Accepted Paper:

Textualisation process: how does archive material compare to textualised and published material?  

Author:

Niina Hämäläinen (Kalevala Society)

Paper short abstract:

I will present some examples of oral tradition from the perspectives of textualisation policies in Finland. How do early collecting and publishing ideals relate to the present image of oral tradition? How does the textualised material compare to the archive material?

Paper long abstract:

In my paper, I will discuss the textualisation process and the history of oral tradition in Finland. Textualisation process is referred to as the process whereby oral tradition is transformed into text form and made available. Textualised tradition is examined in my paper in terms of national and ideological objectives reflected in the process whereby oral tradition obtained its written form.

Elias Lönnrot (1802−1884), the author of the Kalevala, the national epic of the Finns (1849), collected a diverse and large folk poem material in 11 journeys around Finland and Russian Karelia between the years 1828−1844. The collected material is preserved mainly in the archives of the Finnish Literature Society. Based on this material, Lönnrot published different folk-poetry collections whose selected poems and verses have been considered to represent authentically the Finnish oral tradition. Yet many of the actual collected folk poems were not in the public domain and were hidden in the archive during his lifetime.

My contribution to the discussion of archive material and circulation will be presented from the perspectives of textualisation policies in Finland. How do early collecting and publishing ideals relate to the present image of oral tradition? How does the textualised material compare to the archive material? Based on this I will give some archive and published examples of what is considered oral tradition of Finns and what is excluded from it.

Panel P51
The role of archives in the circulation chain of tradition