Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Finnish Sauna in Manitoba, by Charles M. Sutyla

As the author describes it, this is a report about the origin and development of the sauna in Manitoba and its changing social meaning.  It was published in 1977, and like “Maquiq” which I also reviewed, this is a rare book.  I found it very readable, and enjoyed the many photographs throughout.  The author's way of describing each sauna with a little background and a detailed description using accompanying photos was great.  I'll provide the example that I found most interesting.  A description of “Bill W.'s Sauna (No. 7)” begins on page 65.  Four photos and two line drawings (interior plan and layout in relationship to surrounding features) and about two and a half pages of text are devoted to its description.  [copy two photos page 70].  After reading the book I want to visit Pointe du Bois in Manitoba to see for myself what makes this a desirable community for so many Finns in Manitoba.  Among the bibliography to this book is listed “The Finnish Sauna in British Columbia” which looks like another interesting read.  

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