In the southeastern part of Estonia, there is a country inside the country. We are talking about Setomaa – a place, where lives an ethnic minority which is admired for its determination to keep the traditions and language that pass from generation to generation.
Seto language is similar to Estonian, but still not quite the same, however, it’s in Seto that majority of the folk Estonian songs are sung, given the strong music culture among this small Seto group, that counts no more than 15 000 people in the world. The majority of whom lives in the South of Estonia. Seto are mysterious and intriguing due to their strong isolation and authenticity that doesn’t seem to weaken throughout the years. That’s why we were looking forward to getting in Setomaa and see them with our own eyes.
Fortunately, every year in the beginning of August, the Seto organize a small festival – the election of the new chief of their community. Folk music, dancing and singing are included, as well as a market with some authentic hand-made goods, which in Estonia can boast with a good quality.
The flag of Seto reminds the flag of Scandinavian countries.
Traditional dress of Seto is similar to the dress of Eastern Slavic ethnicities, which might be explained by the common religion – Orthodox Christianity.
This round silver decoration on the chest is worn by married women and its purpose is to demonstrate how wealthy the family is. The same goes to the decorations with the silver coins. These items are extremely valuable not due to their material cost, but mainly due to the tradition kept thoroughly by several generations of Seto…
Enjoying the festival…
Trying the traditional Estonian dress.
Well, the short introduction of Seto is now over. ;)
But before leaving, check their folk dance and song – it covers our skin with the goosebumps…