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Kashubians (also "Kassubians", in Kashubian: "Kaszëbë") came into the region between the Oder and Vistula rivers over 1500 years ago. They are direct descendants of Pomeranians, who gave their name to the area known as Pomerania. The oldest mention of the name is known from the 13th century (a seal of prince Barnim I of Pomerania[?]). Kashubians living in territories of the former Duchy of Pomerania were almost entirely Germanised between the 14th and 20th centuries and lost their ethnic identity. Those living in Eastern Pomerania (West Prussia) have survived and today over 300,000 people in Poland regard themseves as Kashubians.

Their 'capital' city is Koscierzyna in Pomerania. Among the bigger towns, Gdynia contain the biggest percentage of the people of Kashub origins. The main occupation of the Kashub was fishing in the past and now is mainly tourism..

In the modern day some 200,000 Kashubians still speak Kashubian, a West Slavic language, together with Polish belonging to Lechitic[?] group of languages, mainly in northern Poland. In many towns and villages Kashubian is the second language, after Polish. The language appears in offices and on the streets and is also taught at schools.

See also: http://www.zk-p.pl (polish, kashubian, english) http://www.kaszubia.com (polish, german) http://www.republika.pl/modraglina/kaszlink (german, polish, english)

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