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Many verses are sung alternately by both sexes during the micosana/ the unveiling. Unmarried women sing to Elisa's girlhood; unmarried men deplore the loss of their single friend, Kalvis. When they are dressed as a married couple, their married guests sing to welcome them.
Katrina Thomas's notes: Despite long periods of foreign domination, these Baltic people have maintained a distinct national culture, characterized by dainas, their folk songs of which more than 60,000 have been collected. Most Latvians in the U.S. are Lutheran and, still speaking their language, preserve ancient customs. Wedding receptions that keep traditions are distinguished by the use of oak leaves and constant singing, particularly toward the end when the micosana, a pre-Christian rite, is performed. At this time, the bride's maiden wreath is removed and replaced by a matron's cap or wimple, and the bridegroom may receive a hat and pipe, testifying to his change of status. One wedding I photograph is a double celebration, occurring on the day Latvia declares its independence from the USSR.