e-mail: etno_iaekrakow@onet.eu                                                                           tel. +48/12 422 48 65


EtHnology Center


The Cracow Center of Ethnology of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology PAN is focused on folk culture studies of the mountain regions of Polish Carpathians.

In addition to cultural studies, research covers geo-historic, social and economic aspects of society. Topics include the longevity of traditional elements in contemporary Carpathian folk culture, the influence of local cultural heritage on modern life, the loss of traditional elements, and questions related to identity and diversity of the folk culture in specific regions of the Polish Carpathians.



Casual dress (Silesia), 1971. Photo J. Rys

Water transpotation (The Sacz Beskid), 1963. Photo A. Kowalska-Lewicka

Costumes of Sacz Beskid, 1977. Photo Z. Szromba-Rysowa


A number of monographs, reports, doctoral and habilitation dissertations have originated in the Center. They are devoted to such questions as diet, rituals of a modern village, folk medicine, folk costume function and spiritual beliefs. The Center participated in the Institute's project - a two-volume monograph entitled "Etnografia Polski. Przemiany kultury ludowej" (1976, 1981) (Poland's Ethnography. Changes of Folk Culture). 

The Center was also a partook in a research project of the International Committee for Studies of Carpathian Folk Culture (temporarily including the Balkans), completing within it “Bibliografia Kultury Ludowej Karpat" (1960) (Bibliography of Carpathian Folk Culture), as well as other works. International collaboration resulted also in a monograph on folk architecture of the Carpathians and the Balkans.



Devil's mask (The Zywiec Beskid) 1985. Photo L. Grajny

The wedding company (Podhale), 1993. Photo U. Lehr

Newly weds (Podhale), 1993. Photo U. Lehr


During the early years of its activities the Center was directed by Professor M. Gladysz. Intensive research was conducted on the Opole region of Silesia, resulting in monographs on the villages of Siolkowice Stare and Siolkowice Nowe (1963), and folk architecture in Upper Silesia (1978). At the same time research in the Podhale region was concluded and a monograph was published on the village of Ciche (1966).



The cabin of a harb gatherer (The Sacz Beskid), 1977. Photo U. Lehr

Sheep pasture (Podhale), 1996. Photo U. Lehr


Later the Center focused its interest on selected regions of the Polish Carpathians. The studies included village people's economic activities, architecture, diets, costumes, folk medicine, family and annual rituals. Monographs of regions were published in 1984, 1985, 1992, 2000.

The Center collaborates with several research institutions in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary. It has a large library and archive of artifacts and photographs.


Information prepared by doc. dr hab. Urszula Lehr