Object structure


Dom na wsi. Antropologiczna lektura palimpsestów etnicznych: zamieszkanie i zadomowienie


Journal of Urban Ethnology 17 (2019) ; A house in the country. An anthropological reading of ethnic palimpsests: habitation and a sense of settlement


Wejland, Andrzej Paweł


Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN

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24 cm

Subject and Keywords:

house in the country ; Cekcyn ; Tuchola Forest ; ethnic palimpsest ; anthropological reading of ethnic palimpsests ; habitation and a sense of settlement ; narratives of memory


The author’s reflections are carried out on three interconnected planes. On the first plane, the author attempts to demonstrate that the metaphorical concept of a palimpsest, which in anthropology is almost paradigmatically referred to cities and their spaces, may just as successfully be applied to the countryside and to rural space. A house in the country, just as a house in a city, located in an ethnically marked space – a formerly-German house, for instance – may then be viewed as an ethnic palimpsest delineated by the complexity of history and the logic of culture. At the second plane of his reflections, the author attempts to show that an anthropological reading of a house as an ethnic palimpsest is the reading (i.e. the search for and analysis) of particular combinations of trace-objects. This reading must, in addition, be twofold, penetrating deep into the layers of the palimpsest which came to overlap with the passage of time, and concurrently moving on its surface structures in search of involutions. This approach conforms with Sarah Dillon’s conception of combining palimpsestic reading with palimpsestuous reading. On the third plane, taking as his example two adjacent formerly-German houses in the village of Cekcyn in the Tuchola Forest and the histories of two families that have migrated there, the author shows the applicability of this method of reading in the analysis of two types of habitation: one that results in a failure to achieve a sense of settlement and one that produces the feeling of being successfully settled. His reading of ethnic palimpsests constituted by these countryside houses is based mainly on narratives of memory which reflect settlement processes that took place in the Tuchola Forest after the Second World War, that is – in the histories of these Polish families – the episode of their settling in houses that formerly belonged to German residents


Journal of Urban Ethnology



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IAiE PAN, call no. P 714 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 1505 ; click here to follow the link




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Copyright-protected material. May be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences



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