The article aims at delineating particular shape of identity used among those contemporary Texans who are descendants of the Lithuanian immigrants of one hundred and fifty years ago. It is argued that such an identity can be understood as traced, evoked and reclaimed, as well as based on local heritage and genealogy and thus local rather than ethnic. What is important for the modern ethnic (or post-ethnic) identity of the Texan Americans of Lithuanian descent is not the traditional criteria of ethnicity (such as language retention or endogamy), but rather recent histories, compiled via the internet, and recently constructed or even invented symbols and narratives of ethnic belonging. The historical marker for ‘Lithuanians in Texas’ and also narratives of the ethnic pride on ‘Lithuanians as Texas pioneers’ are among the examples of that.
Social or Cultural Anthropology, in the Western sense, is little known territory in parts of contemporary East Europe. It is the case in Lithuania where biological anthropology traditionally claims the term anthropology for itself. Lithuanian ethnology and sociology partially fill the void normally covered by anthropology. There were definite political, academic and practical factors that stunted the growth of anthropology in Lithuania. The aim of this article is to identify these factors, and to define the sphere and the field of research and instruction, that should be allocated to anthropology. I seek also to present the case for an urgent need of the discipline to be established in the educational, research and applied frontiers of contemporary Lithuanian society. It has been even more complicated to establish the importance and capability of socio-cultural anthropology as a separate field of endeavour vis-à-vis Lithuanian ethnology. While socio-cultural anthropology in the West examined the other and otherness, there was no political interest for a newly independent nation-state in a discipline with a wrong focus.