Sartenada's photo blog / Blog de foto de Sartenada

April 20, 2012

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

In English:

Dancing scarecrows.

When driving to the South, When driving hours and hours on wooded landscapes, it is always shocking to see suddenly in Suomusalmi hundreds of scarecrows, which are dancing in the wind on a meadow. At first sight they are looking like human beings, because they have cloths on. Very soon it is understood, that they are some kind of scarecrows.

Officially these turf heads are called Silent People. The artist and dancer Reijo Kela created them. What they are, it is everyone to decide, because Reijo Kela do not give the answer to us. Twice a year they change clothes. The people of Workshop of Hanslankarit(odd-job men) in Suomussalmi make the exchange of clothes. That Workshop of Hanslankarit is intended for young people between 17-28 years old. Hanslankarit is giving work for young people and help them better adapt to the working life.

Enjoy my photos from this peculiarity found in Finland.

En español:

Espantapájaros qui bailan.

Al conducir mi carrito azul hacia el sur, despues de horas y horas en paisajes boscosos, es siempre un choque de ver de repente cientos de espantapájaros sobre una pradera de Suomusalmi, y que parecen bailando en el viento. A primera vista se parecen a los seres humanos, porque tienen ropa sobre ellos. Muy pronto, se entiende, que son una especie de espantapájaros.

Oficialmente, estas cabezas de turba estan llamados, la Gente silenciosa. El artista y bailarín Reijo Kela los creó. Qué son, cada uno puede decidir por sí mismo, porque Reijo Kela no danos la respuesta. Dos veces al año se cambie de ropa. La gente del Taller de Hanslankarit (hombres de chapuzas) en Suomussalmi hacen el cambio de ropa. Taller de Hanslankarit está destinado a jóvenes de entre 17-28 años de edad. Hanslankarit está dando trabajo para los jóvenes y ayuda para mejor entrar a mundo del trabajo.

Disfruten Ustedes de mis fotos de esta peculiaridad se encuentra en Finlandia.

En francais:

Épouvantails qui dansent.

Quand on conduit vers le Sud, pendant les heures et les heures passent par les paysages boisés, c’est est toujours choquant de voir tout à coup des centaines d’épouvantails á Suomusalmi, qui dansent dans le vent sur un pré. A première vue, ils paraissent comme des êtres humains, parce qu’ils ont des vêtements sur eux. Illico c’est entendu que, qu’ils sont une sorte d’épouvantails.

Officiellement ces têtes de tourbe sont appelés Les gens silencieux. L’artiste et danseur Reijo Kela les a créés. Qu’est-ce qu’ils sont, chacun le doit décider lui-même, parce Reijo Kela ne donne pas la réponse à nous. Deux fois par année, les épouvantails changent de vêtements. Les gens de l’Atelier des Hanslankarit (irrégulier d’emplois des hommes) à Suomussalmi font l’échange de vêtements. Le l’atelier d’Hanslankarit est destiné aux jeunes entre 17-28 ans. Hanslankarit donnent du travail pour les jeunes et les aide à mieux saisir le monde du travail.

Dégustez de mes photos de cette particularité en Finlande.

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

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South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

South of the Arctic Circle 2 / Sur del Círculo Polar 2 / Sud du Cercle arctique 2

Arctic Circle / Círculo Polar Ártico / Cercle arctique

South of the Arctic Circle 1 / Sur del Círculo Polar 1 / Sud du Cercle arctique 1

South of the Arctic Circle 3 / Sur del Círculo Polar 3 / Sud du Cercle arctique 3

Scarecrows in winter clothes / Espantapájaros en ropa de invierno / Épouvantails en les vêtements d’hiver

In English:

They are dancing in the wind, although they are not alive. Video taken by Anja.

En español:

Ellos son espantosos en el viento, aunque no están vivos. Video tomado por Anja.

En français:

Ils sont effrayants dans le vent, même si ils ne sont pas vivants. Vidéo prise par Anja.

56 Comments »

  1. Thank you for these fascinating photos. One question please! Did you see any birds (Crows) sitting on the Scarecrows? I put one in my garden a long time ago and all the birds used it as a place to observe how they could eat my cabbages.

    Comment by Clive and Adi Anderson — April 20, 2012 @ 08:11 | Reply

    • Hi Clive and Adi.

      Thank You. No, we did not see any crows there, if I remember correct. Maybe it was due to the wind which started to wave cloths. Some people in Finland use “Vappuhyrrä”. My dictionary is not giving its name in English, but I found a photo from it:

      Vappuhyrrä

      It is intended for kids on the first of May and it spins fast in the wind or even when walking. Children love it. For example my mother has two of them on her balcony. It prevents completely birds to poop on the balcony. Maybe You might try to by one when You come to Helsinki next month. Remember the name.

