Silencing the Other’s Voice?
On Cultural appropriation and the Alleged Finnishness of Kalevalaic Runo Singing
Kalevalaic runosinging is a Baltic-Finnic tradition of metered oral poetry. In Finland, runo singing and the national epic Kalevala based on this tradition are often seen − especially in public speech − as nationally significant symbols of Finnishness.
In this article, I examine how the idea of the Finnishness of traditional runo songs has been constructed in the changing paradigms of studying and performing folk music and oral poetry in Finland across the last hundred years, and how the concept of cultural appropriation relates to this. I will concentrate on early Finnish folk music studies as well as on the contemporary Finnish folk music scene; I tie these fields together by following the circulation of an Ingrian runosong theme called Oi daiafter it became part of archived folklore collections in Finland in 1906.
Copyright (c) 2020 Heidi Henriikka Haapoja-Mäkelä
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