The Estonian Ethnologist Aliise Moora

A Female Researcher’s Adaptation and Professional Fulfilment in a Changing Society


  • Anu Kannike Estonian National Museum
  • Ester Bardone University of Tartu
  • Marleen Metslaid Estonian National Museum



Estonian ethnology, Aliise Moora, Sovietization, woman researchers, research career, national sciences


The article focuses on Aliise Moora’s (1900–1996) career as a researcher within the changing sociopolitical situation in Estonia from the 1920s until the 1980s. Furthermore, it situates her contributions within the field of ethnological studies. How were her research and position influenced by the change of regimes and the possibility or impossibility of keeping up with the development of her discipline in the West? How did she adjust to the official ideology and the restrictions the authorities had imposed on ethnological research? To what extent did she accept the post-war Soviet research discourse, and what was her role in preserving and advancing ethnology as a national science? The article also examines how Aliise Moora’s career was influenced by being a woman, the wife of the renowned archaeologist and academician Harri Moora, and the mother of a big family.

Author Biographies

Anu Kannike, Estonian National Museum

Anu Kannike is a Senior Researcher at the Estonian National Museum.

Ester Bardone, University of Tartu

Ester Bardone is Lecturer in Ethnology at the Department of Ethnology, University of Tartu.

Marleen Metslaid, Estonian National Museum

Marleen Metslaid is a Researcher at the Estonian National Museum.




How to Cite

Kannike, A., Bardone, E., & Metslaid, M. (2023). The Estonian Ethnologist Aliise Moora: A Female Researcher’s Adaptation and Professional Fulfilment in a Changing Society. Arv, 79, 59–93.



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