Kihnu

Mare

DISCOVER KIHNU

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About Me

I live on Kihnu island together with my four children and a seafarer husband. Our roots are here, as well as our strong identity. I have learnt all that is important in Kihnu culture both consciously and unconsciously: language, wearing of traditional clothes, farming and fieldwork, handicraft skills, preparation of traditional foods, folklore, church life, also singing, dancing in weddings and village parties. I know a lot about sea, fishing, seal hunting and living with nature.

At the same time my knowledge is not limited to that. I work in Kihnu school as history teacher and I have ran the work of Kihnu Cultural Space foundation for over ten years now. I have led very different projects to sustain Kihnu culture and support the island life.

I am rather conservative in my views. I believe that we have to preserve old knowledge and know-how, God knows when we might need it. It is important to have strong roots and a sense of home and community, which create identity and give strength. I think it is extremely important to preserve all kinds of skills – a person should be able to keep himself alive. In our time it means the ability to grow our own food, make our own clothes or even build a house. Living in the same rhythm with nature, observing signs and celebrating traditional holidays is also a skill. It is an important skill to survive when one day there should be no more electricity, Internet or say the oil resources should come to an end. I wish that me, my children, our community and the whole Estonian population would be smart enough to preserve the skills to survive and not give up on our home, identity and the will to raise children here on our land. I wish we would have the skill to rejoice at the colourful beauty of our traditional clothes or at the familiar heart-warming folk music even in the darkest time of winter. Yes, in my opinion, it is important to preserve skills.

Services

I offer different services for you to discover the rich and exceptional culture of Kihnu island, from accommodation to personalized guided tours. I will take you along this UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in the best way.

I am a 7th level traditional culture specialist and a Kihnu guide working in​ Kihnu language, Estonian and English.

I have also been teacher of history and social studies in Kihnu school from 2002 to 2016.

 
 

Rewards

2019

Order of the White Star of 5th class awarded by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.

2015

Honorary Consul of the Seto Kingdom

2013

Act of the year – Opening the lighthouse for visitors by Kihnu Cultural Space foundation.

2012

Laureate of C.R.Jakobson’s reward, the most popular educational and cultural worker in Pärnu County.

2011 - 2012

The annual grant of the Folk culture endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

2011

Honourable testimonial of the Kihnu Parish government for organizing Kihnu Violin Festival.

2009

The Kihnu person of the year (for starting and carrying out the annual tradition of Kihnu Sea Festival (Kihnu Mere Pidu).

2006 - 2009

Honourable testimonials of the Kihnu Parish government for the promotion of Kihnu traditional culture (The instruction of the Kihnu culture and history study group for students, the promotion of traditional culture, the purchase of Metsamaa farm).

1998

Citizen's Day Honor

 

Journey

2021

University of Tartu • Master Degree in Ethnology Folklore and Cultural Anthropology (ongoing)

2020

NGO Kihnu Living Heritage • Founder

2004 - 2019

Kihnu Cultural Space Foundation • Head of the Foundation

2013

University of Tartu • History Teacher

2002

Estonian University of Life Sciences • Agriculture / Farm Economy Degree

1998

Private University • Degree in Law

 

Contact Me

Mare Mätas

Uue-Matu talu

Rootsiküla, 88004 Pärnu County

mare.matas@gmail.com

+372 5071 453

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