In search of nativeness
“Nativeness - what is the use of it? The question may seem purely rhetorical. One might as well ask why we exist at all. And we should not have to justify our need for existance for ourselves. But when we look from a distance and from the side, things get complicated. What seems elementary to us does not tend to be like this at all in this world. What is self-evident to us may not be to others - nativeness and nationalism, first and foremost. Of course, Estonian nativeness is centered in the language. All other culture leans on it. ”1
The basis of our identity and being is in the language. But not only. The land and the forest and the way of life are also important. The latter is expressed in our material culture. The aspect of nativeness first came to the fore in the second half of the 19th century, with the period of awakening, and has continued through the ups and downs to this day. During decades it has been robed sometimes with cultural, sometimes with political purposes. Nevertheless, it has played an important role in the development of national self-esteem throughout the 20th century.
The 25th anniversary of Estonian Native Crafts Department of University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy gives a reason to glance on what have been the most important milestone in the areas in which we teach, and how nativeness and heritage is being interpreted, applied and devoloped.
of the exhibition: Leele Välja
The exhibition was compiled by: Indrek Ikkonen, Kristi Jõeste, Ave Matsin, Riina Reinvelt, Leele Välja
1 Ott Sandrak. Nationality and nationalism. Speech at the conference “Why do we need nativeness?", Magazine Looming nr 5, 2014.