|Intro||Storyteller, folklore performer|
|From||United States of America Russia|
|Birth||1 January 1876, Arkhangelsk Governorate|
|Death||7 January 1954, Arkhangelsk Oblast (aged 78 years)|
Marfa Semyonovna Kryukova (Russian: Марфа Семёновна Крюкова, 1876, Verkhnyaya Zolotitsa, Arkhangelsky Uyezd (currently Primorsky District, Arkhangelsk Oblast), Russia — 7 January 1954, Verkhnyaya Zolotitsa) was a Russian folklore performer and a storyteller.
Marfa Kryukova was born in a Pomor village of Verkhnyaya Zolotitsa on the White Sea shore north-east of Arkhangelsk. Her mother, Agrafena Kryukova, was known as a storyteller and a folklore performer. In 1899, at the peak of interest in Russia to the Northern folklore, Alexey Markov, then a student, visited Verkhnyaya Zolotitsa and recorded a number of tales and bylinas from Agrafena and Marfa Kryukova, which he subsequently published. Markov visited the place once more in 1901.
Marfa Kryukova never got married, apparently because she was literate and liked to read books. She lived for most of her life in poverty. After the publications of Markov she was forgotten until 1934, when Vladislav Chuzhimov, a folklore collector, visited Verkhnyaya Zolotitsa. At the time, Agrafena Kryukova was already dead, and Marfa Kryukova was the main person Chuzhimov worked with. Two of the Kryukova's tales were published in the same year, and Anna Astakhova, a folklorist and an organizer of many folklore collecting expeditions to Arkhangelsk Oblast, wrote an essay on the tales, noticing very rich fine details and improvisations in the tales. In 1937, Astakhova herself visited Nizhnaya Zolotitsa and collected a number of bylinas from Kryukova. In 1939, two-volume edition of bylinas narrated by Kryukova was published. Until 1937, Marfa Kryukova never left her village. In total, Kryukova recorded about 150 bylinas, which include most of known plots.
In 1937, Kryukova was invited to perform to Arkhangelsk, and subsequently to Moscow. The Soviet authorities wanted to establish a new genre of folklore, which conformed to the ideological paradigms of the time, and Kryukova was assigned a literary agent, certain Viktorin Popov. Popov suggested Kryukova to write a poem on Vladimir Lenin and provided necessary biographical details on him. Subsequently, she developed a new genre, novina, which was a kind of bylina written on a topic related to modern history of Soviet Union. Until her death in 1954, Kryukova recorded many novinas, which for the authorities were the most attractive part of her heritage. For these novinas, she got a new house built by the government, she traveled all across the country, and her books were widely publicized. Marfa Kryukova was accepted to the USSR Union of Writers. She was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.