Kalevipoeg by E Raue, illustrated by A Viidalepp, Riklik Kirjostus, Eesti, 1961, lent by Estonian Archives in Australia

Finding Independence
This section of the exhibition shows how some Estonian-Australians interpret their past. The struggle for freedom is a constant thread throughout Estonia's history and is reflected in songs, stories, jewellery, textiles and a popular national myth, Kalevipoeg.

The small Baltic country of Estonia sits between Russia, Germany and Scandinavia. Its strategic location on the coast has led to frequent occupation by foreign powers. Seven centuries of domination began when the Danes invaded in 1219 and did not end until the Soviets left in 1991.

Commemorating freedom
These objects are symbols of the struggle for
independence in Estonia.

Symbols of identity
Traditionally-made jewellery, particularly brooches,
was brought to Australia by Estonians.

New country, new style...
Niina Ots (1909–2003)
Niina Ots' work was shaped by her Estonian
heritage and by her adopted country,
Australia. She studied art in Tallinn,
Estonia, and designed and made commercial jewellery.

Traditional crafts still in use
Displays of textiles and costume are central to
Estonian-Australians' celebrations.