The “portáš people”
The “portáš people” were guards composed of local peoples, formed in 1638. At first they guarded the borders, and later they also acquired similar duties as today’s policemen have, guarding dealers transporting tobacco from Hungary to Morava, and also carrying out other jobs as directed by the authorities: suppressing dealers, bandits, robbers, assisting in the recruitment of young men to the army, accompanying other armies passing through the region. The group was eventually dismissed between 1828 and 1830.
The service of the “portáš people” was difficult in any weather, which many times affected the health of the “portáš people” and led to their early deaths. In spite of this, the job of a “portáš” was frequently sought after, and the process of selecting members of the “portáš people” was very thorough.
The “portáš people” and their craft remained in the minds of the people in the Valašsko region over the years in the form of songs and legends, and the “portáš” tradition has been one of the most firmly anchored traditions in the history of the Valašsko region up until the present time.