Settlement of Finland Begins


Origin of Finland (Suomi)
Finland 9000 - 10000 years ago
Finland 8000 years ago
Finland 5000 years ago
Oldest fishing net ever found
Varangians: Baltic Area Finns?
Kvenland: Northern Baltic Finnish Kingdom
Swedish Rule in Finland
Slavic Conquest
Orthodox Religion and cultural identity
Chronology of Slavic conquest
Finno-Ugric language statistics: endangered list
Bjarm and White Sea Area Finns
Books on this subject
The Origin of Finland

About twelve thousand years ago, Finland was almost totally buried under a continental ice sheet, just as Greenland is today. Gradually, the ice sheet melted, and its southern margin retreated farther and farther north. As the ice load grew thinner and vanished, the earth's crust began to rise--a process that has continued to this day, most markedly along the Gulf of Bothnia. During that process, the Finnish peninsula slowly rose out of the sea, first forming solitary islands, then chains of islands, and, finally, a clearly defined extension of the continent.
The retreating glacier striated the bedrock, leaving behind it vivid evidence of the ancient geologic process; and, during the melting stage, clay accumulated in annual layers, and pollen grains were preserved in peat, thus bearing further witness to the vicissitudes of Nature.

Through the study of such phenomena, geologists have been able to deduce the origins of Finland.

During extremely cold periods between 9 000 and 8 000 B.C., the continental ice sheet halted in its retreat three times and remained stationary for centuries. This led to the formation of two chains of eskers out of gravel and sand that were transported by streams of melting ice. These two separate ridges, known as the Salpausselklä ranges, run east and west across the entire breadth of Finland. During the final stages of the Ice Age, the body of water that eventually evolved into the Baltic Sea was a lake. From this vast stretch of water, a huge labyrinthine lake separated inside the land mass that was to become the Finnish peninsula and formed the tens of thousands of lakes of present-day Finland, as the earth's crust rose.

Since the ice ages the Uralic ancestors of the Finns roamed the North
However, the ground did not rise at an even rate everywhere, and, at times, the level of the sea rose,
also forcing rivers into new discharge channels and submerging extensive areas of land again. It was during these upheavals of Nature that a number of the most ancient inhabited localities in the country vanished. However, as work continues, new finds shed a different light on prehistory of Finland.

Recent archeological discoveries challenge the established view of prehistoric inhabitation of Finland.

While the continental ice sheet and great bodies of water still covered most of Finland, a tundra, overgrown with dwarf birch, bordered the glacial margin, both in the north and in the south. There, wild reindeer, Arctic fur-bearing animals, and--in the coastal waters -- fish, offered primitive hunters and fishermen a chance to eke out a livelihood. From those coastal regions of the Arctic Ocean, north of the present national boundary of Finland, have come the most ancient relics of human culture ever discovered by Finnish archaeologists. These date back to approximately 8 000 B.C.

The world's oldest fishing net is carbon dated at 10 000 years old. It was found in 1914 in Korpilahti swamp at Antrea, Karelia. (not far from the writer's ancestral home) At the bottom of the picture are bark floats; at the top, rock weights.

The oldest relics ever found in southern Finland are of slightly later origin, dating perhaps from 7200 B.C. In those ancient times, there lived on the Finnish coast a simple people who made weapons of stone and bone, and who practiced hunting and fishing. Evidently, these earliest known inhabitants of Finland had arrived by land from eastern Europe.

About 5 000 B.C., the Finnish climate became damp and warm. As a result, extensive groves of hazel, elm, oak, and linden trees grew, all of which are encountered today only at scattered intervals in southern Finland. In the Finnish lakes even the edible water chestnut Trapa natans thrived, though now it is found only in central and southern Europe. Under such propitious circumstances, Stone Age man moved his abode northward and gradually spread over the whole peninsula. There is evidence which indicates that, even in those remote times, trade relations were maintained with foreign peoples. For example, some of the stone weapons of the era are made of types of stone that do not occur in Finland.

