Folk ensemble Insula has existed since 1989. It is a collective of young people who have come together to preserve and promote the songs, oral tradition, and the traditional music and dances of Samogitia. All members are typical representatives of their local traditions, who speak in their native regional dialects. It is said that Samogitians are slow, reserved, of few words, and stubborn. However, it is in Samogitia, the western part of Lithuania, that the happy, clever, humorous, and irony-full traditions of Shrove Tuesday with traditional masks and sharp-tongued dialogues of cross-dressed revelers are preserved. Every year the members of Insula drive winter from their town Telsiai as well as from other villages. They use various old clothes for their dress and the wooden masks of local sculptor J. Kvasas. Insula members bring old songs from their home villages, but they also collect and record songs, stories, dances, and instrumental music from other village dwellers. Samogitian songs are slow and usually harmonic. Generally, Samogitians sing in low, rich, strong voices.
The city of Telsiai, in which Insula lives as well as preserves and promotes Lithuanian folklore, is located along the Mastis lake on seven hills. The highest hill, upon which a cathedral stands, is called Insula. This is the name chosen by the ensemble which is a center of cultural tradition not only for its own city, but also for all of Samogitia. International folk festivals have been organized in Telsiai due to the groups initiative.
the Regional Cultural Initiatives
Page updated 2006.07.04 .
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