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It is time to take leave of Ania, Tom, Maria, Wlodek, Marek and Jarek. The minibus was eventually returned, but unfortunately the confiscated journals were never recovered from the Ukrainian authorities, so Tomís is the only surviving documentary evidence. He has asserted his intellectual property rights and refused permission for quotation. We have no reliable information about their further personal histories, but we can imagine the following alternatives from a vantage point towards 2020

Variant One:

Wlodek joined Maria permanently in Cracow after obtaining a place to study Ethnologia at the Jagiellonian University and follow up his passionate interest in the mythology of the Slavic peoples. Maria abandoned her economics course in favour of sociology. After a further year she was able to specialise in socio-cultural anthropology, and some of her classes were shared with Wlodek at the Ethnology Institute. They married soon after graduation and succeeded in obtaining scholarships for postgraduate research in Ukraine. Jarek, whose business flourished, was a great source of help to them at this time.

They eventually returned to Przemysl, he to work at the county museum and she with a post at the city development office. The regional economy boomed after Ukraine was admitted to the European Union. Maria and Wlodek had a new house built on the east bank of the San and brought up their children bilingually and bidenominationally. Michal was baptised in the Greek Catholic cathedral, while Olga followed her mother as a Roman Catholic. Both religious calendars are observed in their home. The family was delighted when, after years of campaigning, the city council agreed to recognise the major religious holidays of the minority denomination as official public holidays. Indeed, this Przemysl case established a precedent later successfully followed by many other minority communities all over Europe.

Tom and Ania completed the courses for which they were registered and then they too chose social anthropology for graduate work. His project took him, as part of an interdisciplinary team, to Amazonia; and the experience he gained here led in turn to a series of posts with non-governmental organisations working in that region, where he occasionally ran into Marek, a dedicated campaigner for the land rights of indigenous peoples. Ania laid the foundations of her successful academic career with fieldwork in Poland, in a village not far from the one in which she had felt so uncomfortable during the summer school fieldtrip; it might even have been the same village. She uncovered many surprising details of social life, details which showed how most (but not all) villagers were at home in their world in a sense which they evaluated positively, even though they were still very poor in terms of money incomes. She benefited greatly from having Prof. Dylag as her supervisor and from remaining in touch with Tom. Later they carried out several projects together. To the disappointment of their families, they never married, but eventually they bought a house jointly in west London. They visit Poland most summers and often cross into Ukraine, since all border controls have vanished from this region. Their children speak good Polish, thanks largely to their close contacts with Michal and Olga in Przemysl. They particularly enjoy their visits to Uncle Jarekís shop in the city centre, since he invariably spoils them with a treat.

Variant Two:

Maria was refused permission to change her course. After graduation she went to work in the capital and became a highly successful advertising manager with a multinational company that had identified a demand in Poland for more modern and internationally popular foods. Wlodek could not afford to take up the place he was offered at the Jagiellonian University shortly after its privatisation and eventually he returned to live with his parents in Przemysl. When the authorities, following Polandís entry into the European Union, advertised for additional customs and security officers to work along the eastern border, his application was at first turned down. His knowledge of Ukrainian, which he had thought would be an asset in the border work, in fact made the Polish authorities suspicious. Eventually he obtained a post in the Armed Border Defence unit. Marek, who had given up his legal studies and taken out Polish citizenship, was his dynamic Commanding Officer. Wlodek resigned not long afterwards, when his unit was involved in several notorious cases, including the slaughter of seven Ukrainians thought to be attempting to enter the European Union illegally. Jarek and the wife he had just married were among the dead. After this incident, Wlodek worked as an unpaid volunteer in the Greek Catholic parish. Like the other members of this minority, he stoically endured the taunts of unemployed Polish youths in his neighbourhood.

As for Tom and Ania, they obtained respectable degrees and moved into secure office jobs in their native cities. They married compatriots and had children, who were cared for by foreign nannies. They sometimes send each other Christmas cards, but it is a long time since either of them visited Poland. Their children, all monoglot English speakers, insist on holidaying elsewhere.

Further Reading

Tom and Ania both felt that they could have prepared better for their summer school. They now agree with their teachers that fieldwork should not be attempted before one has done some background reading on the history of a region and the cultural traditions of its people. Many suggestions for further reading in anthropology are given at the end of my book. There is not a great deal available in the English language on Malinowskiís life (though Michael Young is preparing a full biographical study) or on Cracow and Galicia. English speakers can subscribe to an email discussion list on the city at The following books give more detail on various central themes:

I. Bartal and A. Polonsky (eds:) Focusing on Galicia: Jews, Poles and Ukrainians 1772-1918. Volume 12 in the series, Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry (London and Portland: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization 1999)

E. Duda The Jews of Cracow (Cracow: Wydawnictwo Hagada and Argona-Jarden Jewish Bookshop, 1999)

C. Nagengast Reluctant Socialists, Rural Entrepreneurs, Class, Culture and the Polish State (Boulder CO: Westview Press, 1991)

C. M. Hann A Village without Solidarity; Polish peasants in years of crisis (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1985)

R. Ellen, E. Gellner, G. Kubica and J. Mucha (eds.) Malinowski Between Two Worlds; the Polish roots of an anthropological tradition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). (See especially the chapter by Raymond Firth, Malinowski's most distinguished student.)

Malinowski Witkacy (Catalogue of Exhibition described in chapter 2) published as special issue of the journal Konteksty Vol. LIV, Ns. 1-4, 2000

P. R. Magocsi Of the Making of Nationalities There is No End (New York: East European Monographs DXL, 1999, 2 Volumes, 1999)

Paul Robert Magocsi Galicia: A Historical Survey and Bibligraphic Guide (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983)


I thank Zdzislaw Mach and Jerzy Hausner for helping me with details concerning Cracow; Stanislaw Stepien for research cooperation in Przemysl and several photographs; Fedor Gocz and many other villagers in the eastern Lemko zone for hospitality and instruction over many years; Jacek Nowak and Father Serge Keleher, for sharing field experiences in 1994; Paul Robert Magocsi for good humoured debate about what exactly makes a people/nation(ality)/culture; Jonathan Webber for helping me to appreciate the most significant 'absence' in contemporary Galicia; Michael D. Fischer, David Zeitlyn, Gordon Milligan and Anke Brüning for help in preparing this electronic publication; Frances Pine for much good advice and several illustrations. Special thanks to Ildi, Agnes and Mark, my most critical readers.

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