Recordings from the Estonian Folklore Archives 3

Liina Kaskmann

Liina Kaskmann at a recording session in Tallinn in 1937–1938. Photo by P. Parikas. ERA, Foto 784.

The best known of the singers from the period of sound recordings prior to World War II from County Virumaa, which was particularly rich in the traditions of regilaul singing, was Liina Kaskmann (1873–1944) from the coastal village of Rutja in Haljala Parish. In 1937 the National Radio recorded 34 songs from her onto reportage discs (also referred to as shellac discs). At that time Liina Kaskmann was the mistress of Kangru farm. According to the descriptions made by August Pulst she performed “in an extremely solemn but sure fashion”. In the survey taken at the time of the recording Liina stated that her favourite song was “the orphan’s song”. When asked “where she performed with her songs?” she replied, “At home”. Liina Kaskmann performed traditional Haljala songs but she has also created three narrative songs based on the regilaul motifs. In speaking about them she said that these improvisations were very difficult to do and required her to feel from the depths of her soul.