The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(self-designation, Žemaičiai’, Russian, zhmud’’, Polish, żimud), ancient Lithuanian tribe in the western part of Lithuania (Zemaitija), that became part of the Lithuanians. During the 13th and 14th centuries they stubbornly struggled against the aggressive Teutonic Order but were ultimately conquered. Shortly after the crushing defeat of the order in the Battle of Grünwald (1410), the Žemaite became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a process completed in 1422. Until the 20th century the members of this group could be distinguished from the population of neighboring areas of Lithuania by certain characteristics of material culture, customs, and folk art.


Pashuto, V. T. Obrazovanie Litovskogo gosudarstva. Moscow, 1959.
Dundulis, B. Lietuvin kova del Žemaitijos ir Užnemunes XV amžiuje. Vilnius, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.