ETHNOCULTURAL CENTRE HAIKOLA

White (Viena) Karelia is considered to be an area with a great number of famous writers. Works of such writers as Nikolai Jaakkola, Jaakko Rugoev, Pekka Perttu, Antti Timonen, Nikolai Gippiev, and Ortje Stepanov have been published all over the world in millions of copies. They are known in dozens of countries.

Haikola village is the native country of the national Karelian writer Ortje Stepanov. Even in 1980 ’s, he said that the village of Haikola would once upon a time become a village museum.

Now the village has:

  • The museum house of the writer Ortje Stepanov
  • The museum of the literary hero old man Ontto — Ontton Talo
  • The Granary of Stepanov, built in the 18 th century

Within these houses, expositions connected with both the writer’s works and the larger world are displayed. Here, based on the works of the writers, you can familiarise yourself with the material culture of the Karelians, attend exhibitions, and hear stories or fragments from literary works.

The rune singing village of Haikola has raised many famous narrators, such as Kalaskan Vaske, Karpan Muarie, Mihkali Stepanov, Stepanida Kuzmina, Tatjana Bagdanova, Eukenie Stepanova, and Maria Kuzmina. You can listen to audio recordings of their fairy tales, lamentations, and weeping songs. You can make an attempt at rune singing or create a beautiful design on the looms, a design whose colours were chosen from nature.

The European Museum Night campaign has reached even this taiga village. The topic of our museum night is black sauna. Since olden times, the black sauna was used to raise the «lembi» of young maidens and lads. After experiencing the black sauna, you will feel as if you were born anew.

All of this has been described in the works of our writers. A Finnish correspondent who visited Haikola in the mid 80 ’s asked Ortje Stepanov, «Are there many inhabitants here? «He answered, «There are not many. But half of them are writers. «

After visiting the island, you will feel your hand reaching for a pen.