      Have a lovely day.

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 08:34 | Reply

  2. This is quite interesting. I love that they change the clothes…I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    Comment by TBM — April 20, 2012 @ 08:41 | Reply

    • Hello TBM.

      I am glad that You did take a look at these. They are indeed something which cannot be seen so often. If they would not be so far away, it would be great to drive to there and to take a look at them when the ground is covered with snow. I think those then many of the turf heads are “snow-white” covered by snow and ice.🙂

      Thank You for Your comment.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 10:16 | Reply

  3. Hello Matti,
    Il faut croire que seules les honnêtes personnes passent le cercle artique, car dans certains coins, ces épouvantails seraient vite mis à nu !!😛
    Quelques pubs clandestines et une série rigolote !
    Bises et bon week-end.

    Comment by Marion B. — April 20, 2012 @ 09:53 | Reply

    • Bonjour Marion.

      Je suis heureux que vous avez apprécié ces. Oui, il ya deux pubs françaises aussi: Chanel, Paris. Quand je les ai photographiés, j’ai essayé de trouver le plus grand nombre de pubs que chacun sent d’être chez soi.

      Bon week-end! Bises.

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 10:29 | Reply

  4. fascinating.
    this must be scary as hell at night!

    Comment by Girl, lost in IT — April 20, 2012 @ 10:23 | Reply

    • Hi Justyna.

      Thank You commenting. So it might be indeed. For us this was the second time when we saw them. Few years ago we saw them in Winter cloths. There a link to my old post from 2009 in which You can see them.

      Happy Friday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 10:32 | Reply

  5. This is a great post! I wonder where they get all these clothes? There seem to be lot of souvenir tee shirts on the scarecrows, too…

    Comment by megtraveling — April 20, 2012 @ 15:36 | Reply

    • Hello Megtravelling.

      Well, people donate some when the Field Coffee is open. So I would I have done if it had been open. Thank You looking at “wonders” of Finland thru my photos.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 15:40 | Reply

  6. Just imagine what goes on among the Silent People when there’s no one around. What conversations! Certainly, that’d make an interesting blog.

    I wonder how the clothes are donated and what happens to the clothes afterwards. Do the Silent People wear their sets of clothing only once? Or are the clothes washed for the following change? I would imagine the elements take their toll on the clothes, so maybe they’re discarded after each use?

    I’m imagining a magazine or booklet with photos and “stories” of the Silent People and so much more.

    The sky’s the limit as to what creative minds could do!

    Comment by Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. — April 20, 2012 @ 15:43 | Reply

    • Hi Deli.

      Well, I am sure that the people of Workshop of Hanslankarit are washing also these cloths. I do not know how huge collection they have, but sure they change “new cloths” if there are. Yes, from these one could make a booklet, maybe a good one.

      Anyway, I am sure that this is one of the most curious places in Finland to explore.

      Thank You for Your comment.

      Have a nice week-end.

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 15:55 | Reply

  7. Sooo coool!! Odd…in an artsy way. A little creepy too!

    Comment by Travel Spirit — April 20, 2012 @ 16:06 | Reply

    • Hello Sherry.

      Thank You. You are so right when saying that they are a little creepy too. I felt so when I was walking among them and shooting photos. This can be in the video which Anja took; I am creeping between them in such a way that they do not recognize me.🙂

      Have a lovely day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 20, 2012 @ 16:15 | Reply

  8. Wow! I had no idea this existed. My first thought was, What’s the purpose? It can’t be to scare the crows from the fields, can it? So maybe it has become a tourist attraction?

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 20, 2012 @ 16:50 | Reply

    • Hello Anneli.

      The father of the idea of this is artist and dancer Reijo Kela. We he created these, he never told. It is sure that for a poor commune this is some kind of advertisement. I have seen some photos that at tourist season many have to leave their car beside the road, because the parking place is full. Overall this is not any tourist trap because its location is far away from population centers.

      Thank You for Your visit and comment.

      Happy Saturday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 08:03 | Reply

  9. This is simply the oddest scene I’ve ever seen. Kind of creepy, in fact. I really would like to hear the story behind this. Many of the clothes look really nice, like they could be put to better use, given to people in need. That said, thanks for sharing this oddity.

    Comment by Minnesota Prairie Roots — April 20, 2012 @ 16:52 | Reply

    • Hello Minnesota Prairie Roots.

      I am glad that You checked my post. The fact is that if somebody for example sells on flea markets T-shirts, then it must be really special. Every people here, even the most poor, have a lot of T-shirts and Sweaters enough here. There are some organizations which collect clothes and send them to poor countries.

