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Finns Singing.

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The Finns love song and poetry. It is said that every village has one poet, or more, and that he prepares a new song whenever aught of importance occurs. Besides these new songs they have many ancient songs, of which they never tire. When they sing the songs of the olden time, two men seat themselves face to face upon a bench, join hands, and rock backward and forward in time to the song. First one sings a line or passage, and then the other repeats the same, and so they continue, rocking back and forth and singing the whole night through. Sometimes a third man plays upon the kantele, while the others sing. This kantele is somewhat like a zither; it has a flat sounding-body upon which are strung from three to eight strings of different lengths. It is usually picked with the fingers like a guitar. It is said that the first kantele was made of fish-bones, though it is not easy to see how that could be.