"Manilaiu island, 25.-26.09.2004" Manilaid by Hestia

Manilaid Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 61 photos

Manilaid, called Manija by locals, is situated in Tõstamaa commune, in Pärnu county. Its area is 1.9 km2, the nearest point from the mainland is 1 km. Its population is 44.

Manija was unpopulated until 1933. The islet was used as a hayfield by the farm-hands of Pootsi manor and sometimes Kihnu's fishermen came here to get shelter from the wind. In 1930-ies Kihnu was overpopulated and the Estonian Republic decided to consolidate 26 lots to aid large families. Many of the Kihnu's people moved to the neighbouring island and soon more than 150 inhabitants lived there. They fished eel and perch, scythed sweetly smelling coastal hay and raised vigorous cattle. Sometimes during the big storms water rose so high in Liivi Bay that Manija was devided into three parts. Big waters carried haystacks and potatoe rows away, however nature couldn't harm tough coastal people. Only at the soviet times Manija community was destroyd step by step. The school was closed, population decreased.

Manija women still wear their frilled skirts, as they still are of "kihnu race" because of their language and customs.

One of the greatest natural sights, natterjack that sings melodically in spring, is recorded into the International Red Book.

You can travel to Manija by taking a boat from Munalaiu harbour. In winter the seaway is passable on foot or by engines.

  • Last visit to Manilaid: Sep 2004
  • Intro Written Apr 22, 2005
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