Scarecrows were commonly featuredin rural landscapes until recently. There are numerous rituals associated with creating a scarecrow and erecting it in the field, with many legends being linked to this character.The scarecrow itself has counterparts in many countries worldwide. However, with civilisation progressingand characterised withan emphasis on economic efficiency and agricultural engineering in the present day, scarecrows are disappearing from the rural landscape. Advanced electronic devices replace them, while scarecrows end up in museums and open-air museums calledskansens, as well as beingon display at local village festivals. The goal of this paper is to investigate the past and present functions of the scarecrow in rural areas in Poland as an indicator of changes occurring inthe cultural heritage in these areas. The survey and field studies were carried out in selected localities in Małopolskie Voivodeship that exhibited distinct qualities related to rural cultural heritage. The study involved photographic documentation and a diagnostic survey using the structured direct interview technique. The interview focused on local community leaders. Resultingly, scarecrows were demonstrated to be an essential indicator of changes in Poland’s rural cultural heritage.
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