Native Faith


Each year in Kraków, Poland, on the day after Easter, a large festival of pre-Christian culture is held at the burial mound of the city’s legendary founder, Krakus.  Open to the general public, the festival is dominated by followers of a small but growing religion known in Polish as “Rodzimowierstwo,” in English “Native Faith.”  Native Faith can be called an ethnic religion, a recovery/reinvention of ancient Slavic beliefs and lifeways, against the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church in one of the most intensely Catholic societies in the world.  The title of the work cuts two ways, referring both to the followers of Rodzimowierstwo, and to non-followers, for whom the normal elements of 21st century public culture––petty commerce, child-centered entertainment, the ubiquitous practice of photography––likewise form a native faith.

Kraków, April 2018