Shyoltozero (Russian: Шёлтозеро) is a rural locality in the Prionezhsky District of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, located 84 kilometers (52 mi) south of Petrozavodsk, close to the shore of Lake Onega. Shyoltozero is the cultural center of the north Veps people.
Vepsian settlements are of special interest. Cultural and historical heritage of Vepsians is represented by archaeological and architectural monuments. A vivid example is Melkin´s house which holds the Vepsian etnographic museum with plentiful exhibits of material and spiritual culture of Vepsian people. The original construction design is well preserved.
Vepsian ethnocultural center
Vepsian ethnocultural center is located in the Veps Ethnographical Museum of Sheltozero. The house was built in the first half of the 19 th century (1814) for the local, wealthy farmer Melkin, who delivered natural stone (crimson quartz rock and gabbro-diabase) to construction sites in St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk. Melkin’s House is a homestead characteristic of the Prionezhye Veps people. The wealth of decorative elements incorporated in this house is common to houses built by the Veps. This two-storey building with a mansard is currently occupied by the Veps Ethnographical Museum of Sheltozero.
The museum is visited annually by approximately twelve thousand people. The museum offers excursions on foot and by bus, classes, lectures, and festivals. Visitors can familiarise themselves with Veps history, the nature and geography of the land, traditional Veps lifestyle, houses and household buildings, clothing, traditional crafts, and examples of folk art.
Contemporary computer technologies are used in excursions and classes. Classes and excursions for school children are planned taking into consideration the school curriculum in order to supplement courses in history, geography, and literature. Recreational programmes make the leisure time of both children and adults interesting and educational.