Research group: Ellen Värv, Reet Piiri, Age Raudsepp, Liisi Jääts

The ENMs task is safeguarding, valuing and developing tangible and intangible cultural heritage. According to the ENM Statute the museums task is popularising Estonian folk culture. During the last decades the research into older folk culture, everyday life and cultural heritage was primarily focused on: 1) folk art, 2) national costumes and the impact of urban fashion on clothing, 3) everyday culture 4) environmental history 5) historical tourism and coastal leisure culture.

First, the researchers studied museum collections and carried out fieldwork in order to document the handicraft masters and memories of historical everyday culture. The researchers annually participate in conferences, also thematic conferences and seminars are organised at the ENM, including events aimed at wider audiences (such as the seminar on the smoke sauna in 2016, in 2012 an international conference on national costumes was organised). The publications involved insights into materials from the beginning of the 20th century in the ENMs Photographic Collections, but also on different details, elements and pieces of national costume. ENM researchers working in the area of folk culture, everyday culture and cultural heritage are acknowledged public experts and contribute to the work of a large variety of commissions, boards and temporary and permanent working groups in Estonia within the fields of culture and heritage protection.

In 2012, a separate unit, the Cultural Heritage Study Centre, was formed. Its task is to carry out studies in the area of folk culture, providing consultation services regarding folk culture, specialty training and workshops. At the new museum facilities, the centre opened a separate education space equipped with educational materials about national costumes and, more widely, folk culture. Consultancy activities are based on the ENM collections and their analysis, and on performing additional fieldwork on matters relating to this subject.

ENM researchers working on this subject area supervised a number of Masters and graduation theses at Tartu Art College, the Viljandi Culture Academy, the Estonian Art Academy and the University of Tartu. The ENM is also a partner for those universities that teach courses on this subject area, which often take place at the Estonian National Museum, which enables original artefacts to be used for these courses.

Annually around 20 workshops, also based on the artefact collections of the ENM, are organised in collaboration with different handicraft masters. The workshops have ranged from heritage textiles to leather- and woodworking to food traditions, generating widespread public interest and helping to advance a variety of traditional crafts and techniques.

Methodical materials are compiled for the handicraftsmen and around 20 articles on folk culture are published directed for wider audiences. The museum also organises a school that teaches the skills required to make national costumes (Rahvarõivaste valmistajate kool). Each year a two-year course with 30 participants starts, giving students the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they need to make different pieces, from clothing to footwear to outerwear.

The centre’s researchers participate in all the most important events in the area of folk culture, including being an organising partner for the Estonian Song and Dance Festival and the Estonian Folk Culture Centre, giving consultative workshops on folk clothes at all relevant festivals, giving hundreds of consultations in the area of folk culture annually (for example, advice to handicrafters and designers as well as to the film industry). Consultancy work also has an international dimension as the centre is a partner for various museums as well as masters and designers who wish to find relevant contacts and cooperation partners in Estonia.

The biggest public initiative started in 2009, when in cooperation with the Estonian Road Administration the old borders of Estonia’s historical administrative parishes were given specific road signs in order to draw attention to historical cultural environments.

Future development plans include increasing the science-based activities and research into material culture.

Publications, conferences

Piiri, R. 2010. Estonia: Urban Dress. In: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, volume on East Central Europe, Russia and the Caucuses. Berg Publisher.

Värv, E. (2010). Estonia: Ethnic Dress. In: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Volume 9: East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus. Berg Publishers.

Värv, E. (2010). Snapshot: Estonia, Subcultural Dress. In: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Volume 9: East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus. Berg Publisher.

Piiri, R. (2011). Helmekeed. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Reemann, V. (2011). Sõbast seinavaibani. From traditional wrap to wall tapestry. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Tael, T. (2012). Kreutzwald Virumaa rahvarõivastest. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Reidla, J. (2012). Johannes Pääsuke. Mees kahe kaameraga / Man with two Cameras. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Piiri, R. (2012). National costume in 20th century Estonia - Vivid national costume, Tartu, Estonia.

Värv, E. (2012). National costumes from Estonian National Museum collections - Vivid national costume, Tartu, Estonia.

Piiri, R. (2013). Traditional knitted sweaters from ENM collections - Traditional knitted sweaters from Baltic Sea region, Viljandi, Estonia.

Piiri, R. (2013). Eesti kampsun Eesti Rahva Muuseumi kogudest / Estonian woollen jacket from the collection of the Estonian National Museum. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Raudsepp, A., Arold P. (2013). Palamuse mees: rahvarõivaste valmistamise juhend. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Tael, T. (2013). Friedrich Kohtitsky. Päevapildiraamat. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Võsu, E., Rattus, K., Jääts, L. (2013). Creative Commodification of Rural Life from a Performance Perspective: A Study of Two South-East Estonian Farm Tourism Enterprises. In: The Special Issue of the Journal of Baltic Studies. Temporality, Identity and Change: Ethnographic Insights into Estonian Fieldsites, 205-227.

