Anna Kivisoo

Anna Kivisoo was born in 1881 in the Ropsu (Ropsha) village. Her mother, Khovrenya Platonova from the Luuditsa (Luzhitsy) village, was a Votian and a lead singer, and her father was Ingrian Juhan (Ivan) Kajava from the Ropsu village. Already at the age of 9, Anna started to work as a babysitter for her godmother in her home village. She worked in the Narvusi (Kozemkino), Haaviko (Keikino) and Jõgõperä (Krakolye) villages. When Anna was 25, she married Aleksei Bushchin and moved to his home in Väiküla. In the 1920s they Estonianised their name to Kivisoo.

In Väiküla, Anna Kivisoo was regarded a talented singer. She was a wedding singer and had learned her songs from her mother and older sisters in the villages of Ropsu and Jõgõperä. Since people in Väiküla sung mostly Russian songs, she had learned nothing while living there. She said: “Here everybody was amazed to hear me sing Ropsu songs.” Kivisoo had learned songs also from her grandmother in Soikola (Soikino) and when visiting feasts in the Tarinaisi (Andreyevshchina) village as a child. Living in Jõgõperä, she also participated in the St. Elijah’s Day celebrations in Koskisenkülä (Koskolovo) and in other feasts in the Soikola villages.

Finnish folklorists have referred to Anna as an Ingrian, because she identified herself as such, and claim that Anna was one of the best Estonian-Ingrian singers and storytellers of the 1920s and 1930s.

Haavio 1943; Kallio 2013.