Folklore 58 – Special Issue on Baltic Diaspora

September 18, 2014

This issue is dedicated to the research of Baltic diaspora in Siberia. The articles published in the volume are authored by folklorists and ethnologists from Estonia and Latvia, based on the research of the respective diasporas in Siberia by means of interviews. The authors of this special issue all share a common fieldwork experience among their compatriots in this region.

Aivar Jürgenson analyses the symbols and stereotypes of Siberia for Estonians and their historical background. He holds that traditionally the image of Siberia as a land of deportations has been negative; yet, on the other hand, it presented an opportunity to escape from oppressive economic conditions in the European part of the Russian Empire. Sanita Reinsone in her article offers an insight into migration and diaspora studies on the example of migration texts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and also analyses the stories of the descendants of emigrants in the 2000s. Astrid Tuisk’s article, based on the interviews conducted within folklore collection fieldwork, explores how Estonians in West Siberia perceive their neighbouring Turkic peoples. Sandis Laime’s article is based on materials gathered during fieldwork in Siberia, and focuses on the local narrative history in one Siberian village – Timofeyevka. Aigars Lielbardis in his article discusses the relationship of religion and magic on the example of the material collected in Timofeyevka village in Siberia. Anu Korb discusses the transformation of Siberian Estonians’ death culture over time, on the example of Estonians living in a specific region in Siberia. Andreas Kalkun in his article written in cooperation with ethnomusicologist Janika Oras explores the singing tradition of the Setos in Siberia, also discussing issues related to their identity. In museology section, Piret Õunapuu focuses on indigenous cultural heritage and mainly its tangible part, discussing peasants’ attitude towards tangible heritage and providing colourful examples of it in the appendix.

The special issue of Folklore: EJF has been compiled and edited by Anu Korb (Estonian Folklore Archives, Estonian Literary Museum).

Folklore: EJF 58 can be found as a free online version at