MANDAG den 9. JANUAR 2023, kl. 13-14
Expanded dugout canoes from Estonia’s Soomaa region
Aivar Ruukel, boatbuilder and nature-culture guide in Soomaa national park, Estonia
The skill of building expanded dugout canoes (in Estonian: haabjas) is an important part of the intangible cultural heritage of Estonia’s Soomaa region and more generally of the Pärnu river basin.
At the initiative of Estonian Dugout Canoe Society, the building of Soomaa has been included in the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2021. Soomaa dugout canoe building represents a broader tradition of dugout canoes shared by many Finno-Ugric peoples.
This initiative creates international collaboration opportunities between builders and popularizers of dugout canoes. Recognition of the dugout canoe tradition by UNESCO also supports cultural and nature tourism in Soomaa National Park and helps to empower the local community of dugout canoe users, as well as pass the tradition of building dugout canoes to next generations.