The project Oral Poetry, Mythic Knowledge and Vernacular Imagination: Interfaces of Individual Expression and Collective Traditions in Pre-Modern Northeast Europe investigates the symbolic and textual strategies that lended premodern, largely oral cultures the means to create poetic corpora that even today form an uncontested and valued, but unevenly recognized, part of Northern European cultural heritage. In these cultures, the production, transmission and interpretation of cultural knowledge was deeply rooted in mythic thinking and the human faculty of imagination, matching creativity with slowly changing mental templates. An understanding of these forms of thought and communication will provide a solid basis for the negotiation of cultural and ethnic identities as well as the rights to intangible culture.