Jul 062010
 

On Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm at the Mariposa Museum the Maine Kanteles ensemble will perform traditional and contemporary Finnish tunes as well as melodies familiar to American audiences.

The kantele is a traditional Finnish lap-harp with a 2000-year history rooted in the folklore of the “Kalevala,” the national epic of Finland. It remains an authentic instrument today, played in Finland’s schools, universities and concert halls. Not only is the sound of the kantele uniquely beautiful but the Finns consider it one of the most important symbols of their culture.

Among Maine’s significant ethnic populations are the Finns, who arrived mainly around the turn of the 20^th Century. Significant numbers established themselves in Franklin, Oxford and Waldo Counties. Like other cultures, the American Finnish have a strong desire to maintain and share important elements of their culture, such as their rich musical heritage.

The /Maine Kanteles/ is a kantele ensemble whose members come from many communities in western and southern Maine. Some have been with the group since its inception in 2000 but the group regularly welcomes new participants. While some members of the /Maine Kanteles/ are of Finnish heritage, many are not. All, however, are drawn to the music of the instrument and share interest in its cultural significance. The Maine Kanteles have performed throughout New England and at the annual kantele festival in Ilomantsi, Finland.

Admission to the event is: Adults $15, Members $12 and children $10.

The Mariposa Museum is wheelchair accessible.

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