Folklore researcher Väinö Salminen, one of the founding members of the Kalevala Society, in 1913 visited Mekrijärvi in Ilomantsi, the most famous folklore village in Finnish Karelia. His guide to the history of the Mekrijärvi poetry singers’ families was Jeremi Volotinen, standing in the background. Volotinen rowed Salminen tens of miles down the Koitajoki river. Photo by Väinö Salminen, Folklore Archives of the Finnish Literature Society.
President Svinhufvud thanks child performers during the 100th anniversary of the Kalevala, at the Messuhalli in Helsinki in 1935.
During the chairmanship of Pekka Laaksonen, the Kalevala Society became active in social issues, often relating to the preservation of national landscapes. During the Murhijärvi demonstration of 13 September 1988, Professor Hannes Sihvo carries the placard of the Kalevala Society, while the placard of the Finnish Literature Society is carried by Pekka Laaksonen, director of the Folklore Archives. Professor Matti Sarmela is holding the placard of the Finnish Anthropological Society.
The purpose of the Kalevala Society Foundation is to disseminate, research and publish knowledge relating to the Kalevala and the Finnish cultural heritage. The Society also seeks to combine science and the arts and to promote art working with Kalevala-related themes. We organise events, grant awards, give statements and co-operate with cultural actors both in Finland and abroad. We invite experts of the Kalevala, cultural heritage and Finnish culture to join our foundation. The Society respects multiculturalism, and is unaffiliated with any political party or orientation.