Petalax hembygdsförening is a non-profit association that concerns itself with traditional and vernacular culture, both past and present, and local cultural heritage in Petalax parish in the province Ostrobothnia on the west coast of Finland.
The main language used in Petalax is Swedish, although the local dialect is quite different from what you hear in Sweden. The Finnish name for Petalax is "Petolahti". As the association works on the local level, we have chosen to just give a brief introduction in English here on the web page. However, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you would like further information in English. A good way of getting in touch is by using the e-mail form further down on this site.
Petalax hembygdsförening maintains a number of historic buildings in the Petalax area, well worth a visit. The local museum is situated just across from the church of Petalax. For photos and information in Swedish, click here and use the links in the panel to the left for a peek into the different parts of the museum. The old community granary is located on the other side of the road, just outside of the stone fence of the church yard. Down the hill, next to the church, you can see the last traditional windmill in Petalax.
Photo: JB 2012
Up the hill behind the church yard, three small cottages can be found, the last of their kind in Petalax. These are known as backstugor in Swedish and their inhabitants owned the buildings but not the land they were situated on. This means that they were by no means wealthy people. For photos and info in Swedish about the buildings mentioned above, click here and use the links in the panel to the left.
The traditional homestead Arstu is located in Nyby in the southern part of the Petalax area. Arstu can be described as an open-air museum with an open-air theater as its center stage. The beautiful old farm house displays how a well-to-do family would have lived on the countryside in the late 19th century. For photos and information in Swedish, click here and use the links in the panel to the left.
If you are interested in visiting any of the sites mentioned above, please contact us (e.g. by using the form below)!
Petalax hembygdsförening also offers various activities, mainly in summertime, such as different theme evenings at the museum, hikes along the Storsjö trail, crafts demonstrations and our summer theater “Ur Bykiston” with plays in Swedish about old times in Petalax. Information about current events can be found here in Swedish. Please contact us for further information in English about our activities.
Washing and folding laundry in the old-fashioned manner together with
children from the local elementary schools in May 2012. Photo: ÅV