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Statue of Larin Paraske

    Larin Paraske (Paraskeva Nikitina) (born Lempaala, Ingria 1833, – died 1904, Metsäpirtti, Finland) was a traditional singer with an Ingrian background. The largest singular corpus of old Finnish-Karelian poetry in the traditional Kalevala metre, 32 000 lines of verse, are known and recorded thanks to her. Larin Paraske’s life was characterized by poverty and the early death of her parents. After moving and marrying to the Finnish side of the border in Karelia she and her husband tried to make a livelihood with their small farm, collecting woods and caring for the orphans. Singing was part of her life and she learned traditional songs from several areas and villages. Pastor Adolf Neovius (1859–1913) discovered her talent in 1887 and started to record her songs, a work that lasted for eight years and which led to Paraske’s moving to Porvoo with Neovius. She co-operated also with several other folk-poetry collectors as well as with the composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) and artist Eero Järnefelt (1863–1937) which sealed her legacy as an icon of Finnish-Karelian oral culture.

    Address : Mannerheimintie 38, Helsinki

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