University of Oulu

Jonuks, T. & Äikäs, T. (2019) Contemporary deposits at sacred places : reflections on contemporary Paganism in Finland and Estonia. Folklore, 75, 7-46.

Contemporary deposits at sacred places : reflections on contemporary Paganism in Finland and Estonia

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Author: Jonuks, Tõnno1; Äikäs, Tiina2
Organizations: 1Estonian Literary Museum, Estonia
2University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 32.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Estonian Literary Museum Scholary Press, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-25


This paper is based on fieldwork documenting contemporary deposits at sacred places in Estonia and Finland. We studied variations in these deposits in both countries and interpreted them on the basis of the known traditions of contemporary Paganism. Contemporary offerings bear evidence of the creative use of the past as well as international influences. The contemporary practices at sacred places, as demonstrated by material evidence, can be grouped under the following concepts: perceived continuity, revitalising traditions, syncretism, and ritual creativity. In Estonia, sacred places have been used more actively and more extensive deposits have accumulated than is the case in Finland. We also emphasise that sacred places are used by a broader variety of people than only members of Pagan communities, although other types of users are often ignored in research. The activities of the general public become visible particularly in the context of material culture studies, when all deposits are examined comprehensively.

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Series: Folklore. Electronic journal of folklore
ISSN: 1406-0957
ISSN-E: 1406-0949
ISSN-L: 1406-0957
Volume: 75
Pages: 7 - 46
DOI: 10.7592/FEJF2019.75.jonuks_aikas
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
616 Other humanities
Funding: Tõnno Jonuks conducted this study under an institutional grant by the Estonian Ministry of Sciences (IUT 22-5) and the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies (CEES), and Tiina Äikäs conducted this work under funding from the Academy of Finland (294626).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 294626
Detailed Information: 294626 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Folk Belief and Media Group of Estonian Literary Museum, according to Creative Commons licence BY-NC-ND 4.0.