poetry collection first began, in the 1820 and 1830s, Vuokkiniemi
was not a big village, although it was the administrative center
of an extensive parish. At the time of Lönnrot's first visit,
the village had some seventy houses. Fifty years later, in the early
1880s, A.W. Ervasti reported that there were some 140 houses. In
the early 1990s, Vuokkiniemi had over 200 houses and some 500 inhabitants,
about 85% of whom were Karelian. In their everyday interactions,
most of the people in Vuokkiniemi speak the local variety of Karelian,
which is very similar to Finnish.
Vuokkiniemi cannot be counted among Karelia's most beautiful villages,
it is nevertheless the most important. This status derives not only
from its cultural-historical past but from its being Karelia's most
nationalistic village. As mentioned earlier, 85% of the people in
the village are Karelian and speak the local Karelian dialect.
The population of Vuokkiniemi comprises the original inhabitants
of the village as well as people who moved from nearby bardic villages
that were vacated in the 1960s. It is difficult to find a family
in Vuokkiniemi which is not in some way related to the more celebrated
bardic families of Viena.
Vuokkiniemi is also the educational center of its district; it
has a school with eleven classes that prepares students for vocational
or university-level studies.
Poetry collecting in Vuokkiniemi
What to see