Around the year 3 000 B.C., a new Stone Age culture, known as the Comb-Ceramic culture, spread throughout Finland. It took its name from an art that was introduced into Finland fully developed: the art of pottery-making. The name of that culture also derived from the fact that they are decorated with a comblike stamp.. The people who created that pottery were still totally dependent on hunting and fishing for a living. The only domestic animal was the dog. The dwelling places, which were changed frequently, were situated near waters that abounded in fish--generally on open, sandy beaches. Trade relations appear to have been maintained mostly with peoples in the east and the southeast; flint was brought over from present day Russia, amber from East Prussia. The Comb-Ceramic culture belongs to the great northeastern European group of hunting and fishing cultures that extended from the Vistula River to the Arctic Ocean and all the way to Siberia.

Archaeologists consider a culture new when its relics are found to have undergone a decisive change in character, but they cannot definitely determine whether the reason for the change was an entirely new population, an alien conquest, or simply a peaceful cultural interchange. The Comb-Ceramic people inherited their stone implements from an older, pre-Ceramic culture, which, at least, signifies that an unbroken contact with the earlier inhabitants of the country had existed. Some researchers assume that, during the middle phase of the Comb-Ceramic culture, new racial types from the plains of eastern Europe and from the Baltic regions merged with the indigenous population. On the basis of findings made east of Finland, anthropologists have ascertained that the Comb-Ceramic population was short, longskulled with an admixture of short-skulled "Mongoloid" types.
Where did the Finns come from?
Maps of Distribution of Stone Age Settlements in Finland


The Varangians: Who were they?

Historians often mention Varangians in connection with certain events on the Eastern shores of the Baltic and northern Russia. Let's look at some explanations from different perspectives. The term is generally thought to come from Swedish, but some Finnish researchers, such as Kuussaari, claim it has a Finnish origin.

According to one Finnish source, they are identified as "Scandinavians," but the original Varangians were probably actually Fenno-Scandians. (Kuussaari, 1935) The Finns are conspicuous for their absence in both Swedish and Russian (Slavic or "Great" Russians) accounts. Varangians may have originally been Baltic Finns, distinguishable from Swedes by their Uralic language. They lived on the shores of western Finland and Estonia/Livonia and the Baltic islands, and were later joined in their guard duties by Swedes, who were called Vikings. (Kuussaari, 1935) This is called the "Riga, Åland, Gulf of Finland triangle." Vikings are often equated with Varangians, who came to consist of both Finns and Swedes as the latter turned Eastward and joined the Finns in the beginning of the second millennium. Varangians never invaded the British Isles - they are called Vikings.

Russian accounts suggest that eventually there were more than one kind of Varangian. They knew of several types of Varangians, and they generalized the term to include Swedes as the Finns became a part of the Swedish realm. A symbiotic relationship formed between the Finns and Swedes, who helped to fend off the Slavs. The Finns and Swedes got along well and there is no written record of any significant fighting between the two cultures. (But the relationship slowly turned parasitic in the beginning of the 1600's since Sweden benefitted from the Finnish soldiers, but Finland suffered.) When the Vikings went East it was with and under the sanction of inhabitants of the Baltic shores - eg. Tavastians, Karelians and Ingerians. Originally they were, according to Kuussaari, Finnish soldier merchants, who had an excellent reputation as good guardsmen because they had to protect their western and eastern flanks. Unfortunately, the Varangian theory which is taught in schools was the Swedish version which took away from the Finns their ancient heroic Kalevalan heritage. No matter, the Finns were to go their own way and become a great country in their own right.

During the "great migrations" these people developed into various warrior types such as Kaleva, Kolbias, "kalpamiehiä," Karelian "kylfings" and others, who had come to some type of mutual understanding regarding what territories each controlled, and above all the organization of armies. They were merchant warriors that formed an alliance to protect against Viking raids from the west so that some warning system would be in place even during their trips. They had developed elaborate early warning systems based on relay shoreline fires so that the minute a Viking or any unfriendly ship appeared, the curl of smoke could be seen in fires off into the distant Baltic. It was previously thought that these seafaring people had adopted the Viking ship as their means of transportation and built excellent large ships with at least a hundred oarsmen. But the early Finns had Viking style ships and were seafaring people already from earlier times, probably long before the Viking raids began to the eastern shores of the Baltic, as we can clearly see from ancient rock art found in Karelia. This rock art resembles similar early art found in Sweden.

