Kalevala Society Award

The Kalevala Society Award, EUR 10 000, is granted every three years to a person for great services rendered, through scientific or artistic activities, in making folklore, Kalevala or the national heritage better known.

Award for 2014 to researcher Senni Timonen

Photo Elina Lampela

Photo Elina Lampela

Senni Timonen, PhD, was awarded the fifth Kalevala Society Award for her work as a researcher of folk lyrics. With her scientific work, Timonen has spread awareness of the poetic creativity of common people. The award was given to Timonen at the seminar of the Kalevala Society on Kalevala Day, 28 February 2014.

Senni Timonen’s doctoral dissertation “I, space, feeling. Perspectives on Kalevala-metre folk lyrics” (2004) was a revolutionary study in many ways. In it, Timonen focused on the dimensions of the main themes of these lyrics, which were earlier considered to consist of short, femininely quirky poems.

I, space, feeling brought a new perspective to the study of folk lyrics by focusing on women of different ages as individuals, by describing their emotions from grief to joy and loneliness to community. All of this was based on a solid body of research, on knowledge of Kalevala-metre folk lyrics – the best in the world.

The women’s perspective has been a lasting theme throughout Senni Timonen’s work, ever since 1977 when she published Rose of the Forest and Bird of the Sky: Thoughts of a Recent Feminist. The key work for the women’s perspective in folklore research is The Words of Louhi: Writings on Women in Folklore (1990), edited by Timonen and Aili Nenola. Read more >


2014 – Researcher Senni Timonen
Senni Timonen (b. 1944) has spread awareness of the poetic creativity of common people with her scientific work.

2011 – Professor Heikki Laitinen
Heikki Laitinen (b. 1943) is a surprisingly diverse actor in the fields of Finnish folk music, art and culture.

2008 – Professor Michael Branch
Michael Branch (b. 1940) has given a voice to A. J. Sjögren and made him famous in his many extensive studies.

2005 – Composer Tapio Tuomela
Tapio Tuomela (b. 1958) is an internationally renowned composer and orchestra director.

2002 – Tutkija Unelma Konkka
Unelma Konkka (1921–2011) oli parhaita itämerensuomalaisen kulttuurin tunnetuksi tekijöitä venäjänkielisen lukijakunnan keskuudessa.