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Map of the settlement area of ​​the Gorals
Podhale Gorals, 1877
Typical gorale costume
Goral costume, Podhale
Saybuscher Goralen costume

The Gorals ( Polish Górale , Slovak Gorali ; from the Polish word “góra” for “mountain”, compare Slovak “hora”) are a West Slavic ethnic group living on the Polish - Slovak border and the Polish- Czech border . They speak Goral , a dialect of Lesser Poland with Slovak and Czech influences, as well as Teschen dialects in Silesia . The Slovak linguists, on the other hand, classify the goral dialects in Slovakia as a mixed Slovak-Polish language , similar to the Czech researchers classify the Cieszian dialects as a mixed Czech-Polish language .

Spread and history

In Poland, the Gorals live in the Tatra Mountains and in parts of the Beskids and are counted among the Poles there . In Slovakia they live in the Orava , Kysuce and Upper Zips regions and have been considered part of the Slovaks there since the 18th century . In the Czech Republic they live in the southern part of the Olsa region in the Czech part of Cieszyn Silesia .

Historically, they immigrated to the Carpathians from the east as part of the " Wallachian colonization ", mixing with all the neighboring ethnic groups in the border region with Hungary and Bohemia, who settled the Polish-Hungarian Carpathians and the Silesian Beskids between the 15th and 17th centuries had.

During the Second World War , the Gorals in Podhale were viewed by the German occupiers as a separate ethnic group and called "Goralenvolk". Part of the regional elite signed the German People's List and thus enjoyed privileges. However, most of the Gorals refused to be included on the popular list and many joined the Polish resistance .

On the Polish side of the Tatras, the Gorals live in particular around the tourist center Zakopane in the Podhale . But many Gorals also live in Bielsko-Biała and Żywiec , which are in the Beskids. Above all, the multi-gabled wooden houses with rich beam carvings and just as many dormers are striking . Often gorale women in their national costumes stand with their stand in a place where many passers-by and tourists come through and sell one of their typical products. This includes, above all, Oscypek , a smoked sheep's cheese , which on the outside is reminiscent of whimsically shaped Carnival donuts or artfully turned wooden spindle parts.

One of the most famous Polish gorals was the priest and philosopher Józef Tischner . He not only wrote books such as the "History of Philosophy in Goralisch", but was also involved in economic and cultural programs for the benefit of the Gorals.


The górals can be divided into different subgroups:

Web links

Commons : Gorals  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wojciech Szatkowski: Goralenvolk. Historia zdrady . Canon, Zakopane 2012, ISBN 978-83-62309-09-2 ( Polish ; translation of the title: Goralenvolk. The story of a betrayal )