Statue of Miihkali Perttunen
Sailo's sculpture of the "Homer of the North". In the 1940s, Alpo
Sailo used I.K. Inha's photograph (1894) to make the original sculpture.
After sculptor Nina Sailo donated the plaster statue to Karelia
in 1990, the statue was cast in bronze. The unveiling ceremony was
held in Vuokkiniemi on September 1, 1991. The statue was erected
by the Arhippa Perttunen Foundation.
The Ontsi House and Yard
the era of Karelianism, the Ontsi House served as an inn in Vuokkiniemi.
I.K. Inha and K.F. Karjalainen, among others, spent many nights
at the Ontsi House. In 1991, the Karelian Ministry of Culture's
Department of Restoration had the farm storehouses restored. For
the past few decades, the house itself has been used as a dwelling
and an office space.
The Sauna Shore
villagers traditionally built their saunas by the water. The Vuokkiniemi
"sauna shore", which is still being used today, is now under protection.
In the past, "black baths", that is, smoke saunas, prevailed. As
time passed, however, "white baths" became more common. The sauna
shore is also the public swimming area for the villagers.
a result of excessive heating, the old church of Vuokkiniemi burnt
down in 1939. At that time, the building was being used as a lunch
room for the border guard detachment. The Revitalising Project of
the Viena Karelian Folklore Villages aims to build churches or Orthodox
chapels in all the villages on their former sites. The new structures
would be designed to resemble the originals. In 1991, using historical
photographs, the Arhippa Perttunen Foundation had the Karelian Ministry
of Culture's Department of Restoration draw up a plan for the Vuokkiniemi
Church. In 1993, during the traditional St. Elias's Day celebrations,
the site of Vuokkiniemi Church was blessed as a site for worship
once again. The construction of the church was undertaken by the
Finnish Vuokkiniemi Society. They completed the building in the
summer of 1997. On 2 August 1997, St. Elias's Day, the church was
consecrated for worship.
The Vuokkiniemi Graveyard
The present graveyard is a reflection of the newer burial traditions
deriving from Russia. According to old Viena custom, the graveyard
was a sacred and untouchable place. Wherever a tree would fall,
there it would rot. Even gathering twigs or berries in the graveyard
was taboo. The kropnitsa, that is, the small house constructed on
top of the grave, and the cross would gradually rot and once again
become part of the natural cycle. The old graveyard of Vuokkiniemi
met a tragic fate: A television tower now stands on the once sacred
Inha's Panoramic View of Vuokkiniemi
I.K. Inha photographed the Kuittijärvi shore of Vuokkiniemi from
the slope of the ridge that divides the village.
The Main Road from Viena to Finland
Latvajärvi Road, which on the Finnish side of the border, turns
into Raate Road (Raatteentie), was the arterial road to Finland
from Viena one hundred years ago. Half a century later this road
was travelled by the Red Army detachments who suffered great losses
during the Winter War battles in Suomusalmi.
work on the Vuokkiniemi school complex was begun in the mid-1990s
thanks to the initiative of the Revitalising Project. Due to a number
of setbacks, however, carrying out the project has been difficult.
Some of the problems were the result of the poor administrative
practices of the City of Kostamus; others were the caused when Finnish
contractors abandoned the project. Yet another problem was caused
by the controversy over environmental protection of Vienansalo forest
- a controversy which has nothing to do with the school, but nevertheless
has impeded its construction.
Poetry collecting in Vuokkiniemi
What to see