Since its beginning, the camera was an excellent invention to register events of different origins and importance, a privileged witness to history
"Häiden Vietto Karjalan Runomailla" ( Karelian Wedding In The Land Of The Kalevala ) is an early and valuable documentary ( more exactly, a recreation ), an ethnological Finnish silent film about a traditional Karelian wedding. It was the work of an expedition of Finnish ethnologists in the silent year of 1920, headed by Herr A. O. Väisänen of the Kalevala society.
"Karelianism" was a cultural movement born in the 19th century that influenced notably the Finnish arts, strengthening and developing the Finnish identity thanks to the national romanticism included in the fundamental epic poem the "Kalevala"( which for Finnish people is the equivalent of the "Nibelungenlied" for Prussians). It sums up the essence of Finnish culture in terms of tradition and mythology.
The film reconstructs a traditional Karelian wedding; the realism and details are thanks to the help of the inhabitants of the place ( the film was made in Suojärvi, Border Karelia, on the northern side of Lake Ladoga, now in Russia due to Finland lost having lost it in WWII ). The amateurs actors play themselves and obviously know pretty well the archaic proceedings of a traditional Karelian wedding, a fascinating and long ceremony that includes lamentations, incantations and peculiar rituals, a wonderful document about ancient ceremonies ( the one concession was that indoor filming was done on sets because there wasn't electricity at the Karelian village ). It gives a vivid picture of old traditions that might otherwise have been lost, a way of life that could have been forgotten entirely but whose memory is preserved by the silent camera. Even this German count found it all enlightening. "Häiden Vietto Karjalan Runomailla" is a priceless ethnological film document, ja wohl!.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must flee from a traditional Teutonic wedding.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com
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