Kuussaari claims that the word Varangian comes from the Finnish word "vara/vartio" which in Finnish means "guard" and "Vaara" means "danger" or "hill." Fires were lit on hills which were part of their early warning system. It worked very effectively and they became known as Varangians. The Finnish epic poem Kalevala mentions these people, their activities and vaaras where they lit fires. Place names with "vara" stems were located in the Varangians' domain. The prefix was extensively used in the coastal and island areas controlled by Finnish tribes who had adopted the Swedish seafaring ways that included ships with oarsmen. For example: Varangin vuono, Varjag vuoda in Lapp; Varangin niemi; Vargava, Varanka, Varanpää (Lokalahti); Vargata, Varjakka, Varkal, and many others. They were soldier traders who travelled all the way to the Volga to trade with the Bolgarians, and beyond. (Kuussaari, 1935)

The var word, according to Thomsen comes from the old Swedish word var=faithful, but Kuussaari does not agree that this meaning is connected with the word. The Vikings too were faithful, but they never were referred to by that term. The var word is therefore connected with guarding . In the absence of hard facts to prove these assertions, one has to consider all possibilties, keeping in mind that the Finnish position in the North is always downplayed, while Russian and Swedish roles are magnified by royal historians. The Finnish language is almost always considered to have received words from the Germanics and Slavs, but hardly ever to be the donor. Dictionary.com: http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=varangian

varangian \Va*ran"gi*an\, n. One of the Northmen who founded a dynasty in Russia in the 9th century; also, one of the Northmen composing, at a later date, the imperial bodyguard at Constantinople.
Not everyone agrees therefore that Varangians were Baltic Finns, and the search for the source of the word "Varangian" and "Viking" is continued by some scholars. Usually a Swedish derivation of most words is the accepted one. The term in some English dictionaries is said to be from the old Norse word "Väring."
Viking and Varangian

The Finnish Theory of Rurik and Varangians

The mere fact that this confusion exists amongst scholars, tells us that the Varangian term broadened so that no clear denotation could be made. The Vikings probably could not travel East without first having come to terms with the guardians of the Eastern Baltic shores. When the Vikings came to Russia, they came accompanied by the Finns who knew every river, forest and lake, and were excellent warriors, and guards. They also knew where all their ancient trading centers were located. When they met the Russians for the first time, it was natural that the Russians would refer to them as Varangians, and they soon came to realize that there were different kinds of Varangians.

The meaning of "Varangian" which is most pervasive, is that of guardianship. It was the Finns who had the reputation for being good guardsmen, while the Vikings had the reputation for being sea wanderers, traders and raiders. Vanrangian guards, not Varangian sea-wolves. Varangian guards, not wanderers. That is the legacy of the excellent reputation for guarding that the Baltic Finns acquired in the ancient world, which merged with the term "Viking." Confusing? Much of ancient history is, because everyone wanted credit for themselves at the expense of other ethnic groups; it is the duty of historians to dig down to the truth.

Much of ancient history unfortunately is merely ancient propaganda. Mongolians are said to be bad invaders. But were they worse than Russians or Romans? Were the Russian invaders gentle, while the Mongolians were fierce. Did they spare less people? Probably not, for everyone was cruel to their enemies in those times. We should read about history from as many sources as possible to avoid getting a historical bias. Still today the Russians lament the Mongolian raids, and the Finns lament the Russian raids. Can anyone claim they were better, including the Finns? Who were worse off, the Russians under attack by Mongolians or Uralic people under attack by Slavs? I suppose the the results would answer that: destruction of Uralic tribes, survival and increase in Slavic population.

