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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the population of the historicocultural region of the Latvian SSR known as Latgalia (or Latgola); they speak the High Latvian dialect of the Latvian language.

The Latgalians are the descendants of the Latgals. The term “Latgalians” has been used in scholarly literature since the early 20th century. From ancient times, the Latgalians had especially close ties to the Slavic peoples, which is reflected in all aspects of their daily life and culture. As a result of special historical circumstances, including their separation under Polish rule (from 1629 to 1772) from other territories settled by Latvians and their slower socioeconomic development, the material and spiritual culture of the Latgalians has retained distinctive archaic elements, which are still often observed in modern times. The majority of religious Latgalians are Catholic. The unique local features in Latgalian culture are rapidly disappearing.


Istoriia Latviiskoi SSR, 2nd ed. Riga, 1971.
Narody Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow, 1964.
Latviešų etnogrāfija. Riga, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Latgalians" as the name for people or a tribe was used in the Livonian Chronicle of Henry, the Primary Chronicle, and later in the chronicles of the 16th century.
Polish book collections and libraries played an important role in the education of Latgalians. The Polonization of local residents was held under the influence of the Polish culture.
5) The objective features of Latgalian regionalism enhanced under the influence of emotional and psychological factors, specifically, the fact that the attitude of residents of the other Latvian territories and the official government to Latgale was often repulsive, Latgalians were perceived as others.
First, despite the large proportion of Russian speakers in Latgale, the identity of this region is primarily formed by Latgalians who are ethnic Latvians.
Brexit or not, although many Latvians and Latgalians are returning it's not enough to make a significant impact.
Henricus de Lettis, who in 1204 probably attended the christening of Vends in Cesis, wrote that Vends where first driven away from the Venta river in Courland and later from the area of present-day Riga, and therefore Vends escaped to Letts (Latgalians).
As far as we know the Livonian language area bordered on Livonoid or Tamian Low Latvian and the Leivu language area was surrounded by Latgalian High Latvian.
In the most part of Leivu, the former long * i has been diphthongized into ei under the Latgalian influence.
This, coupled with the fact that the majority of Latgalians were Roman Catholics, while central and western Latvia is mostly Protestant (mainly Lutheran, also Baptist), led to a distinct linguistic and cultural identity of Latgale.
Despite the intensive russification and the threat of polonization, Latgalians managed to preserve their distinctive features.
If this is true, where are the protests, why do we not see Latgalians rioting like there is no tomorrow?
In Rezekne, protesting drivers created traffic jams of several kilometres and threatened the government they would "block international highways." At the same time in Vilaka, another town in Latgale, a few hundred people were "protesting around the town hall and blocking traffic." The Speaker of the Latvian parliament in Riga named Latgalians "marauders," security forces took care of the unrest with little publicity, and the case was closed.