There is a grain of truth in every fairy tale and legend. Traditions passed down from generation to generation accompany us every day. We learn, cultivate and cherish traditions and legends. The most popular ones about the creation of Kashuby, amber, snuff and Stolems will be heard in various places. The melody of Kashubian notes will probably catch our ears while traveling around Kashuby.
The legend of the founding of Kashuby
Many regions in Poland have their own legends and stories. Kashuby also has its own history, which tells about the creation of this wonderful and picturesque region of Pomorskie. The Kashubian legend tells of God who completely forgot about this region during the creation of the earth. God created wonderful azure seas and green forests, huge mountains and deep oceans. Then one of the angels demanded another region – Kashuby.
Then God commanded the angel to look into the sack, which contained many beautiful things, but it was not enough to cover the whole region. So God decided to create Kashuby as a mixture of hills, hills, coniferous and deciduous forests, rivers, lakes and the sea. As a result, a beautiful and diverse land was created. Beautiful but silent, which is why God created animals and man.
The legend shows that Kashuby region is not only a rich history, centuries-old buildings, tradition or sea stories. Kashuby is primarily a wealth of landscapes and views as well as a unique culture.
The legend of amber – Jantar
It was believed that the only Lord of the Baltic Sea was Gosk, who lived with his daughter in a palace at the bottom of the sea. This god treated the sea like an orchestra, he was the conductor of the wind, waves, storms and waves, and he stirred them up and calmed them down. He helped fishermen catch fish. Sometimes he also got angry, then storms, waves and storms brought havoc to people. His beautiful daughter Jurata often watched the work of people from the seashore.
Against her father’s wish, one day she swam to the boat and began helping the fishermen with their work. Jurata fell in love with one of the fishermen and decided to live with him. Information about his daughter’s happiness reached Gosk, who was very upset. He ordered his daughter to immediately return to the underwater palace. When she disobeyed, a storm broke out, Jurata’s beloved boat was smashed, and he himself died.
Jurata was crying with pain, each of her tears turned into amber. The father expanded the palace from those tears, to which the daughter did not want to return. Enraged father brought more storms and waves to the sea, so big and strong that the whole amber palace broke into amber pieces. To this day, after storms, we can find pieces of amber on the beach. Maybe these are the ones from the palace of the god Gosk and Jurata?
The legend of the tobacco
There lived in Kashuby a good, obliging and kind peasant. The devil was still creating some plans to take over his soul. Nothing worked until the devil sowed tobacco. The devil, taking a human form, pretended to be a new host, asked the peasant for the name of the plant from his field. He didn’t know it, it was awkward for him to admit it, he pretended he had forgotten and unconsciously made a promise “that he would give souls to the devil” if he didn’t say the right name.
The devil gave the peasant time to recall the name until morning, but he was already rubbing his hands that he had won a new soul. The peasant had a wife who was furious that the devil could take the peasant from her. In the morning, she smeared herself black, covered herself with feathers, and went to the field, where she played various pranks. The devil to drive her out said “get out of the tobacco”. Having learned the name of the plant, the good peasant went to meet the devil. When he heard the correct name of the plant, the devil fled to hell. The mowed tobacco dried up and crumbled. The peasant sniffed it, a little bit fell into his nose, so the habit of taking snuff, sometimes called devil’s weed, was born.
The Legend of the Stolems
Stolems lived here before people came to Kashuby. They are giants, giants, giants. They treated trees like toothpicks and boulders like toy balls. When people came here, they were afraid of these giants. The giants did not like people, they even wanted to get rid of them, because they ate fish, mushrooms, nuts, cut down forests, established fields.
One day, in the meadow, two stolems were lying and talking, their conversation about the annihilation of people was overheard by a young fisherman. While they were asleep, the young man climbed a tree and threw cones at their noses. The giants accused each other of this act and started a fight. In anger, they threw trees at each other, these stones stopped in various places in Kashuby, on the shores of lakes, among fields, along roads. Finally, tired, they talked and determined that it must have been the man who had thrown the cones at them. They recognized the wisdom and cunning of men before they fell into eternal sleep. The other stolems already lived in harmony with humans.
Today we do not know the author and the exact date of their creation. Most often we can meet the opinion that in the Prussian period they were used for learning through play.
The pictorial content of the notes is a kind of sung rhyme, known practically throughout Kashuby. The notes are painted on the board, the leader points to the pictures one by one on the staff. In Kashubian museums, during the performances of folklore groups, we can often hear Kashubian notes. The music is simple and catchy, hence when leaving Kashuby we will probably be humming it.