Could the Varangian's world have been part of the ancient Kingdom of Finland mentioned in the Nordic sagas? The Finns' heritage, the knowledge of their vast ancient kingdom - was it taken away by the new Swedish rulers and the Slavs from the south? The Nordic Sagas and other independent sources of the time seem to indicate just that. When the Catholics too brought their religion to Finland via Sweden, did they also change Finnish history? And the Slavic historians cannot, unfortunately, be trusted with even their own history let alone that of another ethnic group, due to their documented omission and falsification of history to glorify themselves at the expense of other ethnic groups. Even today, a strange silence about the original people prevades the official descriptions of Russia. Very little is mentioned about even the people shown in official travel pictures, which obviously aren't Slavs, while they go to great lengths in describing the glories of Slavic (equated with Russian) culture. Very few people are aware of the fact that the Slavs murdered most of ethnic Finno-Ugric cultural heros, both in this century and centuries gone by. Considering that the whole north, from the Ural Mountains to Norway, was populated by Finnish tribes, it seems odd that no great importance has been attributed to them in the Swedish or Russian literature, and when it was, it was often in the negative. The Russians openly state that the Finnish people were never in any high positions. Today we see the same attitude in the fascists in Russia who claim that the North never even belonged to the Finns - that the Slavs are the original people of the North. The Finns merely squatters. Clearly, a lot of work remains to be done to reveal the true nature of ancient Finnish civilization in the North, of which the Kalevala and the Nordic Sagas suggest.

When the Vikings eventually joined the Varangians (now they are Vikings, Varangians and Rus too) in their guard duties, about the time the slavs were setting up shop in the north, the Russians referred to them too as Varangians, as well as possibly others such as Angles who may have joined them. Vikings were never referred to as Varangians on their own raids to western Europe, which is natural since they were Vikings, not Varangians. In Sweden, they were Vikings, but when they entered the Finnish realm, they too became Varangians.

The Finnish term "Varakko-ruotsit" (Varangian-Rus) referrs to these seafaring Finnish people according to Kuussaari. The word (ros=row in old scandinavian) "ruotsi"in Finnish used to mean "rower," but later the word meant "Sweden." Some Swedish sources say that "Rus" comes from the word "Roslagen" which is a town in Sweden, and some say it came from Swede called Ruser.

They established trading posts on the Volga and assisted the eastern Finns, and even the Slavs in the business of trade. Rurik and his accompanying Varangians camped in the Finnish areas around the north of Novogrod amongst the native Finnish-speaking population. We can be fairly sure that many of his men were Finns. The Varangian routes spread out through Russia to the Mediterranean, and they eventually became trusted guards of the Emperor in the Byzantine Empire.

Many Varangian trading posts were situated along the rivers such as the Neva and Volga, and Lake Ladoga, that have been the possession of the local Finns for millennia. The story is told that when Rurik defeated the strongest Slavic settlement, Novgorod, in A.D. 862, the Varangians became the rulers of northern Russia, with Finns assuming many of the leadership roles (according to Finnish history) especially north of Novgorod. Russian history denies that Finns were ever in any leadership roles whatsoever in Russia, but the truth is that the local Finns demanded Finnish speaking representatives. We must be careful in judging history from just one perspective. This area on some 14th century maps was still labelled Rurima. (Rurikland or Rurinmaa in Finnish)

For political reasons, the Swedes and Slavs tended (and continue to do so) to downplay the role of the Finnish related people in the north. It is not fanatical nationalism to correct history. Nor is it revisionism. It is simply the search for the truth. As in geneology, one must be prepared to find a horse thief or murderer, or stop digging. However, historians of Soviet Russia, the Kings of Sweden and the Czars were obliged to glorify the crown and erase the heroic deeds of the adversaries. History thus handed down leaves the reader with the idea that Finland was inhabited by savages before the Swedes. True, the Finns did not have a written history to remind them how they lived in the past until the Swedes arrived. However, as the epic poetry of the Kalevala reveals, the Finns had a high level of civilization for a long time before either the Swedes or the Russians came to their lands. Since their history was a rich oral tradition, it could not be destroyed in a fire, or robbed, and it is through this evidence that early Finns are able to contradict Swedish and Russian written accounts about the role and extent of Finnish civilization in the north prior to Swedish rule. This is why any serious student of Finno-Ugric history must have a working knowledge of the Kalevala.

