Photo: Klaus von Matt


Photo: Klaus von Matt


The History of Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi

The famous village sage Miina Huovinen The famous village sage Miina Huovinen

The shores of Lakes Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi have been inhabited since the late 1700s. The first inhabitant was a man who crossed the border from Tunkua in Russian Karelia to escape the Czar's 25-year military service.

Later, the man took on as his maid and hired hand at Hietajärvi Toarie Lesonen from Latvajärvi, or Lapukka, and Tomenttei Sikov from Suikujärvi. The two married, moved to the shore of Lake Kuivajärvi and started the village of the same name. Tomenttei took the name Lari Huovinen and became the forefather of the Huovinens of Hietajärvi and Kuivajärvi.

According to some accounts, Toarie was Arhippa Perttunen's sister. She was a significant "Kalevala singer" although only four of her poems have been recorded. Daniel Europaeus, who was sent by Lönnrot to collect poetry, tells of his meeting with Toarie in Hietajärvi in December 1845:

"There was an old woman whom I had a very hard time getting to sing; but her one word was worth more than dozens of words from anyone else."

Europaeus found out from Toarie that Lemminkäinen killed Joukahainen, the Master of the North, in the Wedding of the North. In his preface to the first edition of the Kalevala, Lönnrot 
had already speculated that Joukahainen might belong to the people of the North and had now received confirmation of this fact from Europaeus. On the strength of this discovery, Europaeus suggested that Canto 30 of the Kalevala, in which Joukahainen is sung of and is clearly still alive, should be put before the Wedding Song of the North or even before the song of the Meager Youth of Lapland, because "this Lapp was none other than Joukahainen."

Lönnrot did not accept Europaeus' view that Joukahainen should be considered Master of the North, but he did accept that Joukahainen and the Lapp were the same person. Accordingly, in the second edition of the Kalevala, Lönnrot moved the singing match between Väinämöinen and Joukahainen closer to the beginning of the epic, thereby providing the Meager Youth of Lapland - Joukahainen - with a motive to try to ambush Väinämöinen and kill him. The village of Hietajärvi has thus played a considerable role in the structure of the Kalevala, because, other than his decision to place the creation of the world at the beginning of the work, this change was the only major structural change Lönnrot made in the final edition of the epic.

The oral tradition of song passed down from generation to generation has not entirely disappeared in Hietajärvi. Carrying on the tradition is Johannes "Jussi" Huovinen, who is
also an accomplished kantele (zither) player and builder. His other artistic creations include the Traveller's Cross in Kuivajärvi and the memorial cross in the old Kalmosaari graveyard.

Kuivajärvi celebrates its village praznika (festival) every summer at the beginning of July.  

Image: Jussi Huovinen and academic Pertti Virtaranta

25 Hietajärventie
Suomi ,89840

The shores of Lakes Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi have been inhabited since the late 1700s...

Kuivajärvi and Hietajärvi