Oskar Kolberg conducted research in this old village in Greater Poland in 1867 and 1868. He stayed with the famous philosopher and social activist, Karol Libelt. Libelt, a disciple of Hegel, was one of the most active members of the Poznań Society of Friends of Sciences. Kolberg, thanks to his stay in the manor of Libelt, collected a plenty of engrossing ethnographical materials related to the traditional culture of the region called Pałuki (near Pomerania and Kujawy).
In his manuscripts there are some accounts of Christmas customs from this region:
“Like in other parts of the country, local people start to eat the Christmas supper when the first star appears on the evening sky. They prepare nine dishes without meat; the number derives from 9 angelic choirs which sang at the birth of Jesus. Before the supper inhabitants share the Christmas wafer which is brought to each house by an organist. They exchange Christmas greetings and presents. After the supper, a Santa Claus in white coat and bearded Joseph come to children. The Santa asks each child to recite a prayer and gives him or her a present”.
Kolberg gave also the account of a nuptial custom from Pałuki:
“After a ceremony and a supper in a house, and before unveiling, wedding guests organize various games, such as the one in which they seat a few girls next to one another and cover them with sheets. A groom needs to find out which one is the bride; otherwise he has to buy her out with vodka. However, most of newly-wedded pairs agree on a sign to enable the groom to find his bride”.
Kolberg documented here also some folktales, such as the one about the wizard Twardowski:
“In Greater Poland they remember the wizard Twardowski. Moreover, in the Wągrowiec district, there is a village called ‘Rzym’ [Rome], where, according to the tale, Twardowski was taken by a devil. Legend has it that Twardowski entered into a contract with the devil. According to the contract Twardowki was supposed to give himself up to the satanic power when he would arrive at Rome. However, he was not going to go to Rome; quite the opposite, he was enjoying his time on the Earth eluding the devil. After seven or more years, Twardowski entered an inn called Rome. The building was immediately surrounded by crows, jackdaws and ravens. In next minute the Satan in a tailcoat and a hat entered the building. Twardowski took an infant, a symbol of innocence, in order to protect himself from the enemy. The Satan said: ‘A Polish nobleman cannot redeem his word’”.
According to the local belief “A cow can give red milk in three cases. Firstly, when a swallow flies under the cow; secondly when somebody kills a swallow; and finally when somebody takes swallow’s young out from the their nest”.