Saturday, August 12, 2023

Estonia’s Narva ‘Ideal Place for Rebirth of Ingrian Traditions,’ Kuznetsova Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 5 – Ekaterina Kuznetsova, an artist from Petersburg whose parents helped to restore both Russian palaces and the cultures of the numerically small Finno-Ugric peoples of Russia’s Northwest who is the founder of Narva’s Ingria House, says that the northeastern Estonian border city is “the ideal place for the rebirth of the traditions of Ingria.”

            “In Narva,” she tells Estonia’s Postimees newspaper, “a multi-cultural milieu has historically emerged where alongside one another exist Baltic-Finnish nationalities – Estonians, Vods, Izhors, Finno-Ingermandlanders, Setu, and Karels – and Slavs, Swedes, Germans and Danes” (

            A decade ago, she and her husband created both a Ingria House in the former New York Hotel there and developed the musical and artistic groups they had formed earlier when still living in Russia’s northern capital. The couple is deeply involved not only in music but also in the production of art, something that helps bring the attention of the world to these cultures.

            “Of course,” Kuznetsova says, “the market in Narva is smaller than in St. Petersburg; but the decline in orders in the latter has been going on for some time because there is less interest there in books.” But now, using the Internet, she is able to sell her book bindings and art to a larger market in America and England while remaining in culturally dynamic Narva.

For background on the Ingermanders and this still submerged nation, see Ott Kurs , “Ingria: The Broken Landbridge Between Estonia and Finland,” GeoJournal 33.1 (1994): 107–113; Ian Matley, “The Dispersal of the Ingrian Finns,” Slavic Review 38:1 (1979): 1-16;,,,, and

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