Ceklio krašto istorija

Kurshes tribe

Kurshes lived in present Lithuania and Latvia territory. They lived in present Skuodas, Kretinga, Plunge, Klaipeda districts of Lithuania and reached towns of Telsiai and Mazeikiai. The Kurshes had such an administrative order in their residence territory: a few settlements made a district which was ruled by noble of castle, i.e. a duke or a king. Several districts made a land. There were three lands in Lithuania: Ceklis ( centre is Gandinga (Plunge)), Pilsotas ( it is near Klaipeda), Meguva ( Kretinga – Palanga area). The lands in Latvia were: Vanema, Ventava, Bandava, Pamarys, Duzvarė, Skrunda-Žiemgala.


It is supposed the tribe formed about 5-6 th centuries AD.

They are mentioned in Scandinavian sources in 6-9 th centuries AD .

Kurshes their remains burried in flat-graves. Also they prepared burial grounds for burned (cremated) remains and put in the grave the bits, stirrups, spurs, bridle, but the horses were not burried together.

The evidence of land prosperity is welthy shroud: i.e. massive decorations of white metal, weapons. It was the richest tribe in present 8-12 th centuries.

Kurshes and Prussian ruled all amber trade with the Rome Empire.

Kurshes has reached other seashore of the Baltic sea. They strongly stand up to Order of Livonia with a navy help.


Till 1260 Kurshes tribe existed as political unit – confederation of the Lands.

In 1263 Kurshes lands were annexed to Order of Livonia.

On 27th September 1422 Melnas Agreement ( de jure) makes it a part of grand prncipality of Lihuania.

In 16-17 th centuries it was end of it‘s existance as ethnic group.

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