A Latvian author of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he is best known for organizing and categorizing Latvian folk songs and publishig the songs' texts in Latvju dainas.
He grew up hearing the Latvian folk songs that would later become his life's work.
A major street in the city of Riga was named in his honor.
His descendants moved to the United States.
He and Horace Goldin both lived in Latvia when the country was still part of the Russian Empire.