Recordings from the Estonian Folklore Archives 3

Aleksander Maaker

Aleksander Maaker with bagpipe at a recording session in Tallinn in 1936–1938. Photo by P. Parikas. ERA, Foto 836.

Aleksander Maaker (1890–1968) belongs to the Maaker clan of the village of Muda in Emmaste Parish on the island of Hiiumaa. His father, Priidu Maaker, was a fine bagpipe player, and his uncle Juhan Maaker became famous all over Estonia as Juss the Piper. A seaman and later a farmer, Aleksander Maaker could play many instruments, the jew’s harp, the psaltery, the bowed harp, and the accordion. He learned to play the bagpipe at the age of 30. Unfortunately, in 1938 at the time of the recordings at the National Radio the bag of his bagpipe was broken and “Juss the Piper’s Waltz Tune” was played using only the finger pipe. Later, on the collective farm Aleksander was in charge of the granaries. He was the leader of the fire brigade and had several other duties. Even at the age of 70 he was still playing the bagpipe at birthdays and other parties.