Lipka Tatars

Lipka Tatars

About Lipka Tatars

The Lipka Tatars (also known as Belarusian Tatars, Lithuanian Tatars, Polish Tatars, Lipkowie, Lipcani or Muslimi) are a group of Tatars who originally settled in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the beginning of 14th century. The first settlers tried to preserve their shamanistic religion and sought asylum amongst the non-Christian Lithuanians. Towards the end of the 14th century, another wave of Tatars - this time, Muslims, were invited into the Grand Duchy by Vytautas the Great. These Tatars first settled in Lithuania proper around Vilnius, Trakai, Hrodna and Kaunas and later spread to other parts of the Grand Duchy that later became part of Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. These areas comprise present-day Lithuania, Belarus and Poland. From the very beginning of their settlement in Lithuania they were known as the Lipka Tatars. While maintaining their religion, they united their fate with that of the mainly Christian Polish_Lithuanian Commonwealth.

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