Mäetagused vol. 55


Lore in Landscape, Landscape in Lore: On the Example of Hargla Parish

Marju Kõivupuu

Key words: Hargla parish, chapel sites, place lore, natural sacred sites, funeral traditions, folk belief

The article provides an overview of the dynamics of local lore in Hargla parish, its importance and meaning, as well as the influencing factors in the cultural space of a parish nowadays. The article is based on the fieldwork carried out in Hargla parish during the summer of 2012, with an aim to inventory the natural sacred sites, archaeological monuments and collection of oral heritage concerning those sites.

Traditional Place Designations and the Mapping of Mobile Sources of Danger in Belief Narratives

Reet Hiiemäe

Key words: belief narratives, cognitive mapping, places, narrative localisations, media-influenced narration

The article provides an overview of the mediation of cognitive danger mapping based on traditional place designations in belief narratives. Firstly, processes of cognitive mapping are observed, using the example of plague tradition, and further on, parallels are drawn with modern religious phenomena, such as spiritual mapping in Neo-Pentecostalism, which aims to identify places in the landscape where demons lie in wait for humans, as well as delimiting the movement trajectories of dangerous criminals by way of their narrative localisation with concrete place designations in the landscape. As a novel feature, the article focuses on narrative localisation phenomena in connection with mobile sources of danger, which are not related to concrete places. The author demonstrates the similarities in the evolution of cognitive danger maps in older legends (e.g. plague legends) and in modern media-influenced belief narrations about potential and real criminals. Also, the importance of such danger maps in selective information collection and remembering is discussed, as well as how it determines the re-narration and behaviour. The author concludes that, in addition to pragmatic causes of origin (an aid for safe moving in space), narrative danger maps have a securing function supporting the subjective feeling of coping.

Keys of Heaven and Hands of Christ: Plants in Pre-Reformation Art in Southern Central Europe

Ülle Sillasoo

Key words: religious art, landscapes, flowering plants, plant names

One of the characteristics of the 15th–16th-century pre-Reformation sacral art in southern central Europe, as well as in the Netherlands and Italy, is the multitude of natural plant depictions. Depending on the artists and subjects of paintings, plant depictions could, similarly to animal depictions, fulfil the roles of attributes, allegorical and metaphorical devices and/or to represent various landscapes. The appearance and properties of plants, their habitats and usage are the fundamental features of plant symbolism. Plant names in late medieval and early modern period herbals is another important clue for understanding the meaning of vegetation shown in the context of landscapes. Natural plants in pre-Reformation art, as interpreted here, represent the syncretism of Christian and folk belief in mundane and spiritual life. The richness of popular elements in Christian art and their interpretation, however, was a reason for the discontinuation of the same pictorial tradition and its replacement by another, suppressed into institutional frames and more controlled by the authorities.

A Historic Estonian Cemetery Today: Rakvere City Cemetery

Tiina Tuulik

Key words: cemetery, cemetery culture, cemetery structure, landscape, burial grounds

This article gives an overview of the evolution process of Rakvere city cemetery. The author analyses the spatial structure of the cemetery, which involves burial quarters, landscape and greenery.

For centuries, Rakvere city cemetery has served as the last resting place for the people connected with this town. The cemetery has been expanded repeatedly, but it has finally reached its maximum possible size. This has created a necessity for new solutions, considering the increasing proportion of cremation funerals and changes in the customs related to death. The expansion of the globalising way of life gives rise to modernised funeral culture: beliefs and conceptions are modified and new traditions are being established. It is imminent that all this brings about changes in the structure of the existing historic cemeteries. The article gives recommendations for the better planning of Rakvere city cemetery in the future, in order to also preserve the old and valuable – our historic cemeteries.

Clinical Services Instead of Sermons

Tuija Hovi

Key words: Finland, Healing Rooms, intercessory prayer, prayer clinic, religion

Contemporary religiosity is undergoing a process of transfer that emphasises and combines different processes, such as individualisation, democratisation, fluidity, hybridism, relocation and breaking of boundaries. But traditional religion has not lost its influence and relevance either. An increase in new kinds of religious and spiritual activities and practices, the process of fragmentation and the emergence of global networking are expanding the spectrum of choices in the field of spiritual and religious services. Since the early 1990s, various independent Neo-charismatic congregations in Finland have been offering fundamentalist Christian choices to meet the needs for more experiential religiosity. This article deals with a Christian ‘prayer clinic’ practice called the Healing Rooms. This clinical practice type of intercessory prayer service seems to provide a functioning symbiosis between the members of prayer teams and their clients. The team members get an opportunity for personal spiritual self-actualisation in a supportive spiritual community and for clients the Healing Rooms offer a tailor-made support for the seamy side of life – discreet and individual care with an easy access that does not take much time, is free of charge, and demands nothing in return.

News, overviews   

Birthday greetings!

Ants Viires (95), Hilja Kokamägi (90), Ülo Tedre (85), Ruth Mirov (85), Edgar Saar (75), Anna-Leena Siikala (70), Anne Hussar (70), Asta Õim (70), Ülo Siimets (65), Kazuto Matsumura (60), Triinu Ojamaa (60), Andres Kuperjanov (55), Krista Aru (55), Eda Kalmre (55), Karin Maria Rooleid (50), Janika Kronberg (50), Kärt Summatavet (50), Janika Oras (50), Péter Pomozi (50), Guntis Šmidchens (50), Anzori Barkalaja (45), Liisi Laineste (35).

Joint festival of expatriated Estonians in San Francisco

Ivi Zajedova writes about West Coast Estonian Days and the worldwide ESTO festival, which were organised as a joint event of expatriated Estonians in San Francisco this summer.


A brief summary of the events of Estonian folkloristis from August to December 2013.

Common features in the phraseology of European languages

Elisabeth Piirainen. Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond. Toward a Lexicon of Common Figurative Units. International Folkloristics Vol. 5. Editors Alan Dundes, Wolfgang Mieder. New York: Peter Lang 2012. 591 pp.

An overview of the book is given by Anneli Baran.

Supernatural beings in Slovenian folklore

Monika Kropej. Supernatural Beings from Slovenian Myth and Folktales. Ljubljana: Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts 2012. 284 pp.

An introduction of the book by Reet Hiiemäe.

Homo ludens – depicting virtual lives

Shaping Virtual Lives. Online Identities, Representations and Conducts. Editors Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska, Theo Meder, Andy Ross. Łódž: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego 2012. 148 pp.

An introduction of the book by Eda Kalmre.

Modern olonkho: On the problems of preservation and publication of epic texts

Tomskaia, D. A. Iuchiugei Iudiugiuien, Kusagan Khodzhugur. [Sidorov, E. S. (transl); Illarionov, V. V. & Nikiforova, V. S. (comp); Sheikin, I. I. & Alekseev, N.A. (red).] In-t gumanitar. issled. i problem malochisl. narodov Severa SO RAN. Sev.-Vost. federal. un-t im. M.K. Ammosova. In-t “Olonkho”. Arkt. gos. in-t iskusstv i kul’tury. Iakutsk: IGI i PMNS SO RAN 2011. 376 pp.

An introduction by Dmitri Funk.

A dissertation about shamanism in Korea

Jinseok Seo. The role of shamanism in Korean society in its inter- and intra-cultural contacts. Dissertationes folkloristicae Universitatis Tartuensis 20. Tartu: University of Tartu Press 2013. 201 lk.

An overview by Aado Lintrop.