Adam Chętnik

          Ethnographer, Kurpie and founder of the Museum of Kurpiowskiego in Novgorod Adam Chętnik was the patron saint of 2015 in Podlaskie.

          During the IX Festival of Waniewie music society Słopiewnie presented an exhibition entitled. “Adam Chętnik-life’s work”, which allowed viewers to read the works of the prominent ethnographer and Museum Kurpiowskiego in Novgorod and the Museum of the North-Mazowiecki in łomża. The exhibition shows posters and publications to promote the nine subsequent editions of the Festival.

Excerpt from publication of Zbigniew Nasiadko pt. “Novgorod” issued by the national Publishing Agency in 1977 and 1979 (total circulation of 35 000. copies.)

The work of Adam’s life Chętnika

                                                                                       From kurpiowska forest, a lone juniper became a hedger under the wall of the cemetery.                                                                                                                                                 With him he wants to rest a lonely wanderer, let him tell me the past of this earth.

                                                                                                                                                 Tadeusz Gicgier

          You cannot, in Novgorod, the forest Kurpiowska, in łomża and Ostrołęka does not come into contact with that name.  Adam Chętnik-activist-singer, writer and scholar, an inquisitive Explorer of history and culture Kurpie himself was a co-founder of the history of this region. He was learning Polish Ambassador Kurpi, expert issues, and exponent of the traditional folk culture of this corner of our country.

      He was born in Novgorod December 20, 1885. He was the son of a local Carpenter and muzykanta Wincenty Chętnika. Family zasiedziała in these pages from 300 years belonged at that time to those who lead in social and cultural life of the town.   In Novgorod, he graduated from elementary. Raised in a large family, the oldest Adam did as a subadult specimen of different ways of earning a living.  He helped his father in the ciesiołce and woodworking, worked on geometry, was a writer, alone won skills in bookbinding, joinery and chassis. Helping the family, ended up czteroklasowe a State high school in łomża. Founded in 1903, the first Polish library in Novgorod, clandestinely taught children from nearby villages. In 1908, he moved to Warsaw on pedagogical courses, graduating exam in St. Petersburg. From the time of departure, they start to appear in magazines in Warsaw-“Aurora”, “Team” and “Earth”-information about the forest Kurpiowska, Novgorod and problems of the region signed his name. Then crystallize into interest Adam Chętnika – country studies, ethnographic and historical. In 1916, he published his first scientific work, “Chata Kurpiowska”.

            During World War I he returned to Novgorod. A great stage of his work from this period were the years immediately after the war, when it chose the way of los Mazur and Warmia. Work then in the Masurian Connection. With great dedication he worked in the Masurian Plebiscytowym Committee. In Novgorod, he seemed at that time, “Bishop Border”-for Mazurów and Kurpie. As an activist of the national people’s Relationship was between 1923-27 became a member of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland with the Earth Lomza.
Gradually relinquish political activities, dedicating the work of scientific research and the Organization of the Museum in his hometown of Novgorod.

           “The world changes, wrote Adam Chętnik at this time. -how quickly die last monuments ciesiołki and carpentry kurpiowska, plenty of wood on the tops of the ornaments chat homes, beautifully carved gateways to rural homesteads with exquisite embedded on them accents with beautiful lines drawing, carpentry. Bow to the collapse of the leciwe arranged by cranes wells, come and fall asleep water mills, windmills, killed the original kieraty, przemyślne because the only tree constructed, horrifies all without moving folusze. Crumble, and rozsypują in old huts, granaries with porches, barns, obórki, and farm buildings. Alkalis on the road przyprószone, the chapel of świątkami frasobliwymi patina, works, how often high artistic value, nameless artists-sculptors of folk “.

             Save in a rapidly changing world what the most beautiful, the most valuable in the folk culture – this goal had Chętnikowi until the last days of his life. Already in the year 1919 purchased 1/3 ha of land over the Narew River for the Museum. In its construction and furnishing helped him immediate family and najświatlejsi inhabitants of Novgorod-farmers, craftsmen, fishermen – members of the branch of the Polish society of Association, which was formed in Novgorod. Characteristic for the contemporary relations was the fact that the City Council refused to pass free and unused land over the Narew River for the Museum. And after it is created, municipal authorities have imposed on the taxes.
Exhibits to the Museum acquires and collects its creator in this way: “Areas of Narew I knew well, then I went and rode much of the area because of its commercial activities. Specimens from the fields of Ethnography, you had to buy it, or replace the new things on the farm or in the workshop needed. For this purpose, or hauled from different vessels, scissors, chisels, swirls, pliers, etc.  Replacing it on things the old historic in nature. Because a horse and najęte were expensive at the time of field works at is not difficult, at this time, then, within a few years, bought a horse and I have acquired my wagon and sleigh, I had the freedom of movement of travel and able to carry exhibits “.
Opening of the Museum of Kurpiowskiego in June 1927. It was one of the first in Poland open air museums-museums in the open air, designed and decorated. Adam Chętnik expands them, complete library, helps in the Organization, which was founded in Novgorod in 1933, Central Research Station of the Narew.

             Thanks to Chętnikowi, is a small town it was before the war, publishing centre known all over the country. In addition to letters issued here after World War I for Kurpi, and Mazurów – “guest Puszczański” and “Bishop” Border and the work issued under the “library of the borderland of Prussia” in Novgorod released a series of books. “The Reading Room Nadnarwiańskiej”. Time was 12 works from the series, including some of a monographic on cities: Lomza, Novgorod and regional Kurpie-Myszyńca and Dąbrówka.

            In September 1939, the Museum Arranged in Novgorod ceased to exist, and with it the scientific centre and publishing. Adam Chętnik hid in Warsaw.  Tireless in acquiring knowledge, at the time of the occupation, he continued his studies of Ethnography at the secret lectures and seminars at the University of Warsaw. Magisterium yet during the occupation. After the war, over the age of 60 years has earned higher degrees – PhD at Poznań University for previously published work is a “superfood Kurpie”, and soon, Assistant Professor of Humanities. Do not let go of the plays of the acquis of his life that were destroyed by the war. First of all, he organized the regional Museum in łomża, which was opened in 1948. He worked then in a Museum of Folk Cultures in Warsaw, he was curator of the Department in the Museum of the Earth.  He taught at the University of Poznań, but never parted from Novgorod. Every free moment he spent here, from his own pocket, he paid his local fisherman Edmund Kamiński, who took care of the area of the Museum up to the start of construction.

             After the retirement of doc. Dr. Adam Chętnik worked socially as appraiser of museums in łomża and Novgorod. At the end of his life he devoted himself completely to the work that began decades ago.

             Doc. Dr. Adam Chętnik-a great social figure, Patriot and scholar. He died in Warsaw, 1967. He is buried in Novgorod, in his native land, where sacrificed their lives beautiful and busy.

       In 1977, the Museum in Novgorod was given the name of the Ethnographic Park North-East Mazowsze. Adam Chętnika.