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Samogitians (?emait?)
Total population
c. 0.5 million in Lithuania (estimated)
Regions with significant populations
Samogitian dialect, Standard Lithuanian language
Related ethnic groups
Auk?taitians, Curonians

Samogitians (Samogitian: ?emait?, Lithuanian: ?emai?iai, Latvian: ?emai?i, Slavic: Zhmud) are a subgroup of Lithuanians that inhabit the region of Samogitia in Lithuania. Many speak the Samogitian language, sometimes regarded as a dialect of the Lithuanian language.

Even though Samogitians are politically not considered to be an ethnic group, 2,169 people declared their ethnicity as Samogitian during the Lithuanian census of 2011] of whom 53.9% live in Tel?iai County.[1]


On 13 July 1260, the Samogitians decisively defeated the joint forces of the Teutonic Knights from Prussia and Livonian Order from Livonia in the Battle of Durbe. Some 150 knights were killed, including Livonian Master Burchard von Hornhausen and Prussian Land Marshal Henrik Botel.[2]

Samogitians lived in western Lithuania and were closely related to Semigallians and Curonians. In 1413, they became the last group of Europeans to convert to Christianity. Samogitians were one of the three main nations of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia, and Samogitia. In 1857, there were 418,824 people of Samogitian roots and 444,921 persons declared the Samogitian dialect as their mother tongue in 1897 in Kovno Governorate.[3] Currently Lithuania does not allow for declaration of Samogitian nationality in passports as it is not a recognized ethnicity.[4] In list of ethnic groups of Russia there is one person who declared himself with "Zhemaijty".[5]


Samogitia in the 17th century
Samogitians in the first half of the 19th century

Samogitians call themselves ?emait?, although exonyms are used in different languages.

Language Samogitia Samogitians
Samogitian ?emait?j? ?emait?
Lithuanian ?emaitija ?emai?iai
Belarusian ? ?
Yiddish (Zámet) (Zámeter)
Estonian ?emaitija ?emaidid
Dutch Samogitië Samogitiërs
French Samogitie samogitiens
German Schameiten Schameiten
Italian Samogizia samogizi
Latvian ?emaitija ?emai?i
Polish ?mud? ?mudzini
Portuguese Samogícia samogícios
Russian ?
Spanish Samogitia samogitios
Swedish Samogitien Samogitier
Ukrainian ?


  1. ^ Statistics (in Lithuania).
  2. ^ Ivinskis, Zenonas (1978). Lietuvos istorija iki Vytauto Did?iojo mirties (in Lithuanian). Rome: Lietuvi? katalik? mokslo akademija. pp. 184-188. LCC 79346776.
  3. ^ Petrulis, Valdas (2005). "?emaitijos etnin?s savimon?s regiono erdvin? strukt?ra" (PDF). Geografijos metra?tis. 38: 163-175. ISSN 0132-3156. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22.
  4. ^ (2007-06-04). "?emai?io tautyb? - vos porai dien?" (in Lithuanian). Retrieved .
  5. ^ (in Russian)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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