Anna-Leena Siikala

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Arja Anna-Leena Siikala (formerly Kuusi, née Aarnisalo, born Helsinki, 1 January 1943, died Espoo, 27 February 2016)[1] was a professor emeritus at the University of Helsinki, specialising in folk-belief, mythology, and shamanism, along with oral storytelling and traditionality.

Education and career[edit]

Anna-Leena Siikala graduated as a Master of Philosophy from the University of Helsinki in 1968, took her licenciate degree in 1970, and Ph.D. in 1978. She was a professor of folkloristics at Helsinki 1995–2007. Siikala held the following professorships:

She undertook fieldwork in Finland and the Cook Islands in Polynesia, and among the Finnic-speaking peoples of Russia, Udmurt people, the Komi peoples, and the Khanty people of Siberia.[3]

Siikala's most important research projects were Myth, history, society: Ethnic/National Traditions in the Age of Globalization (1999–2004) and The Other Russia: Cultural Multiplicity in the Making (2004–2007). Together with Mihály Hoppál and Vladimir Napolski she edited the Encyclopaedia of Uralic Mythologies.[1][4]

In 2009, Siikala was elected to the Akateemikko.[5]


Anna-Leena Siikala had over 230 publications to her name. Key works are:

  • The Rite Technique of the Siberian Shaman (Ph.D. thesis, FF Communications 220, 1978 and 1989).
  • Interpreting Oral Narrative (FF Communications 245, 1990).
  • Suomalainen šamanismi: Mielikuvien historiaa. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia 565 (3rd ed.). Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. 1999 [1992]. ISBN 951-717-704-6.
  • Studies in Shamanism (Ethnologica Uralica 1992 and 1998, Budapest, with Mihály Hoppálin).
  • Mythic Images and Shamanism. A Perspective on Kalevala Poetry (FF Communications 280, 2002).
  • Return to Culture. Oral Tradition and Society in the Southern Cook Islands (FF Communications 287, 2005, with Jukka Siikalan).
  • Itämerensuomalaisten mytologia. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia 1388. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. 2012. ISBN 978-952-222-393-7.


  1. ^ a b "Akateemikko Anna-Leena Siikala in memoriam". Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  2. ^ a b c WSOY Facta. Siikala, Anna-Leena.[permanent dead link] Viitattu 31. toukokuuta 2010.
  3. ^ a b Koski, Kaarina. "Folkloristi ja vapaa sielu. Haastattelussa Anna-Leena Siikala" (PDF). Elore 1/2007. Suomen Kansantietouden Tutkijain Seura ry. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "University of Helsinki - Anna-Leena Siikala". Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  5. ^ "Presidentti nimitti kaksi uutta akateemikkoa" [The President appointed two new academicians]. YLE Uutiset (in Finnish). June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.