Our mission

We express our respect and gratitude to the American Indians, first inhabitants of those lands and our gracious hosts. We thank them for their hospitality.

Bronisław Malinowski’s Polish-American Ethnological Society was established in 1976. Our mission consists of conducting, disseminating and popularizing issues and topics related to the field of the cultural anthropology, spreading knowledge about the culture of ethnic groups in the United States focusing on American Indians and American Polonia. PAES/PATE supports research on various minority groups, organizes annual seminar , conducts publishing activities and gladly cooperates with other American and Polish Institutions on the field

Our history

With help of the late Edward Wolak, an attorney-in-law from Clifton, New Jersey, the Polish-American Ethnological Society was established in 1976 to honor the memory of Bronislaw Malinowski. The Original Signatories of the PAES Charter were the following: Melanie CHELSTOWSKI, Joseph CHLEBECEK, Mary DOMBROWSKI, Olga HABURA, Dominick MacARTHUR, Wanda MacARTHUR, Zdravko MALJKOVIC, Barbara PIOTROWSKA, Andrzej SZATYNSKI, Danuta SZATYNSKI, Ryszarda SZCZERBANIEWICZ, Maria SZPALA, Andrzej WALA,and Josephine ZELISKO

From 1976 to 1981, the organization’s headquarters were located in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. The years from 1976-1985 were not very productive, save the restructuring the organization. By 1981 only three nominal members remained, and the organization relocated in Atlantic City, NJ. Here, the PAES/PATE underwent a sudden revival in 1984-85, with an influx of a new Polish, “post-Solidarity” immigrants. With an expert help of Dr. Aleksander Posern-Zieliński from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, the Society’s Research Council could fulfill the plans that had been made for ethnological field work, and invite new proposed prospective members to join. The organization recruited Krzysztof Kopczyński, an ethnographer; and the late Prof. Edmund Urbański, a historian and the chairman of Polish-Latin American Studies at PIASA (PIN) in New York.

In 1987 Marta Bierska, the PAES/PATE Secretary, found an article about the revival of a native peoples in South Jersey, the Nanicoke Lenni-Lenape Indians, Inc. of Bridgeton. The next year PAES/PATE established its first contact with them, and by 1994 the Tribal Council.

In a meantime new members were recruited: Ewa Dżurak (1992)  from Warsaw University and soon her colleagues, Anna Engelking and Sławomir Sikora  become involved with the organization.

Since 1990, PAES/PATE held annual anthropological seminars, and by 2019 there were twenty five of such meetings. In addition, PAES/PATE organized some scholarly meetings with Sławomir Sikora (1995), an ethnographer, co-editor of “Konteksty”, a periodical published by the Institute of Polish Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland; with Prof. Aleksander Posern-Zieliński (1998), the director of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology in Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland; with Justyna Olko-Bajer (2001), an archaeologist from Warsaw University, after her field research in Nakum, Guatemala.

In 1997, the Secretary, Igor Fedasz, and the Executive Director, Andrew Wala, successfuly completed a laborious paper work, required by the Internal Revenue Service in establishing the Tax Exempt Status Number for our Society. Since that year PAES/PATE is officially defined as a non-for-profit organization.

In 1998 Andrew Wala was invited to have weekly radio speeches for the Polish Radio programs in Philadlphia. After completing 200 radio addresses the author decided to print them in a book: Z Atlantic City mówi do Państwa… (From Atlantic City speaks to you…). Profit from the book sell was given as his donation to the society. The laborious work, of preparing the text in computer for printing, was done free of charge by Urszula Popielak and Marek Maciołek (2004).

In 1999 Prof. John J. Beatty, an anthropologist from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York joined the organization. In that same year Prof. Posern-Zieliński introduced our society to the quarterly “Tawacin”, and its Editor-in-Chief, Marek Maciołek. Since then until 2010, PAES/PATE has entered into a fruitful collaboration with Tawacin and Tipi Publishing House (www.tipi.pl): many of our scholarly works were issued in the quarterly, and Andrew Wala, the PAES/PATE executive director, provided his periodical article Glos z Scheyechbi(A Voice from Scheyechbi) for many issues of “Tawacin”. At the same time Marek Maciołek has became our technical editor, and society, thanks to his expert help, was able to print its anthropological papers into one book in 2001: Referaty Seminariów Antropologicznych 1990-2000 (Papers of the Anthropological Seminars 1990-2000).

