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Pre-2008 Posts

Kylä vuotti uutta kuuta

This song (and the music of Värttinä in general) is Finnish and is an adaptation of a musical genre that is very old, going back many centuries, called “runosong.”  This is one of my all-time favorite songs and I cry every time I hear it.  I’ve been listening to it for years.   It is sung in a very old form of the Finnish language and always gets me longing for my womenfolk, my women ancestors on my mother’s side, who come from Finland and Norway.   I recognize these women singers somehow– not just their appearances, but their souls and spirits.  A review I came across recently made reference to the music of Värttinä as originating in ancient matrilineal/matriarchal cultures.  I cried listening to it long before I ever knew about that.  I guess I did know, before I knew.

This is what I’m feeling today, so I thought I would share it with you.




4 thoughts on “Kylä vuotti uutta kuuta

  1. Thank you so much, Heart.
    Last night I was in a full moon/Samhain circle of women, and the woman leading the circle sent us home with the suggestion of meditating before sleeping and asking our ancestors to come to us during the night.
    I fell asleep an hour or so later…
    And just now woke up, to this post of yours, this song. My ancestors are Finnish, too, did I tell you that? My great-grandmother, who lived in Finland, gave me my name (my real one).
    That song is so beautiful, and does indeed reach me deep inside. Thank you.

    Posted by Eeni B Bella | October 29, 2007, 12:40 pm
  2. Wow, eeni! And now that I’m thinking about it you do look Finnish. I was reading an account at one point — sorry if you’ve read me tell this before, I love this story — written by a woman who described having gone to the community in Mexico where her ancestors were from. She had never been there and went as an adult. She was amazed to see all of the women who looked so much like herself, and whose bodies were like hers, only much rounder. She said that in that community, large, round bodies were viewed as very desirable, and she was comparatively not so round, giving rise to the women in the community expressing concern for her and worrying why she wasn’t rounder. She found it so freeing and affirming just being with these women who looked so much like her.

    She described a friend of hers whose ancestors were from Africa who had a similar experience of going to the community in Africa which her ancestors were from. She had this same experience of feeling so completely validated and affirmed seeing all of the women who looked so much like her. One thing in particular was, she had a really big space between her front teeth which she had always felt embarrassed about. In the community she was from in Africa, this was viewed as extremely attractive and as a sign of special blessing or good luck! Which completely transfigured and transformed her feelings about the space between her teeth.

    It isn’t enough that as female persons, our mothers, grandmothers and ancestors were snatched away from our women folk and made to serve men, we also got hauled over here to the United States, then told we are all supposed to look alike, without any concern for or thought about who we are, who our people are, what our womenfolk look like. I love looking at photos of my maternal ancestors, grandmothers, great grandmothers, womenfolk and the women in their communities who look so much like me. It is *so* affirming to me.

    I think it’s the same thing when we hear the music that belonged to our womenfolk. It’s ours. We recognize it even if we don’t understand the language.


    Posted by womensspace | October 29, 2007, 11:34 pm
  3. (Wrote this yesterday)
    My Internet connection is down, so I can’t post this yet, but anyway…

    Heart, when I was driving to work this morning – shortly after writing in this thread – I remembered that YOU were in one of my dreams last night! We were in a big house, with about a dozen girls, seemingly between the ages of 5 and 10. (i.e. Gaia Girls!) We weren’t “doing” much… I remember hangin out in the kitchen with a few girls, putting together bowls of yogurt with maple syrup and banana. We brought it out to the living room and sat down in front of the wood stove. You were across the room on the couch, gaia girls on either side of you. We smiled and I tried to say something to you, but the girls were talking and laughing too loud for you to hear me, so I just kinda shrugged and grinned again, figuring I could tell you whatever-it-was later. And went back to being cozy in front of the fire.

    I just ordered a Varttina CD – I couldn’t help it! 🙂 Thanks for introducing me to them! Kylä vuotti uutta kuuta was running through my head all day.

    I love those stories about the women who found validation by meeting the women in Mexico and Africa… wow. I’ve never been to Finland, have you? I’d like to go someday. When I was growing up, my grandma sometimes tried to teach me Finnish, show me Finnish newspapers, suggested Finnish names for my stuffed animals, etc., but I was sadly not very receptive to it at the time.
    Re: “getting hauled over here to the US” – YES! Apparently when my ancestors first came to the US (I’m not sure who/how far back), one of the children’s American teachers decided that my family’s last name was too long, and took it upon her-/himself to abbreviate it/change it…and it stayed that way. So my last name isn’t my real last name!

    My grandma died 8 years ago, and a few days before she died, I held her hand and thanked her for teaching me so much about life and love… but ever since I’ve been wishing I had listened more. I look forward to honoring her in a Samhain ritual on Wednesday – Oct. 31 was also her birthday. 🙂

    Posted by Eeni B Bella | October 30, 2007, 12:51 pm
  4. Ohmygod, eeni, I am so going to e-mail you re your dream!


    I have never been to Finland or out of the continental U.S., for that matter. I’ve only been to one foreign country and that’s Canada, which is way close to me. Four of my adult kids are the international travelers but not me, so far. But it’s a coming, I think.

    That’s a huge dream of mine, though, to visit Norway and Finland, to live in one or the other, even. (Very difficult to do, but hey, if I’m dreaming, might as well dream big!).

    One thing I love about my mom, though like you, at the time I didn’t appreciate it as I wish I would’ve, is all she told me about my grandmothers, great-grandmothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers on my dad’s side, too, relatives in Norway and Finland, stories from the “Old Country” and of my grandmothers and aunts, especially. My mom was very proud of her Norwegian/Finnish heritage and cooked all the traditional dishes, cookies, breads, etc., for various occasions, which I cook today and my kids, some of them, also cook.

    And yeah, re the way we were ripped from our womenfolk and hauled to the U.S. One often-told story in my family is of the way my maternal great-grandmother journeyed alone to the U.S. against her will, she didn’t want to leave Norway, and my grandfather, who had come first to get a job, etc., met my grandmother with another woman on his arm. :::rage::: She had come all of those thousands of miles against her will, didn’t speak English, had no real choices, only to be reunited with an abusive and cruel man who ruled over her and her children with an iron fist.

    That’s such a common experience, the way immigrants change their names when they immigrate, such a stripping of identity. 😦 The names of my Norwegian and Finnish ancestors remained the same because they were not too hard to pronounce or spell, basically, but my paternal grandfather was born in Switzerland. His name, and thus my maiden name, are sort of simplified versions of the Swiss family name. But you know, the men change the names handed down from their father and grandfather and so on, at least. The women had to abandon their given names and agree to whatever version of their husband’s name he decided on. 😦


    Posted by womensspace | October 30, 2007, 6:09 pm

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