Estonians and Latvians from the Vologda-Vyatka Region – Irina Truškova

December 1, 2013

Вологодско-вятские прибалтийцы: этнокультурные очерки», Киров, 340 С.

Irina Truškova’s monograph contains interesting data concerning Estonian and Latvian emigration to the Vologdo-Vjatka area during the Stolypin era, including the process of settling and further courses of action thereafter. The author’s extensive fieldwork with Estonians and Latvians took place in various inhabited areas of the current administrative division of the Kirov region in the Oparino district.

The monograph analyses the unique findings of the expeditions together with archival sources from the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation. The monograph is comprised of three chapters, of which the first is devoted to the Baltic ethno-cultural situation and economic condition, which elicited an agrarian peasant migration. The author stresses that the Baltic peasants’ fate was affected significantly at the beginning of the 20th century with Stolypin agrarian reforms that were carried out; this was established on the basis of the population of the Eastern countries of the Russian Empire, including the Vologda-Vyatka region. Bearers of ethnic culture brought with them livestock, furniture, tools, books, and so on. They cultivated forestland that had up until been untouched, and established a farming system. During the 1920s, in the railroad area of the Oparino district of Perm-Kotlas, this farming area transformed into one of great success.

The second chapter pertains more to the emigrants and the traditional culture of their descendants.

The third chapter focuses on the socialist transformation (collectivisation, repression), the effects over time due to the surrounding multiculturalism and the cultural changes that took place. Concentrated inhabited areas of Estonians and Latvians can no longer be found in the area, but the Estonian and Latvian cultural influences are still discernible.

Anu Korb