Competing heritages: between neo-pagan and Christian Rękawka fairs in Krakow
(Polish Academy of Sciences)
Paper short abstract:
I look into relation between heritage and locality in the context of competing visions of an annual Rękawka fair in Krakow. Drawing on mutual process of sacralization and secularization of places, practices and events, I present how geographical places become crucial factors in heritage building.
Paper long abstract:
In the paper I look into relations between heritage and locality in the context of competing visions of an annual Rękawka fair which has become one of well know tourist attractions in Krakow in the Easter time. The fair - or in other interpretations the two fairs - is held on two neighboring hills. One part - a Roman Catholic indulgence celebration - is observed at Lasota Hill in a St Benedict church from 12th century, the other - a reenacted early medieval Slavic pagan rite accompanied by numerous festival attractions takes place on Krakus Mound, a place of crucial importance for Krakow's cityscape. Tourists as well as Krakow dwellers visit both events, ascribing them, however, different meanings deriving, among others, from the performative character of the place and its historical context. Both Lasota Hill and Krakus Mound are believed to be early medieval pagan cult sites, thus a Catholic fair with several centuries tradition is perceived by some as aimed against pagan rites somehow native to the place, while contemporary neo-pagan elements of Rękawka on Krakus Mound are by some interpreted as anti-Christian, challenging original Catholic character of the fair; while for others both are just secular tourist attraction. Drawing on mutual process of sacralization and secularization of spaces, practices and events, I present how geographical places become crucial factors in heritage building.
Heritage geographies in the age of mobility