The Finnish Bed (Suomalainen Sanky).
Suomalainen sänky (The Finnish Bed), by ethnologist Leena Sammallahti and scientist Marja-Liisa Lehto (SKS 2006), is an illustrated background of Finnish sleeping setups, from straightforward benches along the wall surface, once common in several farmhouses, to elaborately sculpted and supported laps of luxury from upper-class residences. Sammallahti intended to position the Finnish bed into the limelight that it should have and also as a result we now have a detailed background of the Finnish bed. “Ever since I was a kid I have not rested very well, so the bed occupies my mind in this respect”, Sammallahti says.
Her recently-published book, Suomalainen sänky (“ The Finnish Bed”) offers the advancement of Finnish beds from solid resting platforms to elaborate canopy beds, and to models that can likewise function as couches in addition to of bunk beds. The beds of the Tornio River Valley stand out in their splendor claims Sammallahti. “They have sophistication as well as splendor, which I have constantly loved”.
The seeds of the book were planted in the late 1960s when Professor Niilo Valonen, a tale in Finnish ethnology, made use of pupils to photo the interiors of farm residences, producing a detailed record. Sammallahti was among those young trainee assistants at the time. “As soon as when I took images of furnishings, a salesperson offering new furnishings showed up. He believed that I was a rival. He can hardly think that anybody would certainly have an interest in old furnishings. Back then it was utilized as firewood,” Sammallahti recalled. With her publication on Finnish beds, Sammallahti feels that she has actually finished one facet of a significant project that her mentor was not able to finishin hbislifetime. Valonen’s objective had actually been to research the villages, lawns, structures, and also insides of ranch living in Finland.
Sammallahti stays in Pori in an old row house originally developed for manufacturing facility workers. In Helsinki she has her “traveling collection”, developed from the old sauna building at the back of a conventional 1950 ′ s home in Herttoniemi. The furnishings of both houses provide a sign of the career of the individual who lives there. “Actually, just the computer system is brand-new”, she laughs. “Already as a schoolgirl, I mosted likely to auctions, searching for old items.” The writer’s favourite bed was acquired from her grandma. It is a model that opens from the side. The wood is carved, showing images of doughnuts and also biscuits. Nonetheless, usually she sleeps in a pine bed from the 1920 ′ s, as it is happily wide.
A bed is where individuals are born, pass away, as well as make love. In medieval times, taking a bride-to-be to bed was actually created into the regulations: a marital relationship was considered valid just after maybe confirmed that a pair had spent an evening under the same sheets. Sammallahti’s memories of bed additionally surge with affection. “I remember how my granny’s sister, a midwife, took me, a child weeping for absence of rest, beside her under sheepskin coverings. And also exactly how my fiancé and also I shared a Heteka steel structure bed in the warm attic of a summer home.”.
Sammallahti has been retired currently for a couple of years however continues to study. “After being soothed of the commitments of my job, I have actually studied the sublime deep waters of a scientist.” The aquatic allegory is no coincidence. The writer is the offspring of a maritime family with beginnings in the external islands in the Gulf of Finland, which Finland lost in the war to the Soviet Union. “As a child I was enabled to cruise in a watercraft exceptionally openly. During the vacations, I was enabled to go with my dad in a steamship to the harbours of Europe.”.
Sammallahti obtained her doctorate from the University of Helsinki in the early 1980 ′ s. Afterwards, she worked at a variety of jobs, consisting of that as the head of the Finnish Maritime Museum, and also the gallery of the Satakunta region. “I have seen just how the museum industry grew along with Finnish prosperity. Now it is sad that it is essential to decrease funding”, she keeps in mind. “Museums are the only organisations that keep old items. And also with them, we tell about worths and also meanings - spiritual matters.”.
One of the Finnish galleries in which you can see these self-same beds on your own is the Lyytikkälä Museum Farm in South Karelia. The Lyytikkälä Ranch’s history began in 1722 and also it was opened as a museum in 1989. The old farmhouse has dealt with benches built along the wall surfaces of the major area (the tupa) while along the back wall surface there are beds comparable to several of those revealed above. In years past, the boys of the proprietor, the farm-workers and also going to guests rested right here in the evening (in summer season, they slept in the ranch sheds).
Nigel Hays can be spoken to at [mailto:[email protected]] [email protected] Nigel’s internet site on all things Finnish can be found at http://www.alternativefinland.com.