One thing is for certain: the Finnish traders traveled east long before they were joined by Swedes. Would it make sense that the Russians came into contact with Finnish "Varangians" or traders first, then both Swedish and Finnish when the Finns came under the Swedish kings in the second millennium? This may be the reason Vikings were not called Varangians in Britain. Russians came into contact with first Finnish speakers, then Swedish speakers. Did the Russians change the name when the Swedes joined, or keep the original term?

University lectures in Russian history. Listen with Real Audio! See the maps of the areas the professor is referring to. Russian point of view.

Under Swedish rule, the Finns were obliged to serve in the Swedish army. Their strength was greatly reduced by the Swedish kings' ambitions far away from Finland, especially in Poland and the disastrous march on Moscow that followed. During this time, while the door to the henhouse was open, Russia helped itself to Finland, Ingria, and Estonia. The Slavs had arrived on the shores of the Baltic while the Swedish army was destroyed on the same road Napoleon took years later. They were free to establish permanent cities closer and closer to Finnish northern and Baltic strongholds, especially St. Petersburg - on Ingerian Finnish land.

In 1701 Swedes invaded Poland, enthroned their loyal king Stanislaw Leszczinnsky, and made the country their new ally. Then Karl XII decided to finish Russia once and for all.
Timeline to Disaster
-In 1708 Karl XII detached a well-trained army of 60,000 to Moscow.
-September of 1708 the Russians smashed Leeuwenhaupt's corps in the battle of Lesnaya. The anti-Moscow campaign failed. No supplies from Poland.
-Hoping to capture provisions, Swedes invaded Ukraine.
However, the Swedish Army failed again.
-Russians left Swedes behind and gained the Hetman's quarters of Baturin City with the main food storehouses.
-In spring of 1709, forces of Karl XII besieged Poltava, and the decisive battle broke out. Russians enjoyed a significant numerical superiority of 45,000 soldiers against 22,000 of Swedes. And again, the Swedish assault on the Russian line failed. The battle of Poltava was the turning point of the war that came to end with Russian triumph in 1721.
-Russia consolidated its grip on the Baltic shore.

Parallel history: Hungarians, Norwegians and Northern Finno-Ugric tribes.

Hungarians have left their ancient home near the Ural mountains by 835 and in around 878 are just about twenty years from entering their new homeland in the Carpathian Basin.

In England, Alfred battled the Viking Guthorm on Salisbury Plain, near Ethandun (now called Edington). Guthorm retreated back to Chippenham after the battle. Alfred pursued him there and surrounded the Viking camp. He killed the loose cattle and the men he found outside the walls, keeping any food and water from coming into the Viking Guthorm's camp, Within two weeks, in late May, 878, Guthorm and his army surrendered and accepted total defeat of the plan to conquer Wessex.

The Viking Othere's Voyage to the White Sea

"Othere told his lord, King Alfred, that he lived farthest to the north of all the Norwegians. He said that he lived by the western sea in the north part of the land. However, he said that the land extends very much further north; but it is all waste, except that Lapps camp in a few places here and there, hunting in winter and fishing in the sea in summer.

He said that on one occasion he wished to find out how far that land extended due north, or whether anyone lived north of the waste. Then he travelled close to the land, due north; he left the waste land on the starboard and the open sea on the port all the way for three days. Then he was as far north as the whale-hunters ever travel.

Then he travelled still due north as far as he could sail for the next three days. Then the land turned due east - or the sea in on the land - he did not know which; he knew only that there he waited for a wind from the west and a little from the north, and then sailed east, close to the land, for as far as he could sail in four days. Then he had to wait there for a wind directly from the north, for at that point the land turned due south - or the sea in on the land - he did not know which. Then from there he sailed due south, close to the land, for as far as he could sail in five days. There a great river extended up into the land. Then they turned up into that river because they dare not sail beyond the river for fear of hostility, because on the other side of the river the land was all inhabited.

