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Poleshuks & Ruthenians - what has happened to them?
#1
The Polish census of 1931 enumerated, apart from Ukrainians and Belarusians, also Ruthenians and Poleshuks.

I made maps showing their distribution according to the 1931 census, you can also check it on this website:

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/CompareAnaly...dc08441786

Poleshuks ("Locals"): https://i.imgur.com/s0Z8xfS.png

[Image: s0Z8xfS.png]

Ruthenians (Rusyns): https://i.imgur.com/uti3gPS.png

[Image: uti3gPS.png]

What has happened to these two ethnic groups?
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#2
It is interesting how the Ruthenian territory overlaps with the settlement of Walddeutsche in South Eastern Poland. Both groups seem to have been largely assimilated I guess.
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#3
(03-26-2024, 10:02 PM)Riverman Wrote: It is interesting how the Ruthenian territory overlaps with the settlement of Walddeutsche in South Eastern Poland.

It doesn't overlap that much, the Walddeutsche settlement was further north and west from it:

[Image: jjlChxg.png]

^ Compared to Walddeutsche settlement areas (but they were already Polonized in the 1900s):

[Image: ZjDYQk4.png]

[Image: gSy3jFK.png]
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#4
(03-26-2024, 09:51 PM)Tomenable Wrote: What has happened to these two ethnic groups?

Ruthenians are the same as Ukrainians, Ruthenians of Galycyna (Galicia) are Ukrainians-Galychans. As for Poleschuks, this is a broad term, it refers to the population of Polissia (Polesie), both Ukrainian and Belarusian. The population that was listed as Poleschuks on the old Polish maps and lived on the territory of Volhynia are Ukrainians. The same Poleschuks who lived on the territory of Belarus, in the Brest region, can essentially be considered part of the Ukrainian ethnic group in the sense that their language is Ukrainian, not Belarusian, and in terms of culture and genetics, their ancestors came from southern, Ukrainian territories. But Belarusian Poleshchuks did not become a part of the Ukrainian nation because of their centuries-long isolation. Also, at the same time, they did not consider themselves Belarusians (Litvins) due to cultural differences, so they called themselves Poleshuks, or тутейши/tuteishi (locals).
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#5
I saw several videos with old people from Belarusian Polesie. Their language is very close to the central Ukrainian dialects and the literary Ukrainian language. It seemed to me that it was even closer than the language of the people in the north of the Zhytomyr and Rivne regions and much closer than the language of the Ukrainians of the Carpathians and Transcarpathia. Taking into account the fact that they never studied the Ukrainian language in schools, as well as the fact that there were no migrations from central Ukraine to the Brest region in the last 700 years, the conclusion that the Ukrainian language in its current form arose quite a long time ago naturally suggests itself. Perhaps the formation of Poleshchuks from Brest was the result of settlement from the Galicia-Volhyn lands under King Danylo, who won back these lands from the Yatvyags. It is possible that Danylo also forcibly resettled the population from some territories that disobeyed him (such as the Bolohiv lands), so the language is close to Central Ukrainian dialects.
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#6
In the census of 1921 in Polesia there were 375,220 Belarusians, 156,142 Ruthenians and 38,565 Poleshuks:

https://statlibr.stat.gov.pl/exlibris/al...SXMS17.pdf - data by county starts on page 12/39

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c...y_1921.pdf - Tablica XI. on page 73/264

In the census of 1931 in Polesia there were 75,338 Belarusians, 54,047 Ukrainians and 707,088 Poleshuks:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c...y_1931.pdf - Tabl. 12. on page 57/314 data by county

Table based on the 1931 census:

[Image: J49NtFY.png]

The census of 1921 counted only "Ruthenians" (no "Ukrainians" category), while the census of 1931 counted "Ukrainians" and "Ruthenians" separately.

Here is a map of Ruthenians according to the 1931 census:

[Image: KQqfrsM.png]

And here is a map of Ukrainians according to the 1931 census:

[Image: HakWuK2.png]

In Volhynia there were only Ukrainians, in Galicia both Ukrainians and Ruthenians, in Krakowskie Voivodeship (e.g. Lemko territory) only Ruthenians.
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#7
(03-27-2024, 07:04 PM)Gordius Wrote: (...)