In 2000, at the invitation of Prof. Posern-Zielinski, PAES/PATE was able to send two delegates, Krzysztof Kopczyński and Andrew Wala along with their papers, to the 50th International Congress of Americanists in Warsaw. One paper, Indians of New Jersey in 19th and 20th Centuries, by Andrew Wala, was presented. The participation in the congress brought new contacts. Bartosz Hlebowicz Ph.D. candidate under guidance of Prof. Posern-Zieliński, became member of the society. Interested in the Native revival movements in the Eastern Coast of USA, Bartosz Hlebowicz was introduced by the Society to the Tribal Council of Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians, and, with their approval, began to conduct ethnological research among the members of their community for three consecutive summer seasons (2001-2003). In summary, from 1988 until 2003 the ethnohistorical and anthropological research had been undertaken by Andrew Wala, Joanna Trzcionkowska and Bartosz Hlebowicz, thanks to understanding and help of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Chairman, Mark Gould, and also to Liz Munson, Tina Pierce, Patricia Rossello, and many other helpful members of NLL community. The research resulted in four papers about history and present problems of Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape, and culminated in the Bartosz Hlebowicz’s doctorate dissertation (2004): Formation of Ethnic Identity Among Native American Groups in the Eastern Coast of the United States. Case Studies of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape from New Jersey, and the Oneida Nation from New York.

The summer of 2006 saw the 30th anniversary of our organization. The celebration culminated on July 14th, with the celebratory meeting in the Community Room of the Waterview Condominium in Ventnor.

In the same year, a member of PAES/PATE, and the director of the first Polish Archaeological Expedition to Maya site in Nakum, Guatemala, Dr. Jarosław Źrałka, together with his associate, Wieslaw Koszkul, both from the Institute of Archaeology of Jagiellonian University, have achieved a spectacular success, discovering an undisturbed tomb of the Maya ruler.

Years of 2007-2009 witnessed a heated discussion between Andrew Wala and the editors/stuff members of the quarterly TawacinMarek Maciołek, Marek Nowocień, Dr. Bartosz Hlebowicz, and also Dr. Mariusz Kairski and Łukasz Krokoszyński from UAM – over the ethical aspects of the conquest of America, and later, with Dr. Tarzycjusz Buliński, over a specific interpretation of problems, associated with the bording schools for Indian children. Although this discussion deeply polarized positions of the involved parties, it also led to a new interesting contacts forPAES/PATE. Zofia Kozimor, from France. She has opened her webpage www.cochise.com.pl as another forum for PAES/PATE in discussing the neglected issues of morality in the conquest of Native Americans, the following physical and cultural genocide, and the results of colonization.

After several unsuccessful attempts in previous years, PAES/PATE finally established an informal branch in Poland, 2009. Although informal, it is under energetic direction of the well known writer, and specialist in the Indian spirituality, Leszek Michalik from Sztum. The society is hoping to extend its activity in our native country, and find there a new enthusiastic members.

The long awaited second volume of the seminar papers finally were put into print in November 2009. Its technical preparation belongs again to the indispensable expert, Marek Maciołek from Wielichowo, Poland. Indianie Kalinago i inni… Referaty Seminariow Antropologicznych 2001-2008 (Kalinago Indians and others… Papers of the Anthropological Seminars 2001-2008) was sponsored in part by Starostwo Kołobrzeskie and in part by Iwona Kołakowska, a hotel proprietor from Ustronie Morskie, Poland.

An energetic and dedicated member of our EU branch in Poland, Aleksandra Janowska, from Dept. of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, proposed to organize anthropological conference (an initial project by Leszek Michalik) under the title “To be Indian, is…”. The conference was sponsored in part by the Department of E&CA, and in part by PAES/PATE. The two-days conference took place on October 28 &29, 2011, and presented 12 interesting papers. Dr. Jerzy Barankiewicz, Andrew Wala, both from USA, and prof. Aleksander Posern-Zielinski from Poland, represented the PAES/PATE.

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