To the history of region where the epic songs of ancient people were kept and written The famous collector of Karelian and Finnish folk poetry, “Kalevala’s” compiler, Elias Lennrot, who lived from the beginning and almost up to the end of the 19 century continued work of his numerous predecessors in searching of new unknown to the scholars runes. He visited plenty of villages and farms in Finnish and Russian parts of Karelia. 
The most important for creation of the famous “Kalevala” turned to be his meetings with the inhabitants of Karelian villages at the time of his journeys during 1833-1837, when he had visited the north-western parts of Lapps pogosts  - the territory known under that name since the times of Novgorod and that were called exactly this way in the original sources of the 15, 16, 17 and often of the 18 centuries. It was region to the north from the Onego Lake, up to the state border on the west and up to the seacoast of the White Sea on the east. At first there were seven of them: Seletskiy (Selki), Padanskiy (Paatene), Rygozerskiy (Rukajarvi), Shyeretskiy (Suikujarvi), Panozerkiy (Paanajarvi), Semchezerskiy (Semsjarvi) and Lindozerskiy (Lindjarvi), without counting Shyeretskiy, which was drawn towards the previous in respect of taxes (pic.1). Later, when Rebolu with its’ neighborhood had been withdrawn from voevode’s authority in the beginning of the 17 century and was included in Olonetskiy uyezd, there appeared eight of them (pic.2). At the times of Lennrot it was a number of separate provinces in administrative terms, that were included in the structure of Povenetskiy uyezd of Olonets province and of the Kemskiy district of Arkhangelsk province.

Copyright © Irina Chernyakova
            
Oleg Chernyakov,2007

What Elias Lennrot haven’t told...
The well-known names in the world of folklore studies and for all educated people of Ontrei Malinen, Voassila Kielevainen, Arhippa Perttunen Varahvonta Sirkeinen, Soava Trohkimainen, Martti Karjalainen, Yurkki  Kettunen, Lykkani Huotari belonged to the richly endowed narrators, rune-singers and exorcists. Yet all of them were common peasants some of the many. The same way they were working, fishing, hunting to feed their families, they shared common joy and sorrows, married off their children, had buried their parents. They in the same way as their contemparory neighbours, as their fathers, grandfathers and ancestors who had lived on the shores of these lakes and rivers long time before, they kept in memory terrifying stories about the enemy outrages during the invasions and forays out of the close boundaries that had happened quite often in this region. However this didn’t bother neither the inhabitants themselves, nor their neighbourds to cross the border periodically as merchants - pedlars, to live there for more or less long time and often to take home brides from the Finnish side.
Yet they were the only ones who remembered runes, weepings, spells and exorcisms. Some of them remembered more, some remembered less amount of poems, and, according to their own words, this memory, this ability to perform the ancient tunes was a great curiosity in the contemporary world and they always underlined that their fathers and grandfathers had known much more.
And although Lennrot was more than persistent, he walked around the whole Karelia, visited almost the very single peasant’s house where it could have been possible to meet an interesting connoisseur of folk poetry; according to his own report for the Finnish literary society written in Kajani on the 8th of March 1838 only “Vuokkiniemi and Paanajarvi in Russian Karelia were the centres of history-mythological runes”. The third place, according to his competent illustration, where people remembered at least some epic songs was Rebolu’s district. And what is more he noted that “the far you get from the named places the less you meet such runes”.
Neither the imperial diplomat Sigizmund Gerbershtein in who’s travel writings we find the laconic data about more or less significant settlements in the White Sea region and on the Onega lake; nor the Dutchman Simon van Salingen who had told about his meeting in Kandalaksha with the “Russian philosopher” and author of the first Karelian alphabet Feodor Chydinov; nor Genrih Shtaden, who had run from Moscow abroad through Karelia and Kolskiy peninsula at the end of the same XVI century, later in Germany he suggested invading these rich lands, they didn’t keep detailed descriptions of their impressions about the people who lived here.
The foreigners who visited Russia later - in the XVII century, and even those who were directly engaged in the events of the big politics on the Karelian isthmus and in the north-western Ladoga region - Peter Petrei, Mattias Shaym and Johan Videkind were not interested in the details of the Karelian mode of life.
The earliest among the known Russian descriptions of Belomorsk Karelia is a bit more informative. General-major Mikhail Matiyshkin who was sent from Moscow in 1714 worked out a exact topographic plan of the country from Olonets to Kola. He went along the rivers and lakes, strictly marking their dimentions in versts, also fixing the distance between the villages he had visited and the distance between these villages and Swedish border and the Peter’s factories. Yet you can hardly find in this detailed list something dealing with the inhabitants of these places, except lapidaryly given number of the farmsteads.
However before we work out our original intentions let us think of the following question: how and when did the educated part  of the society notice here on the North of Europe such a phenomenon as the folklore. What was their attitude? And - what is of vital importance - we’ll try to answer the question