      We just tested to sell clothes and some of my T-shirts (washed and ironed) on flea market during one week with poor results. Our garden books sold very well.

      Thank You commenting.

      Have a wonderful week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 08:13 | Reply

  10. This is amazing. I have never seen anything like this. I like that they change the clothes. Very artistic idea 🙂

    Comment by Northern Narratives — April 20, 2012 @ 18:14 | Reply

    • Hello Northern Narratives.

      Thank You. I have been thinking some times that to visit this place when they change cloths could be a tremendous.🙂

      Have a lovely week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 08:15 | Reply

  11. Oh me, oh my! What a fabulous photo op! This is just incredible. Thank you for taking the time to show us all these wonderful images, Sartenada.

    Comment by Ginnie — April 20, 2012 @ 18:41 | Reply

    • Hi Ginnie.

      I am very glad that my post pleased for You. Thank You commenting.

      Happy Saturday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 08:17 | Reply

  12. I enjoyed your presentation very much Sartenada… the shirts on the scarecrows are from around the world… and it is most interesting how they are dispersed around the property and the buildings… even the outhouse… and the way that they dance in the wind… this area of Finland looks very much like where we live with the pine and spruce trees… our home is on a lake about 125 miles south of James Bay in Canada… it is nice to hear from you again….peter:)

    Comment by ....peter:) — April 20, 2012 @ 19:34 | Reply

    • Hi Peter.

      Thank You. The site is quite near to the Russian border and the landscape is so called backwoods. The small “cottage” in the photo 64 (to get the photo number, move mouse pointer over the photo) is an old traditional “milk collecting cottage”. Small farmers collected their milk to this kind of building for transport to dairies. I live in the Southern part of Finland and our house is surrounded by pines. I am very glad that You commented my post.

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 08:29 | Reply

  13. That field filled with ‘Quiet People’ is quite a sight — it’s truly amazing. It’s also interesting that the clothes come from all over the world. Thanks for sharing this fascinating site with us.

    Comment by seniorhiker — April 21, 2012 @ 00:24 | Reply

    • Hi George.

      When a car drives past, these startle so much, that one has to stop a car and needs to look at them carefully. I was also surprised about the amount of clothes coming from all of world. Well, I tried to do my best and find so many as possible from U.S.A of course.

      Thank You for visit and comment.

      Hyppy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 11:59 | Reply

  14. This is amazing! I wonder what he was thinking.

    Comment by montucky — April 21, 2012 @ 05:23 | Reply

    • Hi Terry.

      Thank You. Well, I do not know what he was thinking, but it would be nice to be a “fly on the wall” and listen to their travel stories at night.🙂

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 12:01 | Reply

  15. How unusual! Thanks for sharing, first the photos and then the video capturing the movement. Wow, a surreal and maybe even mystical experience. Was there any sound from the wind or other noises – the cars? Any scents in the air?

    Comment by Wings of Wonder — April 21, 2012 @ 05:44 | Reply

    • Hello Wings of Wonder.

      Thank You leaving Your comment and watching my wife’s video also in addition to check my photos. Both of them complete each other. Wind whistled yes every now and then and some cars passed fast. Hmm, maybe they were afraid these scarecrows.🙂

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2012 @ 12:07 | Reply

  16. What an amazing scene — and you’ve covered it so well from just about all angles in this series. An amazing effect, as seen in the video! All the best from Chile…

    Comment by Andrew Graeme Gould — April 21, 2012 @ 22:21 | Reply

    • Hello Andrew.

      Thank You so much for Your comment. I am very glad that You like this posts and watched the video shot by my wife. I very seldom present our videos here, but with this 4 month lasting travel posts, I wanted to show 3 videos. More videos are to be found in YouTube.

      Happy Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 22, 2012 @ 08:01 | Reply

  17. This looks really cool!! Did you put your shirt there?

    Comment by Greyisalsobeautiful — April 21, 2012 @ 22:45 | Reply

    • Hi Greyisalsobeautiful.

      Thank You for Your visit on my site and leaving Your comment. No, I did not put my T-shirt there, but if the Field coffee would have been open, I would have left some of mine.

      Happy Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 22, 2012 @ 08:05 | Reply

  18. Wow! The video makes them really seem alive as their clothes dance in the wind. This has to be one of the most interesting places you’ve showed us. I wonder how the artist got this idea. It would be very interesting to be there on clothes-chaning day, I think. Thanks, matti and Anja, for wonderful photos and video. Janet

    Comment by Heart To Harp — April 21, 2012 @ 22:47 | Reply

    • Hi Janet.

      How glad I am that You watched also the video and thus noticed that I Anja could show more than me with my photos. Thank You.

