Lament is like a safe lap
Lamenting is a form of tradition found all over the world. Laments have been a women’s oral tradition that commonly focused on women’s complaints (McLaren 2008, 2). The lamenting areas closest to Finland, amongst the Baltic-Finnic areas, are Karelia and Ingria traditions (Honko 1975). Further details about the Karelian lamenting tradition can be found for examplein Konkka’s(1985), Tenhunen’s (2006), E. Stepanova’s (2014), and Silvonen’s (2022) research to name a few. Traditionally the individual heard laments from the women in the community around them and internalised the form of language and tunes. As the traditional life form disappeared after Second World War, lamenting in contemporary Finland has moved into being learned on different folk singing and lamenting courses.
In this audio paper, we are focusing on a guided lamenting circle, and explore on the meanings that the participants in the circle give to the lament. We argue that the circle acts as the community that is substituting the traditional tightly-knitvillage communities that are largely missing in contemporary Finland.