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Tooste Village

Tooste Village is located in Põlva County, in Räpina Rural Municipality. Tooste Village covers an area of 12.57 km2 (4.73 % of the total area of Räpina Rural Municipality). According to the rural municipality register there are 81 people living in Tooste Village (as of 1 August 2012). Thirty-three households are in use all year round (as of 2006).

There are fertile fields in Tooste. A large quantity of bronze jewellery dating back to the 9th and 10th century has been recovered from the farm land of Kaarel Puksa, in Tooste Village. The Swedish were said to have been searching for gold in Silminitsa Village on the edge of Tooste. Place name Vadilastenurk (votes’ corner) refers to the people named “vadjalased” in Estonian (‘votes’ in English), who had lived in Tooste. At the end of the 17th century there were already 17 farms in Tooste Village. In the 18th century a local village school was established in Tooste.

Tooste is a village that used to have an active cultural life. The first attempts to open a library were made in 1886 in Tooste.

Tooste Village is the birth place of scholar and active member of society Jakob Puksoo (born 1861), who became a teacher in Tooste and Naha. Together with others he established the choir and band Toosikatsi in 1879 (Director Jaan Vari). The members of the choir presented their first play in the rural municipality in 1881. In 1886, the choir participated in the singing competition “Vanemuine” and received three awards. Plays were also performed in Rasina and even in the Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu.

Tooste Village is the birth place of Paulopriit Voolaine (1899-1985), meritorious folklore and dialect researcher, home researcher, and collector of folk culture material. He was active as a correspondent of folklore until the 1980s. His collection is now at the Estonian Literary Museum. The protocol books from 1881 to 1898 of the Toosikatsi choir and band have been handed over to be added to the collection. In addition to the above, Voolaine participated in the War of Independence, was a member of the Estonian Students’ Society, and the founding member of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society.