Mustarinda Association


The goal of the Mustarinda Association is to foster sustainable values and lifestyle, ecological and cultural diversity, and the status of different disciplines of art and science, especially contemporary art. The not-for-profit association was registered in 2010.

The core activities of the association consist of independent and critical art, research, and education. The activity is centered in the Mustarinda House, which is located next to the Paljakka Nature Reserve in the Kainuu region. There are facilities for artists/researchers-in-residence as well as art exhibitions and different types of events. In addition, the association develops regional nature protection, nature tourism, and culture.

The Mustarinda Association was established as we became worried about the decreasing ecological and cultural diversity all over the world. In the future, intact natural environments and local cultures will become increasingly important. The strong cultural tradition of the Kainuu and Dvina (Viena) areas also represent an interesting source of new art and research.

The surrounding old-growth forests of Paljakka offer a rare opportunity for observing nature’s own form of language, structure and operation. It provides a wealth of topics of interest for researchers and artists alike, and we support an exchange of ideas between these two groups.

Origins of the name Mustarinda

Mustarindanpuro is a stream that originates in Ristisuo at the top of the Paljakka hill. The name Mustarinta (or spelled Mustarinda with a d as noted in old maps) is an old Baltic Finnish word meaning ‘bear’ and ‘hills of spirits’ which was used to refer to the highest hills rising as dark masses from surrounding forests. Also Koli hill (located in Lieksa) used to be known by the name Mustarinda until the mid-1800's on account of its height and because it was a place of worship for an ancient bear cult. The name is also synonymous with other places in the Paljakka area such as Karhula (’bear place’), Kontio (’bruin’) and Mörkölä (‘bogey place’).