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Abeltina, Annija Mara, 2021. Dainas, nature, and interpretation : portraying nature-human relationships in Latvian folklore. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development


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Abstract

Folklore and its tangible and intangible materials carry hundreds of years old knowledge on local contexts. As one of its central themes, it presents perspectives of nature and how human and nature relate. Dainas are short poems that are typical of Latvian folklore, and still highly popular in Latvia. Comparable to Japanese Haikus, they use only few words to sketch their message. Often dainas are about the relationship between people and nature, these popular poems have not yet been widely used in the practice of nature interpretation, i.e., enticing positive emotions towards and nature. I am interested in understanding if these poems could be used as such. Therefore, the aim of this research is to analyse the nature of the relationships between humans and nature as presented in dainas, as a first step to assessing the possibility of using dainas in nature interpretation, but also to contribute to the scientific understanding of nature interpretation through local folklore. To this end I formulated the following research question: how do dainas present nature-human relationships?

The first part of the thesis discusses the thematic background: dainas, nature interpretation, pragmatism, and ecolinguistics. I choose to use nature interpretation and pragmatism to explain in what ways nature appreciation links with folklore. The field of ecolinguistics provided me with examples of previously established nature-human relationships and formed the inspiration for the analytical framework. I performed a content and a textual analysis. The content analysis demonstrated in a quantitative manner that dainas are concerned with nature. The textual analysis considered each daina as a whole, to identify nature-human relationships in them. Based on these two analyses I identified six nature-human relationships that were recurrently presented in the dainas that I analysed. Each of these six relationships is based on nature-human indivisibility and intrinsic value of all existence. As such, I deem that these dainas highlight appreciation of and respect for objects of nature. This suggests that dainas could well be used for nature interpretation, yet more research is needed on how dainas influence the appreciative interpretation process for the people. This thesis contributed to the academic and practical field of nature interpretation by giving more insight into the specific genre of dainas as tools for nature interpretation.

Main title:Dainas, nature, and interpretation
Subtitle:portraying nature-human relationships in Latvian folklore
Authors:Abeltina, Annija Mara
Supervisor:Joosse, Sofie
Examiner:Hallgren, Lars
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:folklore, folklore elements, nature interpretation, local knowledge, nature-human relationships
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-500311
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-500311
Subjects:Rural sociology and social security
Language:English
Deposited On:08 Sep 2021 10:46
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2021 01:08

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