Elvira Bono/Sormunen also known as Moppe (b. 5 May 1893, Katrineholm, Sweden – d. 6 August 1973, Rovaniemi, Finland) was a circus artist, who performed in her father’s circus as a rope dancer, a trick rider and a trapeze artist from the age of four. She also had an act with a boa constrictor. Elvira toured with different circuses in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia and Germany. She first appeared under the artist name of Miss Laura. Elvira Bono was married at only 16 years of age to a Finnish expressionist Jalmari Ruokokoski, who painted several circus theme paintings inspired by Elvira Bono. Her marriage did not last long due to financial problems and her husband’s alcoholism. Elvira resumed her career in the circuses as a perch-acrobat with partner Eddie Hyyppä. Unfortunately, she fell off the perch in St. Petersburg in 1917 severely injuring herself, thus having to end her acrobatic career. Later on, Elvira Bono moved to Lapland and made a living from various jobs in the gold mines and forest industry. With her new husband Unto Sormunen, she built a cottage by the lake Inari in the embrace of Lapland’s wilderness.
More on the Finnish National Biography website.
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