Setomaa, a kingdom on the edge
At the edge of worlds, straddling the European Union and the Russian Federation, orthodoxy and paganism, death and life, secular traditions and modernism, stands the young kingdom of Setomaa. It has been proclaimed in 1994 by the Seto, a Finno-Ugric group, to revitalize and affirm their identity, after the restoration of Estonian independence in 1991.
The Setomaa culture has been weakened over time by nearly half a century of Soviet control and the newly established, not yet ratified, Estonia-Russia border, which severs the region.
Today, the Seto King, also the god of fertility named Peko, is resting for eternity under the orthodox monastery of Petchory in Russia. He communicates with its people through the dreams of his vice King or Queen, the Ülembsootska who is elected each year in August on the Estonian Setomaa.