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Resian people, the forgotten South Slavs

Resian people – In the fifties lived in Resia c. 3350 Resians, nowadays it is less than half of them. There are some cultural activities as Rezijanski püst (Resian ball). The settlement of early dwellers can be traced back to the 6th century A.D, but several historians affirm that Slavic peoples movements started with a slow infiltration before the beginning of Christian Era and had been unperceived for a long time by the Romans, who were intent on facing Germanic peoples. The earliest sure information about the Slavs dates back to Procopius of Caesarea and Jordanes who, in 550 A.D., attest to settlements in Carinthia (Austria), Slovakia and Bohemia.

According to writings of Paul the deacon, after a period of mutual aid, these tribes in Friuli region (North–east of Italy) were locked in several battle against the Lombards and, after the battle of Lavariano, reached a compromise, the so-called “Egg Pact”, which relegated Slavic populations forever to the eastern mountains of Friuli region.

Just in that period a few Slavic tribes strengthened their penetration of Resian territory quite possibly in order to avoid massacres and reprisals by the winners. Documents, dated back 1084 A.D. found in Moggio abbey, certify the presence of populations in the Upper Resia and in the Lower Resia. It is possible, then, to affirm that from that date Resia followed the economical and political vicissitudes of the locally close Friuli. During the whole Feudal Era up to the Napoleonic reign, the valley was administratively divided into four municipalities, two of them, Osajanë and Solbyza, in the Upper Resia and the other two, Bilä and Njyuä, in the Lower Resia.

The essentially mountainous territory only allowed activities connected to the exploitation of natural resources. The only route which easily linked Resia to the external world was traced by the the Bila Uödä River (White Water River), left affluent of Fella River, and by the winding path next to it.


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