      Have a lovely Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 22, 2012 @ 08:08 | Reply

  19. How interesting, thought I would think it would be a bit eerie at night.

    The coffee cup museum sound intriguing… my husband would love that.🙂

    Comment by ivoryspring — April 22, 2012 @ 01:59 | Reply

  20. What a fantastic collection of scarecrows… This is incredible ! Have a lovely weekend Matti🙂

    Comment by Tamara — April 22, 2012 @ 12:35 | Reply

    • Hi Tamara.

      I am so glad that You visited on my site and loved my post presenting these scarecrows.

      Happy Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 22, 2012 @ 16:40 | Reply

  21. Thank you for sharing this, Matti. It’s lovely to see, although I agree with you that it would be quite a surprise to come upon them all as you were driving past if you didn’t already know about them! Wishing you a happy week.

    Comment by Janice — April 24, 2012 @ 10:01 | Reply

    • Hi Janice.

      Yes, so it is. I am glad for Your visit and comment.

      Happy week to You and Yours too.

      Comment by Sartenada — April 24, 2012 @ 11:59 | Reply

  22. Dancing scarecrows! – Changing clothes every six months… Great idea! Very creative – thank you for showing us this!

    Comment by truels — April 25, 2012 @ 02:17 | Reply

    • Hi Truels.

      World is full of surprises; even in “hinterlands” man can make unexpected discoveries.🙂

      Thank You commenting my post.

      Happy Wednesday!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 25, 2012 @ 07:02 | Reply

  23. Wow! The Silent People are completely fascinating and interesting! I’ve never seen anything like this. I love that they get their clothes changed. I also enjoy your photography!

    Comment by Alex Autin — April 25, 2012 @ 15:37 | Reply

    • Hi Alex.

      How nice that You checked my newest post. Silent People are incredible and the change of clothes gives to them a “new life”. I am happy that You enjoy my photos.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 25, 2012 @ 15:47 | Reply

  24. Esto es algo que no había visto jamás ni en la tele, ni fotografías…. ¡es espectacular!, la segunda foto es impresionante, realmente todas, pero esa me ha encantado, es algo muy original y tiene que ser impactante verlo, muchas gracis por compartir, un abrazo

    Aprovecho para comentarte que aunque estoy suscrita a tu blog, no me llegan tus post nuevos, te lo aviso no valla a ser que le ocurra a alguien mas

    This is something I had never seen or on TV, no pictures ….Is spectacular!, The second photo is amazing, really all, but that I loved, is something very original and must be shocking to see him, many Gracis per share, a hug

    Take this opportunity to let you know that although I am subscribed to your blog, I get your new post, I notice that no fence to be happening to someone else

    Comment by ManoliRizoFotografia — April 27, 2012 @ 01:06 | Reply

    • Hola Manoli.

      Me encanta tu comentario mucho. Blogs son completos de sorpresas.

      ¡Que tengan un muy buen día!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 27, 2012 @ 07:49 | Reply

  25. That is crazy – and I love how they change clothes with the seasons!

    Comment by otheralaska — April 30, 2012 @ 00:13 | Reply

    • Hi Otheralaska.

      Yes indeed it is crazy or not so crazy when thinking it once mere.🙂

      Thank You for Your visit and comment.

      Comment by Sartenada — April 30, 2012 @ 07:11 | Reply

  26. Thank you for sharing, Matti! This is a different kind of disply🙂

    Comment by Amy — November 8, 2013 @ 16:28 | Reply

  27. Awesome photos , thank you for sharing this original display!

    Comment by 76sanfermoa — November 11, 2013 @ 09:05 | Reply

  28. Fascinating, but I would be scared:) You never know what they are up to🙂

    Comment by inesephoto — January 19, 2015 @ 22:54 | Reply

    • Hi Mia.

      Thank you for Your visit and for Your kind comment.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 20, 2015 @ 09:50 | Reply

  29. Hi, thanks for checking out my blog. Really pleased you made a comment on my post about Weird things you see as you travel because now I’ve had the chance to read this post and look at the ‘dancing scarecrows’ up in your part of the world. Haven’t got as far as Finland yet but hope to some day. Cheers, Mark

    Comment by Born to Travel — August 1, 2015 @ 13:01 | Reply

    • Hello Born to Travel.

      Thank You for Your kind comment. This was just one example from my many posts. If You someday decide to visit Finland. We have pure nature, lakes on which You could make lake cruises and then Lapland, which is the northernmost part of our country. Even in winter, Finland offers something that are unique only in Finland. I show here only two places just to give idea:

      World’s Biggest Snow Castle.

      Arctic Circle in winter.

      Welcome someday. Happy and safe travels!

      Comment by Sartenada — August 1, 2015 @ 13:35 | Reply


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