I have a K36 average for Belarusian Polesia, I guess we can make simulated G25 coordinates based on it:

Code:
K36_Europe_BY_Polesye,0,0,0,0.99,0,7.47,0.02,0,7.8,0,26.73,0.35,16.96,12.8,2.06,4.83,0,3.42,0,0.07,0,6.58,0.47,7.74,0,0,0,0,0,0.01,0.38,0,1.2,0.01,0,0.11

And below are simulated G25 coordinates made with use of this website: https://output.jsbin.com/putawif

Code:
Poleshuk_sim,0.137217,0.128790,0.076561,0.063910,0.044330,0.024757,0.009855,0.012889,0.001230,-0.019350,-0.004059,-0.009188,0.016020,0.031620,-0.013243,-0.001949,0.003897,-0.001049,0.006188,0.001850,0.000149,-0.009306,0.004965,-0.001434,0.003989

Closest distances:

Distance to: Poleshuk_sim
0.01606627 Russian_Smolensk
0.01732640 Ukrainian_Chernihiv
0.01742531 Belarusian
0.01888906 Ukrainian_Rivne
0.01896068 Ukrainian_Zhytomyr
0.02047405 Ukrainian_Sumy
0.02065583 Russian_Voronez
0.02144258 Polish
0.02163545 Lithuanian_PA
0.02190738 Russian_Belgorod
(...)
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#8
(03-27-2024, 07:26 PM)Tomenable Wrote: The census of 1921 counted only "Ruthenians" (no "Ukrainians" category), while the census of 1931 counted "Ukrainians" and "Ruthenians" separately.



In Volhynia there were only Ukrainians, in Galicia both Ukrainians and Ruthenians, in Krakowskie Voivodeship (e.g. Lemko territory) only Ruthenians.

In most cases, the words "Ruthen" and "Ukrainian" were synonymous, but more often the inhabitants of Galicia were called "Ruthen".


Quote:In the census of 1931 in Polesia there were 75,338 Belarusians, 54,047 Ukrainians and 707,088 Poleshuks:

In this case, the difference in the name of the ethnic group is more a difference in self-awareness than a difference in culture or language. That is, there was no cultural or linguistic distinction, there was a difference in self-awareness, since some of those Belarusian Poleshchuks identified themselves as Ukrainians, while others did not. The situation is similar, for example, in Transcarpathia. Those Ruthenians who live on the territory of Ukraine consider themselves Ukrainians, and those who live on the territory of Slovakia consider themselves Ruthenians (Rusyns), although there is no clear differentiation in terms of language between them, there is a smooth gradient of dialects.
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#9
(03-27-2024, 08:50 PM)Gordius Wrote: In this case, the difference in the name of the ethnic group is more a difference in self-awareness than a difference in culture or language. That is, there was no cultural or linguistic distinction, there was a difference in self-awareness, since some of those Belarusian Poleshchuks identified themselves as Ukrainians, while others did not. The situation is similar, for example, in Transcarpathia. Those Ruthenians who live on the territory of Ukraine consider themselves Ukrainians, and those who live on the territory of Slovakia consider themselves Ruthenians (Rusyns), although there is no clear differentiation in terms of language between them, there is a smooth gradient of dialects.

But how do you explain that in the census of 1921 there were 2.4 times more Belarusians than Ukrainians in Polish Polesie?

To me it seems that Poleshuks are closer to Belarusians than to Ukrainians, at least today most of them identfy as Belarusians.
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#10
According to the census of 1921 situation by county looked like this:

County Polish name (English name) --- Belarusians / Ruthenians / Poleshuks

Brześć (Brest-Litovsk) ---------------------- 54717 / 2744 / 345
Drohiczyn (Drahichyn) --------------------- 18426 / 3693 / 25407
Kamień Koszyrski (Kamin-Kashyrskyi) ---- 6 / 41522 / 9183
Kobryń (Kobryn) ---------------------------- 17033 / 2224 / 242
Kosów (Kosava) ----------------------------- 36143 / 7 / 0
Łuniniec (Luninyets) ------------------------ 127349 / 1710 / 60
Pińsk (Pinsk) --------------------------------- 90840 / 343 / 1707
Prużana (Pruzhany) ------------------------- 30107 / 112 / 0
Sarny (Sarny) -------------------------------- 599 / 103787 / 1621

Total -------------------------------------------- 375220 / 156142 / 38565

So Ukrainians (Ruthenians) were only dominant in two counties of Polish Polesie.

