A word about the Seto:
In the tapestry of Estonian history, the living, evolving culture and identity of the Setomaa people is an essential thread. The Setomaa inhabit eight small towns along the Estonian-Russian border; they are considered to be among the original inhabitants of what is now Estonia. Each town has its own choir - their traditions and historical knowledge are carried matriarchically in the form of ever-changing sung stories designed to fit ancient melodic structures (some as old as 5,000 years) in a call-and-response framework. The songs sound simple but they are not, the intervals are unpredictible and therefore mysterious, and because the women sing them as naturally as any other daily activity they are emotionally connected to them in a deeply spontaneous way. Their singing produces a sort of energy that in shamanic tradition would be described as healing power, and it wouldnÕt be an exaggeration to suggest that in song they occupy the realm of the shaman.