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The Roots and the Shoots of Runic Song (the Tacis project supporting the project ”Folk Music development project in support of cultural tourism”)
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The most important goal of the Folk Music development project and its parallel project was to create a joint centre of expertise of folk music, cultural heritage and travel in Kainuu and White Sea Karelia, as well as establish a folk music activity unit in Kainuu that serves Finland as a whole as well as beyond. The project wanted to take advantage of the results of the previous projects by the Juminkeko Foundation and their subsequent know-how, continuing the documentation and revival of runic singing, with the emphasis on the revival and presentation of folk music tradition, which would also emphasise the aspect of cultural tourism

Main activities

• Coordination of cultural excursions, seminars and cultural events • Digitalisation of folk music recordings and transforming them to the archives of the Juminkeko Foundation.


The project was operated in very close cooperation with the Folk Music development project in support of cultural tourism. Even though the Tacis project focused on activities in Russia, and the Interreg project respectively in Finland, the results of the two projects are largely mutual and cannot be completely separated. The projects helped to organise cooperation between Finnish and Karelian actors, particularly the Research Institute of the Karelian Language, Literature and History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Petrozavodsk State Music Academy and the Kalevala School of Music and, on the Finnish side, the department of folk music of the Sibelius Academy and the Kuhmo Music Institute. The projects increased the know-how among those working with and researching culture and those involved in cultural tourism. The projects coordinated, among other things, cultural excursions, seminars and cultural events. The Tacis project, on its part, collected folk music recordings, which were digitised and transferred to the archives of the Juminkeko Foundation, to be later added to the recording search programme of the Juminkeko Foundation for publishing on the Internet. The research musicians working on the project also performed in several different events and taught regularly in Russian Karelia. A related summer camp for children was also organised. The Sommelo Folk Music Festival was organised both in Finland and in Kalevala. Altogether, there were 1500 participants in the concerts in Russia. A special cultural Sommelo excursion to White Sea Karelia was organised jointly with an entrepreneur. As initiated by the project, a concert by Sinfonietta Lentua, consisting of both Finnish and Russian (the Republic of Karelia) musicians (half and half), was also organised in Kalevala. Cultural tourism to the villages of White Sea Karelia was boosted by the project. Moreover, the inhabitants' self-esteem and the sustainability of the villages increased. A continuation has been applied for with regard to the Tacis project.

Basic information