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Atasiene village ethnographical ensemble

Photo (27Kb)
Christmas in Atasiene, 1997

      Name: Vīraksne
          meaning: meadowsweet, dropwort
          recommended transcription in English: Viraksne
          approximate pronunciation in English: Veeraksne
          Listen pronunciation in AU format (14 Kb)

      Created: 1 December 1981
      Location: Atasiene, Jekabpils distr., Latgalia
      Leader: Valentīna Mičule
      Number of participants: 24, of them by age:
          younger than 14 years: 2
          from 14 to 24 years: 13
          from 25 to 44 years: 2
          from 45 to 64 years: 1
          older than 64 years: 6
      and by gender:
          males: 8
          females: 16
      Forms of activity: sing, play music, dance, play roundelays
      Musical instruments: squeeze-box (hromka), violin, pipe, kokle (psaltery), rhythm instruments (drum, washboard, wood sticks, crock etc.)

    Photo of a meadowsweet.
    Photo (4Kb)

      Description: Ensemble Vīraksne initially worked under Atasiene secondary school, but since 1985 it has passed under protection of the Culture house. In the ensemble, three generations are acting: teenagers, young men and women, and seniors. In the structure of the ensemble there are: a group of folk musicians (5 persons), a youth group of folk dancing (12 persons), then kokle players and singers.
    Atasiene is situated at the edge of the Teici bog, on territory in which meadowsweet is widely distributed. It is a medicinal plant. Therefore we also have chosen the name Vīraksne - meadowsweet. In scientific literature and in folk believes it is possible to find many interesting things about this plant. According to a belief, where meadowsweet grows, there are no snakes, which also can mean - there is no evil. We too try to sow kindness by our folk songs and music.
    In repertoir of the ensemble there are basically songs, roundelays and dances collected in our area. Because Atasiene is on the border with Vidzeme and partially with Selia, we perform songs of these regions too. In our repertoir there are 225 songs, 36 dances, 33 roundelays, 4 ball dances and 14 dances which have been thought up by ourselves.
    We have performed abroad: in 1989 - in Lithuania, in 1994 - in Denmark, in 1996 - in Hungary. We help to create ethnographical plots in the cultural program Olūti of the Latgalian television. We have participated in all Baltica folklore festivals which have taken place in Latvia.

Photo (25Kb)
Songs festival, Ethnographical museum, Riga, 5 July 1998

      Sound sample: Snotineiti es nūaužu (Shawl I have woven) (1998)
One couplet in AU format (411 Kb)
Full song in MP3 format (465 Kb)

          in Latvian: Valentīna Mičule, Māras 4-2, Atašiene, Jēkabpils raj., LV-5211, Latvija
          in English: Valentina Micule, Maras 4-2, Atasiene, Jekabpils distr., LV-5211, Latvia
      Phone: (+371) 52-77119 (h.), 52-77184, 52-77135 (o.)

      Date of presenting the information: 26 August 1998

Copyright © 1998-2018, Ansis Ataols Bērziņš
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Last time modified
26 January 2006

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