Raudsepp, A., Arold, P. (2014). Palamuse naine: rahvarõivaste valmistamise juhend. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Õunapuu, P. (2014). On Estonian Folk Culture: pro et contra. In: Folklore. Electronic Journal of Folklore, 58, 187-206.

Reemann, V. (2014). „Minu mood tuleb tagasi…“ Karin Grabby-Mathiessen-Baritsch. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Astel, E. (2014). Eesti rahvapärased hõbeehted / Estonian National Silver Jewellery. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Reemann, V. (2014). Sõbast Seinavaibani / From Traditional Wrap to Wall Tapestry. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Astel, E., Aru, K. (2014). Rahvapärased õllekannud ERMi kogust / Traditional Wooden Tankards. Tartu: Estonian National Museum. 50

Piiri, R. (ed.), Voolmaa, A., Kaarma, M. (2015). Eesti rahvarõivad I-III / Estonian Folk Costume I-III. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Raud, I., Piiri, R. (2015). Pastelde tegemine: rahvarõivaste valmistamise juhend. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Värv, E., Raudsepp, A. (eds.). Rand, P. (2015). Koeru mees: rahvarõivaste valmistamise juhend. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Värv, E., Raudsepp, A. (eds.). Aru, K. (2016). Hageri naine: rahvarõivaste valmistamise juhend. Tartu: Estonian National Museum.

Kannike, A. (2016). Rahvakunst. In: Kangilaski. J. (toim.) Eesti kunsti ajalugu 1940‒1991. II osa, 401-406.

Exhibitions, films

2010. Muuseum näitab keelt / Talking the tongue, curators Kristel Rattus, Tiit Hennoste, Kristiina Ross, Tiit Sibul, cooperation with Estonian Language Foundation, Ministry of Education and Research, Institute of Estonian Language, University of Tartu. Award of Ministry of Education and Research for the Best Estonian Language Action

2011. DVD Eesti etnograafiline film I. Kaks filmi eesti etnograafiast. Aleksei Peterson 80 / Estonian Ethnographic Film I. Two Films on Estonian Ethnography. Aleksei Peterson 80, authors Svetlana Karm, Indrek Jääts, Tartu: Estonian National Museum

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. Chief curator Kristel Rattus (curating also the exhibitions (The Era of Books, The Arrival of Christianity, The Metal Age, The Stone Age)

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised. Riik ja rahvas / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. The People and the State, curators Külli Lupkin, Terje Anepaio, Anu Järs, Anu Kannike, Karin Konksi, Mihkel Laar, Kristjan Raba, Piret Õunapuu, Marge Konsa (University of Tartu), Ago Pajur (University of Tartu), Tõnu Tannberg (University of Tartu), Inna Jürjo (Tallinn University), Gerd Uiboaed (Estonian Government Office)

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised. Keelekatel / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. The Language Brew, curators Kristel Rattus, Tiit Hennoste (University of Tartu), Kristiina Ross (Estonian Language Institute), Liina Paales (University of Tartu), Tiit Sibul

2010. DVD Documentary Küübitegu. Vanade tehnikate uus elu, authors Andres Koidu, Vaike Reemann, Maido Selgmäe, Tartu: Estonian National Museum

2011. Siga seebiks. Traditsioonilised töövõtted kaasajal / Traditional Techniques in the Present Day , curators Kristel Rattus, Liisi Jääts, Ange Vosman

2011-2016. Travelling exhibition in Poland, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece Hands and mittens, curator Reet Piiri

2011. Travelling exhibition Estonian Folk Costume (Ukraine, Poland), curator Reet Piiri

2012 ValgusTuli/The LightFire, curators Ivar Feldmann, Kristjan Raba, cooperation with Narva Museum, Estonian Blacksmiths' Union

2012 Ruhnu eraldatud maailm/The separated world of Ruhnu, curators Piret Õunapuu, Kristjan Bachmann, cooperation with Ruhnu municipality, Folk Culture Centre, Estonian State Archive

2014. Nordiska Eesti kogude ja Gudrun Sjödeni Muhu kollektsioon/The Estonian collections of the Nordic Museum and Gudrun Sjödren’s Muhu collection, curators Reet Piiri, Riina Reinvelt

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised. Aja jälg vaibal / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. The Imprint of Time on Estonian Wraps, curator Vaike Reemann

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised. Taluelu-taluilu / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. Rural Life and Rural Beauty, curators Reet Piiri, Vaike Reemann, Virve Tuubel, Piret Õunapuu, Riina Reinvelt

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised. Moodsad ajad / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. Modern Times, curators Liisi Jääts, Terje Anepaio, Anu Järs, Reet Piiri, Kristel Rattus, Ellen Värv

2016. Eesti püsinäitus Kohtumised. Regilaul / Estonian permanent exhibition Encounters. The Runo Song, curators Liina Saarlo (Estonian Literary Museum), Andres Kalkun (Estonian Literary Museum), Janika Oras (Estonian Literary Museum), Taive Särg (Estonian Literary Museum), Pille Runnel