LV Latviski

Slimiem vajaga ārsta, bet veseliem darba. (LFK 1493, 3463)

The book "Alma Makovska's Tales" is published

This is the eleventh book in the "Folklore of the Regions" series, but the first book of fairy tales. All the tales were recorded in Vandzene from the oral narration of the storyteller Alma Makovska (1922-2004) between 1987 and 2003. The book contains 84 tales. She heard them in her childhood and youth from her father, her father's brothers, her mother, also at school and from local storytellers. Her native tradition of storytelling has been preserved over several generations.

To make it easier to read, the tales have been transformed into literary language, leaving some of the peculiarities of the dialect, but six of the tales are also in the Vandzene dialect. The cover is designed by Gita Treice, each chapter is introduced by an illustration drawn by her. The fairy tales are transcribed, with commentary, foreword and afterword by Guntis Pakalns. The book will soon be accompanied by an audio and/or video recording of each fairy tale, which will soon be available in the ALF Exhibitions Department.
The book has been published by the publishing house "Zinātne" with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation.

Exhibition "Events in Riga"

The online exhibition "Events in Riga". It consists of 29 examples of narrative folklore and 38 photographs illustrating events that once took place in the city. The selection of texts from the Latvian Folklore Repository of the ILFA was made by Rita Grīnvalde. She is also the author of the photographs.

The exhibition has been prepared with the support of the SCCF programme "KultūrELPA" within the project "Providing Diverse Traditional Cultural Content in the Digital Environment".

Virtual exhibition "Sign Parks in Latvia"

A virtual exhibition "Sign Parks in Latvia". The exhibition documents a relatively recent tradition, specific to Latvia. Sign parks are specially designed areas in nature where large-scale environmental objects - ornaments - are installed alongside the natural environment in a man-made landscape. The origin of the tradition is closely linked to the mythological interpretation of Latvian ornament - signs are perceived as visual representations of deities and other mythological concepts, which in turn allows the development of the idea of the beneficial effect of signs on their users. Sign parks are one of the most creative testimonies to the popularity of the tradition today. The images and text of the exhibition are created by Digne Ūdre, researcher at ALF.

The exhibition was created with the financial support of the SCCF programme "KultūrELPA" and is part of the project "Providing Diverse Traditional Cultural Content in the Digital Environment".

Order of the Three Stars - Dace Bula, Elga Melne, Beatrise Reidzane and Mara Viksna

Before the national holiday, the President of Latvia Egils Levits and the Chapter of Orders have decided to award 60 people with the highest Latvian state honours for special merits in the service of the Latvian state. Four scientists of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia were appointed officers of the Order of the Three Stars - Dace Bula, leading researcher, head of the Culture, Society and Environment Research Department, former director of the Institute and head of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, as well as Elga Melne, Beatrise Reidzāne and Māra Vīksna, researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore.


Ieva Tihovska participates in the Slavic Music Research Conference

From 20 to 23 October, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) will host the third symposium of the research group "Music and Dance of the Slavic World" in Poznan. It opened with a presentation by ethnomusicologist Ieva Tihovska, UL ILFA researcher, on "Folk definitions of traditional music and folklore: A study of Latvian Slavic ensembles". The paper is based on a field study conducted by the researcher with Slavic ensembles that have categorised themselves as 'traditional music' in the Latvian National Culture Centre's shows. Given the stylistic diversity of the performances of these ensembles, which goes beyond a narrow understanding of traditional music, the researcher explored popular perceptions and motivations for associating themselves with this category.

Krišjānis Barons Conference "Folklore and Awakening"

The Krišjānis Barons Conference "Folklore and Awakening" took place from 28 to 29 October. This year, the conference was dedicated to the attitudes of folklore and awakening, as well as to the analytical assessment of the actions of personality, society and political power in the context of the Third Awakening.

The conference was attended by 16 speakers from various Latvian universities and research institutes. Plenary presentations were given by Guntis Šmidchens (University of Washington, Seattle, USA) and Valdis Muktupāvels (Faculty of Humanities, University of Latvia), focusing on the evaluation of folkloristic research and personal experience during the period of the Awakening.

Conference programme.
Booklet of summaries.
Video recordings of papers.

More about the Krišjānis Barons Conference and its history here.

Afternoon of Jumpravsala gardeners' stories

Within the framework of the project "Urban Experiences: Narratives, Memory and Place Heritage", researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore collect stories of Pārdaugava residents. On a cool and sunny Saturday, September 18, Una Smilgaine and Ieva Tihovska met with Jumpravsala gardeners Rasma Griņa, Aija Zīle, Aigars Zemīte, Valērijs, Gunārs, and Gatis. The talks were about the arrangement and significance of the garden ("If you are very stressed about something, put your hands on the ground", "help the children, give each one a box of tomatoes"), about the history and future of Jumpravsala gardens, about the anxiety and addiction on the lease of gardeners, on flooding, thieves and concerts, on the incompatibility of pears and junipers, on beetles eating pigeons, the possibility of keeping a horse, the celebration of Midsummer and birthdays, assistance and organized help. We visited the Aija garden, where a two-meter-long lily grew this year, and the oldest garden houses in Jumpravsala, built in the 20th century 40s.

