is the only village in Vuokkiniemi that is located along a river;
such villages are very typical of the Aunus area.
We have no knowledge of the names of the oldest bards in Tollonjoki,
but Lönnrot obviously visited village: it was the source of
"Sailing to Northland," which he had in his collections
when composing the Old Kalevala. In the poem, Väinämöinen
urges the Virgin Mary to start rowing for him, but Lönnrot
substituted Ilmarinen for Mary in the epic.
The first mention of a bard's name dates from 1872, when Genetz
met "Kauro of Tollo", or Tenesseini Kauro, and recorded
poems about Väinämöinen's knee wound, the Singing
Match, and Lemminkäinen's Tale. Genetz says that Kauro was
a skilful boat-builder and a "superb fellow."
The village of Tollonjoki has never been very big. In 1905 it had
18 houses and 150 inhabitants, figures which did not change significantly
before the village was destroyed in the 1970s. But although the
village was small, it was all the more precious to those who lived
there. One sign of this is that as soon as revitalization of the
villages began, there were three families who wanted to move to
Tollonjoki - despite
the fact that it had not been included in the first phase of revitalization.
Plans were of course modified accordingly, and the families have
now regained ownership of their ancestral lands.
Tollonjoki did have one house already, as there was one family
which refused to move when the village was ordered to be vacated.
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