The Tatars in Lithuania and Their Ethnohistory


  • Veneta Yankova Lecturer, Bulgarian language and culture at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary


historical memory, interpretation and re-interpretation of history, mythography, ethnohistory, national narrative, Tatars in Lithuania


This article focuses on the interpretation and re-interpretation of the history of the Tatar community in Lithuania. It is the result of field studies conducted in 2012, 2015 and 2016 and draws the reader’s attention to Tatar ethnohistory, understood as a story of the past, tracing its main narratives: the settlement of Tatars in this region of Europe, their past and their family genealogies. The analysis finds that the mythology of the settlement is heroic, the central role in it is played by the great prince Vytautas, and the ancestors are presented as noble and loyal warriors. In its main elements (plot, characters), Tatar mythography follows the trajectory of the dominant national narrative, emphasizing the heroic and dignified participation of Tatars in it.