The Traditional Daily Lives Of The Women On Kihnu & Manija, Estonia

 

Photographer Anne Helene Gjelstad is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the book/project ‘BIG HEART, STRONG HANDS’To see Anne Helene’s body of work, click on any image.

 

 

 

 

 

Big heart, strong hands is the story of the women on the Estonian islands Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Geographically isolated, over centuries a strong sense of community spirit and a steadfast attachment to their ancestor’s customs has developed. Often viewed as the last matriarchal society in Europe, the older women here take care of almost everything on land as their husbands travel the seas.

 

 

 

Gjelstad has photographed the daily lives and activities of the women, their clothing, bedrooms, kitchens and farmhouses as well as the surrounding landscape – even a ceremony in a deceased person’s kitchen only three hours after she had passed away. She has also interviewed the women about their lives, struggles and losses and their thoughts on the future. We learn of the development of this unique society, the harsh conditions it endured over many decades as part of the Soviet Union, as well as its culture and folk dressing customs. These are the hushed voices of culture bearers who need to be heard, for this is a small society rapidly moving towards western standards, and where traditional culture and identity is inevitably slipping away.

 

 

 

 

All images © Anne Helene Gjelstad

 

 

 

BIG HEART, STRONG HANDS

Book By ANNE HELENE GJELSTAD

 

 

See also:

WALL ART

By Anne Helene Gjelstad

 

 

 

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.

We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.

 

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