har kan

Music for download - „Harkan

is a dance that was originally performed exclusively by men and was often called the poachersʼ dance. Harkan is a processional dance characteristic for czadecki highlanders, played in the triple meter (¾ meter). Harkan can be danced by any number of dancers, who dance in a circle, holding hands raised to shoulder level. The dance  encompasses characteristic steps and gestures such as stamping and turning, which are performed in the rhythm of eights). This fast and lively dance of Bukovina origin forms at the core of wedding rites and celebrations.

The origin of the dance is worth mentioning. Harkan is an example of a dance characteristic for the group of highlanders described in the literature of the subject as czadecki highlanders, although they should, however, be more appropriately described as Bukovina highlanders. Nevertheless, the highlanders themselves tend to directly refer to this name (e.g. “Watra” ensemble from Brzeźnica), as well as to the names derived from the names of the places inhabited by their ancestors before 1945–46 (e.g. the so-called pojańczycy – Poiana highlanders).        

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This community is of Silesian and Małopolska (Lesser Poland) origin and a significant part of it for some time inhabited the valley of Kysuca and Pohorele in the territory of present-day Slovakia. At the beginning of the 19th  century, within the framework of the Habsburg colonial policy, this community was resettled to Romanian Bukovina.          

After World War II, some of the Bukovina highlanders have undergone voluntary repatriation and settled in several villages in the historical Lower Silesia region. The time that the members of this community have spent in the multi-ethnic environment of Bukovina, left a significant mark on their traditions, turning them into a fascinating combination of the elements of Carpathian culture, mixed with the elements of dances characteristic for several communities of emigrants that arrived to Bukovina from different parts of the Habsburg Empire. Harkan, as a shepherd dance, is a good example of a dance that was originally danced by highlanders from the Polish-Romanian borderland.