eggs). Pisanka is a common name for an egg (usually that of a chicken, although goose or duck eggs are also used) richly ornamented using various techniques. The word pisanka is derived from the verb 'pisać' which in contemporary Polish means exclusively 'to write' yet in old Polish meant also 'to paint'. Originating as a pagan tradition, pisanki were absorbed by Christianity to become the traditional Easter egg. Pisanki are now considered to symbolise the revival of nature and the hope that Christians gain from faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are various types of pisanki, based on the technique and preparation used: Kraszanki (sometimes called malowanki or byczki) are made by boiling an egg in a decoction of plants or other natural products. The colour of kraszanka depends on the kind of product used. Drapanki or skrobanki are made by scratching the surface of a kraszanka with a sharp tool to reveal the white of the egg shell. Pacenka are created by drawing or painting. Traditional technique requires the egg shell to be covered with a layer of molten wax in which the pattern is scratched. The egg is then submerged into a dye. Finally, the wax preventing the dye to adhere to the eggshell is removed. Thus, the pattern is created in a manner similar to the sgraffito technique. Naklejanki or nalepianki are decorated with petals of elderberry, scraps of colourful paper (including wycinanki) or with patches of cloth. Popular in Łowicz and the surrounding area. Oklejanki or wyklejanki are decorated with bulrush pith or yarn. They are common in the Podlaskie region of Poland. In the past, only women decorated eggs. Men were not allowed to come inside the house during the process, as it was believed that they could put a spell on the eggs, and cause bad luck. Today in Poland, eggs and pisanki are hallowed on Easter Saturday along with the traditional Easter basket. On Easter Sunday, before the ceremonial breakfast, these eggs are exchanged and shared among the family at the table. This is a symbol of friendship, similar to the sharing of the Opłatek (Christmas wafer) on Christmas Eve. txt via wikipedia.org photos: julkaradzi.blogspot.com/, lowicz.gosc.pl/, www.zachod.pl/radio-zachod/, potrawyregionalne.pl/, Fotorzepa, Marian Zubrzycki

Polish Pisanki (singular pisanka) or jaja wielkanocne (Easter eggs).

Michigan Polonia shared Dom Sztuki Ludowej - Polart's photo.

In polish folk culture people believed that from the moment when Jesus died, earth was in the devils hands till Easter.
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Wielki Piątek jest w kulturze ludowej początkiem chwilowego panowania zła. Wierzono, że aż do Niedzieli Wielkanocnej na ludzi czaiły się złe duchy. Uważajcie zatem na siebie 😉 In polish folk culture people believed that from the moment when Jesus died, earth was in the devils hands till Easter. #ethnography #polishfolkart #rzeźbaludowa #pieta #wielkipiątek #etnografia #tradycja #folklor #folklore #bazie #kwiaty #wielkanoc #domsztukiludowej #polart #polishfolkart #jezus #rzeźba #folk #poland #traditions #tulipany #tulips #ludowe #zwyczaje

In polish folk culture people believed that from the moment when Jesus died, earth was in the devils hands till Easter.

Michigan Polonia shared a memory.

The work of Olga Boznańska including a double portrait of brothers Roger Adam Raczyński and Edward Bernard Raczyński.
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Swoją pierwszą pracownię Olga Boznańska założyła w Monachium, skąd w 1898 roku przeprowadziła się do Paryża. Z czasem wypracowała swój niepowtarzalny styl, zaliczany do postimpresjonizmu. Szczególną popularnością cieszyły się jej wnikliwe portrety. Mimo wielu zagranicznych sukcesów, w Polsce twórczość malarki zdobyła uznanie dopiero wiele lat po jej śmierci.

The work of Olga Boznańska including a double portrait of brothers Roger Adam Raczyński and Edward Bernard Raczyński.