Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: Karelia's Rock Art & History

Karelia's Rock Art & History

Andrew Heninen is a Karelian (Finnish-Russian) programmer with a keen interest in the history of lost Finnish territories. Karelia (or Karjala in Finnish) is a territory which straddles the present-day border between Finland and Russia, and is home to the Karelian people, related to Finns. Heninen's site has numerous pages in English, Finnish and Russian about Karelian history that is like walking into a museum. These pages about the area's rock art fascinate me the most:

Karelian petroglyphs in drawings and photos

The Stone Labyrinths

Sami Sacred Stones or Seidas

Another interesting note, when on the home page, if you click "refresh", the photos change. (Like my homepage, did you notice?)**

In case you missed it, I wrote a related post some time ago called visiting Karelia.

Read about the sad history of the Many Karelias from which this quote:

"Karelia holds an important place in Finnish cultural history. The material for the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala and numerous other collections of folk poetry were gathered mainly in the northern parts of Finnish and Russian Karelia. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Karelia provided the inspiration for many of Finland's leading artists, composers and writers and played an important role in the 19th century national awakening and the development of a Finnish national identity."

(** My home page has since changed.)


I have enjoyed investigating this through your links; yet another place with a North/South divide , Ireland, Cyprus and on and on. It is a fascinating story.

I only knew of Karelia from Sibelius' Suite of that name and was provoked by your post to look up his motivation in writing it. I haven't played it for years but remember it as a very stirring affair.

Anna, you always have such great in-depth comments! Thank for the link on Sibelius...I'm ashamed that I have only a surface understanding of his music though I know his life story, perhaps because I find a lot of it too somber.

Interesting fact: Sibelius was the first to discover a Finnish rock painting, near his home outside Helsinki.

Oh, I like the labyrinths. Funny how different the stories are that interpret their purpose. I found another site with photos, although this one mixes older with contemporary labyrinths.

Thanks for visiting, commenting and for the great link, Katja!