A Fairytale Kingdom Faces Real-Life Troubles - NG (1)
Eestlased Eestis 11 Nov 2016  EWR
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In Obinitsa, Estonia, a young Seto girl named Liisi Lõiv wears a traditional costume in her grandparents' garden. Seto women typically have both an old costume and a new one. This is an older one—white, with long, rolled sleeves. The clothing reveals other details too. A married woman must cover her hair, while an unmarried young woman or girl like Liisi will wear only a garland or a headscarf, leaving her long braid visible. Today Setos wear their traditional clothes only on special occasions. Liisi says she embroidered this costume herself. "I'm proud of being Seto,” she says. “It is where I come from, where I grew up."
Photograph by Jérémie Jung - pics/2016/11/48673_001.jpg
In Obinitsa, Estonia, a young Seto girl named Liisi Lõiv wears a traditional costume in her grandparents' garden. Seto women typically have both an old costume and a new one. This is an older one—white, with long, rolled sleeves. The clothing reveals other details too. A married woman must cover her hair, while an unmarried young woman or girl like Liisi will wear only a garland or a headscarf, leaving her long braid visible. Today Setos wear their traditional clothes only on special occasions. Liisi says she embroidered this costume herself. "I'm proud of being Seto,” she says. “It is where I come from, where I grew up." Photograph by Jérémie Jung
By Eve Conant
Photographs by Jérémie Jung,

On two sides of a disputed border lies a kingdom. It is young in age and ancient in beliefs, forged from the chaos of the Soviet Union’s collapse.

The people of this kingdom are the Setos, an indigenous ethnic minority of just a few thousand people from Setomaa, a small region nestled between southeastern Estonia and northwestern Russia.

The Setos have fiercely maintained their traditions for centuries. Those include their ancient polyphonic singing, recently recognized on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

But they’ve also created entirely new traditions, complete with their own royalty, to stave off modern threats to their cultural identity.

The greatest threat today is a border between Russia and Estonia—traditionally more of a suggestion than a demarcation—that divides the Setos. The border shifted multiple times over the 20th century—a span that saw two world wars, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and the early stirrings of a European Union.


http://news.nationalgeographic...
 
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