Naťu (Natalya) Lukina

Naťu Lukina (1898–1977) was born in the Luuditsa (Luzhitsy) village. Her father was Votian and her mother Ingrian. At home, the family spoke the Votian language. Naťu was taken to Jõgõperä (Krakolye) to be married but her husband soon died and Naťu remained alone with her daughter. She lived most of her life in Jõgõperä, spending only a short while in Russia during the war. Naťu usually spoke a mix of Votian, Ingrian and Russian, though at times also pure Votian.

Naťu was a good storyteller and a great singer. She spoke fast and would not repeat anything she said. Folklore collectors have written beliefs and traditions, oral history and songs from her. Naťu had a rich repertoire of Ingrian songs, she was well versed in wedding rituals, and participated as a singer in weddings celebrated according to old traditions until an advanced age. She knew many more Ingrian songs than she did Votian ones and had learned the few Votian songs in her repertoire mostly in her home village Luuditsa. Like the songs of Duńa Trofimova and Oudekki Figurova, Naťu’s Votian songs display considerable Ingrian influences (Ingrian features tend to emerge in the songs of those singers who have performed in both Votian and Ingrian environments). Naťu also knew bawdy songs, but would not sing these to the collectors, as they were not decent. Lengthy Russian ballads constituted the majority of her repertoire. According to Paul Ariste, Naťu enjoyed speaking about and crying over her difficult life.

Ariste 1989, 2005; Bartens 2012.


Naťu Lukina in her home yard, with a facial impression which was characteristic of her when waiting for a question or an answer to her own question. Photo: T. Kask, 1972. (VE XV 137 (4)).