These two counties - Kamin-Kashyrskyi and Sarny - are today located in Ukraine:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamin-Kashyrskyi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarny

Other settlements and counties from the list above are today located in Belarus.
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#11
(03-27-2024, 09:01 PM)Tomenable Wrote:
(03-27-2024, 08:50 PM)Gordius Wrote: In this case, the difference in the name of the ethnic group is more a difference in self-awareness than a difference in culture or language. That is, there was no cultural or linguistic distinction, there was a difference in self-awareness, since some of those Belarusian Poleshchuks identified themselves as Ukrainians, while others did not. The situation is similar, for example, in Transcarpathia. Those Ruthenians who live on the territory of Ukraine consider themselves Ukrainians, and those who live on the territory of Slovakia consider themselves Ruthenians (Rusyns), although there is no clear differentiation in terms of language between them, there is a smooth gradient of dialects.

But how do you explain that in the census of 1921 there were 2.4 times more Belarusians than Ukrainians in Polesie?

To me it seems that Poleshuks are closer to Belarusians than to Ukrainians. Definitely today they identify as Belarusians.

I think that this does not mean anything. The territory of Brest, both geographically and administratively, was much closer to other Belarusian territories than to Ukrainian ones. In general, these can be natives from other Belarusian territories. And perhaps in 1921 the Belarusian national movement played a role. In terms of language, the Belarusian linguists themselves do not consider the Western Polish dialect to be actually Belarusian. Here is the map. Belarusian dialects are outlined with a red dotted line, Ukrainian dialects are outlined with a green one. Dialects of Western Polesie - in yellow, half of which is actually part of the Ukrainian dialects, and the other half is not, probably a transitional language from Ukrainian to Belarusian.

[Image: Dialects_of_Belarusian_language_be-tarask.png]
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#12
Quote:at least today most of them identfy as Belarusians.

In Belarus, over the last dozen years, there was not Belarussification, but Russification, and now the country is being occupied by Russia. Therefore, in the future, the question of the existence of the Belarusian nation and the Belarusian language will arise, and we are not even talking about such sub-ethnic groups as Poleshchuks.
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#13
In the Russian census of 1897 (Ukrainian = Little Russian):

Brest district - Little Russian 64.4%
Kobrin district - Little Russian 79.6%
Pruzhany district - Belorussian 75.5%
Pinsk district - Belorussian 74.3%
Mozyr district - Belorussian 79.5%

Interesting that Bielsk Podlaski district in the Russian census of 1897 is listed as 39.1% Little Russian and only 4.9% Belorussian. Today this area is the centre of Belarusian minority in Poland, so these people now identify as Belarusians (many also identify as Orthodox Poles), but no longer as Ukrainians.
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#14
There is still a small Ukrainian minority in this south-western corner of Belarus (Western Polesie): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:...(2019).png

[Image: 1024px-Ukrainians_in_Belarus_%282019%29.png]
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#15
(03-27-2024, 08:50 PM)Gordius Wrote:
(03-27-2024, 07:26 PM)Tomenable Wrote: The census of 1921 counted only "Ruthenians" (no "Ukrainians" category), while the census of 1931 counted "Ukrainians" and "Ruthenians" separately.



In Volhynia there were only Ukrainians, in Galicia both Ukrainians and Ruthenians, in Krakowskie Voivodeship (e.g. Lemko territory) only Ruthenians.

In most cases, the words "Ruthen" and "Ukrainian" were synonymous, but more often the inhabitants of Galicia were called "Ruthen".
Here is a deeper look on the naming conventions https://rep.up.krakow.pl/xmlui/bitstream...sAllowed=y




@Tomenable
Rusins were also on terrority of today Ukraine like Volhynia, and they were mostly associated with Orthodox Church. While in Galicia there were popular Unite church among Ukrainians. Originally, the Lemkos adhered to Orthodoxy and only later were influenced by Greek Catholic Church.

So to answer your question in OP, it would be needed to track how various ethnic groups changed their faith and then were united with other groups.
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