village of Haikola the most intact of the old villages in the district
The village is located on an island in Lake Kotijärvi, part
of the Kepajoki River system, and is about 40 km from Uhtua in the
direction of Kemi. Haikola has never been particularly large; the
size of the island (only 1 km long and 0.5 km wide) has imposed
certain limitations. Seven houses have remained intact in the village.
In 1905 there were 11 houses and 84 inhabitants.
All of the buildings in the village are traditional and fit the
landscape well. The graveyard in Haikola is one of the most beautiful
The village used to be called Jouhkola, after its earliest known
resident. According to a story passed down in his family, Jouhko
was the nephew of the founder of the village. The father left his
former home in Tuhkasenvaara when bears started looking in the windows
and settled on the island to get away from them.
best known resident of Haikola in the present century is the national
writer of Karelia, Ortjo Stepanov, or, in the Karelian fashion,
Ortjo, son of Miihkali, who is son of Pekka, in turn son of Oleksei,
in turn son of Vaske, in turn son of Kalaska, son of Jouhko. In
1872, Borenius recorded poems sung by Vaske Kalaska, the grandfather
of Stepanov's grandfather, and Karppa´s Moarie, the mother
of Stepanov's maternal grandfather, and stated that Haikola was
one of the last bardic areas in the east.
Ortjo Stepanov has written a series of six novels entitled "A
Tale of the Home District," which portray developments in Viena
from the 1920s through the 1960s. The writer's home district provides
the focus of the events in the novels.
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