The research I undertook covers areas interesting to many people, but known only in small part to each of my contacts, friends, and family. Those who know dainas best seem to have a pro-active, positive view of life that resists delving too much into aggression, sexual politics, or black humor. Those who have experienced rougher aspects of competition may not relate to many forms of expressive art or may be completely unfamiliar with dainas or the female orientation within them. I am, therefore, indebted less to a few particular people, as to very many small influences that have little by little accumulated into a significant pattern. The psychological support of the people closest to one is, of course, immeasurable. Some important influences wish to remain anonymous.

I have been privileged to know my advisors for many years at the Folklore Institute. Additionally, other professors in the Folklore Institute, other students, members of the IU Science Fiction Club and SCA, list-serve virtual friends, and the people who gave me jobs so I could finance my education have made my study possible, but are too numerous to list, as also many little acts of kindness, not all of them random. To mention one employer, Ingelore Welch, whose husband left me his old car before his death, which gave me wheels for a number of years. Viesturs Ragze from Latvia who gave on-line advice to rescue files through DOS I had named in a custom way after a total crash of my computer leaving even my back-ups useless and the local experts unable to recover the data. Ilze Akerbergs and Daina Jurika who brought back from Latvia essential literature that I was unable to obtain otherwise.

There are many people who have inspired me, including some of the scholars I list in the bibliography I met at AABS conferences or Latvian summer intensives. Dynamic teachers at Garezers summer intensive camp and 2 x2 and 3x3 summer intensives included Mirdza Paudrups, Juris Kļaviņš, the Grasis brothers, and Valdis Zeps [+]. Before her death, I had some intensive talks with Marija Gimbutas and her daughter. I was able to meet Janīna Kursīte at Garezers and Valdis Muktupāvels at an AABS conference. I recall discussions in the old Douglas Hofstadter problem-solving, almost-game classes, and from their home pages I see some of them have become famous. I list some of the members of “Sveiks” and “Folkloristi” who especially helped or influenced my research in the bibliography, though the debt is to the entirety of the listserves and to a number of other portal surfers in Latvia whom I met on and off.