« 2021. # 6 (162)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. № 6 (162), 1457—1467

UDK 930.2:94(477.83/.86=512.1)”191/193″

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2021.06.1457

KARAITES IN CULTURAL MOSAIC OF INTERWAR GALICIA (According to the journal «Myśl karaimska»)


  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4521-9597
  • PhD in History, Research Fellow,
  • Department of Social Anthropology,
  • Institute of Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: p.chorniy@gmail.com

Abstract. The problem of origin and existence of Karaites was investigated in the article with a focus on the interwar period. The main theories of the origin of this ethnoreligious community were given and analyzed and also presented the author’s understanding of Karaite ethnogenesis appealing to the context of Galicia.

Over the centuries Karaite communities have undergone constant socio-cultural transformations under the influence of cultures and religions among which they lived. However, Karaites managed to consistently adhere to their own biblical ethos presenting its religious tradition as a real, unaltered or supplemented orthodox form of Jewish civilization. The purpose of the research is to find out who Karaites are, when and under what conditions they came to Galicia; how Karaites managed to preserve their identity and separateness for many centuries; to learn the peculiarities of the public governance of Galician Karaite religious community during the 1920s and 1930s, their traditions and practices of network communication and institutional management within Galicia and interwar Poland in general.

Research methods. While writing the scientific article the research dialectical principle of learning and evaluating objects and phenomena in their historical development (the principle of historism) was used. To verify involved information a comparative method was used, content-analysis and discourse-analysis were performed. In the process of combining and reconciling archival materials and historiographical information the method of complex analysis was applied.

The source basis of the research is the materials of the journal «Myśl karaimska» — a leading intellectual platform where humanitarians presented their Karaims studios — historical, ethnographic, linguistic, religious, anthropological and cultural studies as well as chronicles of the most important events from life of the Karaite communities in interwar Poland, including Galicia. Due to the fact that this journal has not been available to Ukrainian researchers for many decades most of the information contained in its pages has not previously been used in major studies which determines relevance and novelty of this research. After all it allowed a new look at the old research questions as well as to identify new research tasks.

Keywords: Karaites, Karaism, Myśl karaimska, Galicia, interwar period, Gaham, Karaite religious union.

Received 7.09.2021


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