Lipka Tatars

The Lipka Tatars ( Crimean Tatar Lipka is for Lithuania), also known as Belarusian Tatars, Lithuanian Tatars and Polish Tatars are a group of Tatars who settled in the early 14th century in the area of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania.


The first Tatars arrived as refugees who opposed the progressive Islamization further adhered to the original shamanism and sought refuge with the not yet Christianized Lithuanians. At the end of the 14th century, another wave of Tatars emigrated, this time Muslim belief, at the invitation of the Grand Duke Vytautas in the Grand Duchy of one. This second wave settled initially in the area around the cities of Vilnius, Trakai, Hrodna and Kaunas and distributed in the following centuries, from there over the whole territory of the Grand Duchy and later of the united Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This area is now occupied in some of the states of Lithuania, Poland and Belarus. From the beginning, the Tatars in Lithuania were known as Lipka Tatars. While they retained their Muslim faith, the Lipka Tatars its later Christian country, Poland - Lithuania behaved loyal and presented in case of war often forces. So fought ever since the battle of Tannenberg units easier Tatar cavalry in almost all major military conflicts of Lithuania and Poland.


The origin of the Likpa Tatars can be attributed to the successor kingdoms of the Mongol Empire, the Blue and Golden Horde and the Crimean Khanate and Kazan Khanate. They took shortly after their settlement on the role of a higher military caste, but later also made ​​a reputation as a skilled craftsmen, farmers and horse breeders. Nowadays, there are smaller communities of Lipka Tatars in Lithuania, Poland and Belarus, and in notable numbers in the United States, in which they have immigrated.


The Lipka Tatars adopted the Ruthenian language, later the Belarusian. However, it took until the 1930s, the Arabic script ( Belarusian Arabic alphabet ).