Mustjala wedding customs

NB! Audio may not be available throughout video.

The movie presents some wedding customs of Mustjala parish, which were still observed in the early 20th century. Only some customs of the first day of the three-day wedding ceremony are demonstrated: the bride and her family show their skills and imitate habitual life in the bride's home yard on the Anni farm of Rahtla village before the groom's party (relatives of the groom) arrive; we can also see genuine singing competition between the parties of the bride and groom; a special ceremonial dance; Mustjala wedding procession, which passed through every place in the wedding house yard; the adorning of a fake bride; gathering of the money for the young couple, at which the parties try to beat each other; and also wedding jokes and games.

There are two episodes with two circle games: a game with insert dance songs "At home like a flower", and a theatrical game "Pretty rose garden of Riga". The performance of competition songs of the groom's party is led by a well-known wedding singer Mare Pook, the fake bride is adorned by Juuli Erlach. At the very end, we can see everybody, who participated in the filming and members of the filming crew (see photo below).

The participants of Mustjala wedding movie from Rahtla village and the members of the filming crew: standing from the right: Herbert Tampere; sitting in front from the right: Lilia Briedis, Ottilie Kõiva and Ingrid Rüütel. Photo: R. Hansen 1961. ERA, Foto 5830.

Despite poor technical quality, the video recordings that were made more than 50 years ago provide viable information and give better sense of the people and events of the time than audio tapes and photographs.

Video ERA, DV 111, 114. Audio RKM, Mgn II 1718 a, 484 a, b.



Asva village (Pöide)

Audla village (Pöide)

Haeska village (Valjala)

Kalma village (Pöide)

Kiriku village (Valjala)

Kungla village (Valjala)

Kõiguste village (Pöide)

Kõnnu village (Valjala)

Liiva-Putla village (Püha)

Loona village (Püha)

Mässa village (Jämaja)

Orinõmme village (Pöide)

Oti settlement (Pöide)

Pahavalla village (Pöide)

Ridala village (Pöide)

Soonda village (Muhu)


Turja village (Valjala)

Tõnija village (Valjala)

Veere village (Pöide)

Võhma village (Pöide)

Sound recordings


Online edition

Editors Janika Oras, Kadi Sarv
Translation into English Inna Feldbach, Olga Ivaškevitš
Selection of photos Aivo Põlluäär
Project co-ordinator Risto Järv
Web design Lorem Ipsum
Cover photo Ingrid Rüütel 2007 (private collection)

Sponsors of the web publication

Ensemble Trad.Attack!
Ministry of Education and Research (projekt IUT22-4)
The European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies)
The Cultural Endowment of Estonia


ELM Scholarly Press, 2018
© and ℗ Estonian Literary Museum, 2018
© Ingrid Rüütel
ISBN 978-9949-586-57-8

Online edition is based on

Saaremaa rahvamuusikat ja kombeid /
Traditional Music and Customs of Saaremaa

Collected and compiled by Ingrid Rüütel.
Recordings from the Estonian Folklore Archives 8. Tartu 2014

[CD, DVD and textbook]
Sound production and CD mastering Jaan Tamm
DVD editing and mastering Jaan Kolberg
Editor Janika Oras
Translation into English Inna Feldbach
Design and text book layout Krista Saare
Print Kruuli Trükikoja AS
Replication Baltic Disc AS

Rüütel, Ingrid. Saaremaa laule ja lugusid. Mis on jäänud jälgedesse I
[The Songs and Tales of Saaremaa. What Remains in Our Traces I]

Tartu: ELM Scholarly Press 2015

Editor Asta Niinemets
Music transcription Ingrid Rüütel, Ludmilla Toon, Edna Tuvi
Notation editing Ingrid Rüütel, Edna Tuvi
Sheet music graphics Edna Tuvi
Texts transcription Erna Tampere, Ingrid Rüütel
Dialectic texts editor Ester Kuusik
Translation of summary Inna Feldbach
Layout and design Krista Saare
Print OÜ Greif Trükikoda