- "Polabian Slavs" is often used as a general term for the West Slavs of Germany. This article is about the specific tribe called "Polabians".
The Polabians (German: Polaben; Latin: Polabi) were a constituent Lechitic tribe of the Obotrites who lived between the Trave and the Elbe. The main settlement of the Polabians was Racisburg (modern Ratzeburg), named after their Prince Ratibor. The Polabians were similar to the Drevani, also known as the Draväno-polaben or Drevanen, in Lüchow-Dannenberg.
In 1139 Henry the Lion granted "Polabia" to Count Henry of Badewide. The tribe was subsequently Germanized and assimilated over the following centuries. The last remnants of the Polabians died out in the 17th century, as did the Polabian language. Cultural remnants of the Polabians of Lower Saxony include numerous villages in the region based on Slavic settlement forms.