Beauty of Life

He Was Happy to See the Shells

Beauty of Life

This is how Mieczysław Limanowski, the son of Bolesław Limanowski, a prominent geologist and researcher of the Tatra Mountains, remembered his visit to Józef Piłsudski’s home, probably in the summer of 1907:

“I would like […] to recall from personal memories a scene from the Piłsudskis’ home in Zakopane at the lower part of Chramcówki Street, sometime before the war when Bronisław came to see his brother after being released from his enforced stay on Sakhalin.

At the time I was exploring the Tatra Mountains and deposits from millions of years ago below the subalpine forests, which as marine sediments are full of shells, corals, shark teeth, and vertebrae bones of various reptiles. Bronisław Piłsudski was happy to see how I extracted from limestone a ball of coal into which a coconut from some palm tree on the Tatra Mountains shore had transformed. He was pleased to see shells similar to those in the Great Ocean, which are used by the Ainu people there to parade in ceremonial funerals and antithetical dances.

Folklore was mixed with paleontology and geology in this living science that we were doing […].”

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