LV Latviski

Online Game “Reassemble a Folk Song!”

The Archives of Latvian Folklore of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Arts of the University of Latvia has developed a digital, online game "Reassemble a Folk Song!". The game is based on a puzzle principle, where the text of a folk song has to be "broken" into pieces. The game is available for everyone after registration at

Folk songs are one of the cornerstones of Latvian culture. For centuries, they have been considered to be a source of national ideas, history and values. The collection of folklore, and folk songs in particular, in the 19th century was not only a documentation of folk self-expressions, but an important event on the difficult path towards development of the nation. The collection consisting of almost 219,000 folk song texts was gathered and organised by K. Barons at the second half of the 19th century. Collection is stored in the Dainu Skapis (Cabinet of Dainas), which has now become a symbol of Latvian traditional culture. Since 2001, the Dainu Skapis has been included in the International Register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

In order to remind the Latvian cultural heritage and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, the Latvian Folklore Repository has developed a digital, online game "Reassemble a Folk Song!" It is designed to encourage the player to explore as many diverse and lesser-known folk song texts as possible, highlighting different folk traditions and practices. The folk songs included have been chosen to show the richness of the Latvian language and poetic expression.

The game uses the idea of a puzzle - a folk song is "broken" into parts: in the first levels into halves or few larger pieces, then into rows. Becoming harder, game folk song is broken in individual words. In the last two levels, the player has to write in the blank cell his own proposal for the missing words, or create a variation. There are 14 levels in total, each with 3 folk songs. Points are awarded or deducted for actions in the game, so that participants take part in the competition. Depending on the points scored, the player is awarded the title of Song Knower Nightingale, Wise Raven, Co–Singer Starling or One-Song-Owner Corn Crake.

The game also includes various hints, like showing punctuation marks or take a look at a leaflet from the Cabinet of Dainas. The game is available upon registration.

The game uses folk song texts published in "Latvju dainas" (Latvian Dainas). Each time a folk song is reassembled, the corresponding leaflet stored in the Cabinet of Dainas appears. A careful observer will be able to spot the corrections made by K. Barons on the leaflets. Secondly, these leaflets display varioustypes of ortography used in the second half of the 19th century, i.e. the lengthening of vowels by adding an 'h'.

We would like to thank the artist Krišs Salmanis for the design of the game.

The game has been developed with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project "Die Zukunft des kulturellen Erbes im modernen Europa".

Last time modified: 13.12.2022 15:12:13