Photo - Ieva Tihovska

Two new exhibitions: for Rita Drīzule and Boris Infantjev – 100!

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of two folklorists – Rita Drizule and Boris Infantjev - the Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) has created a new digital exhibition space and published extensive exhibitions dedicated to these scientists. In the new exhibitions, you can read stories about the life and research of Drīzule and Infantjev, go on a picture walk, listen to excerpts from interviews and follow the links leading to further reading. More about exhibitions in Latvian here.

Exhibition Rita Drīzule – 100.

Exhibition Boris Infantjevs – 100.

The new ALF exhibition space is part of the project "Provision of Diverse Traditional Cultural Content in the Digital Environment", which has received funding from the SCCF's target program "KultūrELPA".

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ALF researchers get to know Dzirciems, Iļģuciems, and Dzegužkalns

On September 10, within the project "Urban Experiences: Narratives, Memory and Place Heritage", the project participants and other researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore got to know Dzirciems, Iļģuciems, and Dzegužkalns. We also looked at old buildings that have survived in small streets from the end of the 19th century, carefully restored and almost lost houses, places related to the lives of important people, Nordeķi manor and park, former cinema "Ilga", Riga St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, which was once a warehouse and cinema, but now an ascetic church with a wonderful garden, as well as the highest mountain in Riga - Dzegužkalns. We ended the walk with the narrators Māra and Juris Vīksna, where we heard stories about the building built in 1911, as well as its inhabitants and life in the neighborhood.

We always invite you to submit your memories, adventures, and stories about your experience in Pārdaugava. To do so, click here.

The event gallery can be viewed here.

How can help to revive heroes?

The team of the digital archive of the Archives of Latvian Folklore invites those interested to the first virtual meeting on September 24 at 11:00 on the ZOOM platform to share with the example of music collector Voldemārs Stelbergs how can help bring to life important folklore contributions in the regions. In the second part of the seminar, we will practically try how to use more conveniently.

More information in Latvian.

The seminars have been organized with the financial support of the State Culture Capital Fund and the budget sub-program 05.04.00 "Krišjāņa Barona Dainu skapis" of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia.

Audiovisual seminar on oral history

September 22, 2021 at At 15.00, the fourth audiovisual seminar "Method under the Christmas tree: oral history" organized by the LU LFMI Archives of Latvian Folklore will take place online. The seminar will be led by oral history researchers Ieva Garda-Rozenberga and Māra Zirnīte.

More information in Latvian.

A series of audiovisual seminars is organized in the Latvian Science Council project No. lzp-2020 / 2-0315 "New Approaches to the History of Latvian Folklore".

LU LFMI researchers participate in the 18th ISFNR Congress

Three LU LFMI researchers - Aigars Lielbārdis, Agita Misāne and Guntis Pakalns - participate in the 18th International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) Congress "Encountering Emotions in Folk Narrative and Folklife", which is held in Zagreb, but takes place online from September 5 to 8. The congress is dedicated to emotions in folk tales and traditional culture.

Topics of Latvian researchers' reports: Aigars Lielbārdis - "Curses and Eliminating Formulas in Latvian Charms", Agita Misāne - "Emotional Narratives of the Latvian Hikers on the Camino de Santiago", Guntis Pakalns - "Latvia's Amateur Storytellers about Emotions".

The reading room is open from Monday to Friday from 10.00–17.00

The reading room is open from Monday to Friday from 10.00–17.00. Please inform of your visit in advance by writing to the e-mail address

16 presentations on socialism heritage

Records of the "Socialist Folkloristics: A Disciplinary Heritage" international conference presentations are now available at the Archives of Latvian Folklore YouTube channel.

The themes covered in the conference were related to the Socialist heritage’s impact on the development of folkloristics and related disciplines in Central and Eastern Europe. Among those were the role of the Socialist regimes of knowledge in the organization of folklore archives, ethnographic collections and other institutional representations of folklife; the contribution of folkloristics and related disciplines to resistance and dissent in the former USSR and the Soviet bloc countries, as well as history of folkloristics and ethnography in the light of Soviet postcolonialism. Read more...

Digital Catalogue of Latvian Charms

A new digital text corpus for charm research in Latvia was developed by the researcher of Archives of Latvian Folklore Aigars Lielbārdis in the postdoctoral project "Digital Catalogues of Latvian Charms" (No. The methodology is based on digital humanities principles that allow charm texts to be analyzed according to multiple criteria simultaneously. This methodology has been applied to ALF Collection 150 which is the main charm collection of the Archives of Latvian Folklore.