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Kuusamo Folk Healer’s Gathering     

Healing as Art and Art as Healing



Traditional healers meet their customers on the beautiful grounds of Kuusamo.

The extensive program offers information, skill and care for everyone interested in traditional methods of treatment. The know-how folk healers possess has been passed from one family to another, from one spirit to another. It has existed as long as human beings have existed. The folk healers of today maintain this living tradition founded on the wisdom of our ancestors, the conviction that everything originates in nature.

Folk healing is deep in Finnish culture in the north. The purpose of event is to pass oral memory from generation to generation, from teacher to student and through experts.

Every year the core of event is the work of healers and the lived experience of their healing work. Professionals of different fields of academic studies give their lectures in the seminar.


Kuusamo lake 2015 @ Dalva Lamminmäki 

Examples of programs from past years:



Day Trip to Sohjanakoski village in Viena Karelia.

Wild Herb Days – lectures and foraging with professionals.

FinRelax-Academy in Kuusamotalo, open for all.

Treatments and lectures by folk healers in nature. Traditional sauna treatments, bone-setting, energy healing, cupping demonstrations.

Tree breathing School by Forestloller Mirja Nylander (in English).

Sacred Markings In Stone -excursion to the rock paintings of Julma-Ölkky and Hossa. Presented by Professor Juha Pentikäinen, rune singer Pekka Huttu-Hiltunen and nature guide Riitta Nykänen.



Sauna healing event, traditional sauna healing, whisking by Maaria Alén and Mari Keski-Korsu

Treatments days: Traditional sauna treatments, bone-setting, energy healing, cupping demonstrations, traditional massage.

Seminar: Healing as Art - Art as Healing in a sustainable world 2017

The aim of this year's Kuusamo Folk Healer’s Gathering is to look at folk healing as a skill and art. Healing is the skill of hand and intelligence art. Traditionally, healing has been a community event involving many people alongside the healer and his patients. According to popular studies, the healing event has also included music and dance and food has been an important issue. This year seminar has healers and musicians, doctors who want to restore their profession to creative traditions, nursing, food researchers and professionals. Along with improving, the meaning of food is discussed. This year, the seminar emphasizes the perspectives of sustainable development both for improvement and food.

Food as a product of culture / Johanna Mäkelä, Professor of Food Culture, University of Helsinki

Healing as Art and Art as Healing / Marja-Liisa Honkasalo, professor, University of Turku, Center for the Study of Culture and Health

Origin of Folk Healer - Researcher on the field of folk healing / Dalva Lamminmäki, Folklore studies, University of Eastern Finland

The Golden Woman and the Women's mythology of the North / Kaarina Kailo, Docent,

Ass. Prof, honorary title, Dept. of English, North American Studies.

Next Kuusamo Folk Healer’s Gathering take place 2022.

Rauno Nieminen building Kantele (2016).

 Dalva Lamminmäki doing field research 2017. "You'd have to experience it to understand it" : Ethnographic research of folk healing.

Related links:

Finland’s sauna culture has been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2020

© Annamaria Peltokangas, 2019

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