Albums highlight Latvian folk stories, beliefs

The first three albums of “Mantojums” (Inheritance), a new series of recordings featuring Latvian folk stories and beliefs, has been released by Upe Recording Co. in Rīga.

The albums include Pasaules radīšana, featuring creation stories told by Leons Krivāns, and Putnu un zvēru valoda, featuring stories about the language of birds and animals told by Pēteris Liepiņš. Both albums include music composed by Kaspars Tobis.

The third album, Stāsti un dziesmas, features 96-year-old storyteller Marija Golubova of the Viļaka region talking about her life and singing songs. The album is produced by folk singer Biruta Ozoliņa.

“The stories are first of all meant for children,” Ainars Mielavs, head of Upe Recording, told Latvians Online. “But adults who have heard them also found them interesting.” The Golubova recording, meanwhile, is meant for a narrow audience. “Absolutely noncommercial,” Mielavs said of the album.

How many more albums will be produced is not yet known, Mielavs said, and will depend on reaction to these first three.

The stories were chosen based on how interesting and engrossing they are. “UPE isn’t about to become an academic publisher and do what the state’s cultural politicians should do,” Mielavs commented.

Mielavs credited his wife, Iveta Mielava, for the idea for “Mantojums.” She also is the producer of the series. —Andris Straumanis


An album of Latvian stories about the language of birds and animals is part of a new series of recordings.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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