Previously he had not met with any inhabited land since he left his own home. But to the starboard there was waste land all the way, except for fishers and fowlers and hunters - and they were all Lapps; and there was always open sea on his port. The Permians had cultivated their land very well; but they dare not put in there. But the land of the Terfinns was all waste, except where hunters or fishers or fowlers lived. The Permians told him many stories both of their own land and of the lands which were round about them; but he did not know what the truth of it was, since he did not see it for himself. The Lapps and the Permians, (See map in historical map section. "Perm" is derived from the Finnish word for hinterland) it seemed to him, spoke almost the same language. (Finnish and Lapp are both Finno-Ugric languages and to an outsider, may sound similar)

He travelled there chiefly - in addition to observing the land - for the walruses, because they have very fine bone in their teeth (they brought some of those teeth to the king), and their hides are very good for ship's ropes. This whale is much smaller than other whales: it is no longer than seven ells long. But the best whale-huhting is in his own land: those are forty-eight ells long, and the largest fifty ells long. He said that, as one of six, he slew sixty of those in two days. He was a very wealthy man in that property in which their wealth consists, that is, in wild animals. When he visited the king he still had six hundred tame animals unbought. They call those 'reindeer'; of those, six were decoy reindeer; they are very valuable among the Lapps because with them they capture the wild reindeer. He was among the first men in the land. Nevertheless he had no more than twenty cattle, and twenty sheep and twenty swine, and the little that he ploughed, he ploughed with horses.

But their income is chiefly in the tribute that the Lapps pay them. That tribute consists in animal skins and in bird feathers and whale-bone and in the ship's ropes which are made from the hide of whales and seals. Each one pays according to his rank. The noblest must pay fifteen marten skins, and five reindeer, and one bear skin, and ten ambers of feathers, and a bear- or otter-skin coat, and two ship's ropes, both to be sixty ells long, one to be made of whale's hide, the other of seal's.

He said that the land of the Norwegians was very long and very narrow. All that they can either graze or plough lies by the sea; and even that is very rocky in some places; and to the east, and alongside the cultivated land, lie wild mountains. In those mountains live Lapps. And the cultivated land is broadest to the south, and increasingly narrower the further north. To the south it may be sixty miles broad, or a little broader; and in the middle thirty or broader; and to the north, he said, where it was narrowest, it might be three miles broad to the mountains; and then the mountains in some places are as broad as one might cross in two weeks, and in some places as broad as one might cross in six days. Then alongside that land to the south, on the other side of the mountains, is the land of the Swedes, extending northwards; and alongside that land to the north, the land of the Finns. Sometimes the Finns make war on the Norwegians across the mountains; sometimes the Norwegians on them. And there are very large freshwater lakes throughout the mountains; and the Finns carry their boats overland to the lakes, and make war on the Norwegians from there; they have very small and very light boats. Othere said that the district in which he lived was called Halogaland. He said that no one lived to the north of him. In the south of the land there is a trading-town which they call Sciringesheal. He said that a man could sail there in a month, if he camped at night and had a favourable wind every day; and all the time he must sail close to the land. On the starboard is first Ireland, and then the islands which are between Ireland and this country. Then this country continues until he comes to Sciringesheal, and Norway all the way on the port side. To the south of Sciringesheal a very great sea extends up into the land; it is broader than any man can see across. And Jutland is opposite on one side, and then Zealand. The sea extends many hundred miles up into the land.

And from Sciringesheal, he said that he sailed in five days to the trading-town which they call Hedeby; this stands between the Wends and the Saxons and the Angles, and belongs to the Danes. When he sailed there from Sciringesheal, then Denmark was to the port and open sea to the starboard for three days; and then for two days before he came to Hedeby there lay to his starboard, Jutland, and Zealand and many islands. The Angles dwelt in those lands before they came here to this country. And for those two days there lay to his port those islands which belong to Denmark."

Who are the Kven People? Where is Kvenland?

The Northern Finnish "Kainuu" people were called Kven by the Swedes, Norwegians and Icelanders. The Kingdom of Kvenland ruled the North for hundreds of years. Kvenland people lived on the North half of the Gulf of Bothnia, on the Western, Northern and Eastern shores.

These mysterious people ruled the North for millennia. They were a "Kalevala" people like the Karelians. The Finnish National Epic "Kalevala," which was composed of Karelian songs and stories, describes these heroic people of the North. Although they are related people, they often clashed in their struggle for control over certain areas.

The Kainuu people were after the riches of the fur and related trade. They settled at the main rivers such as Kainuunjoki and Tornionjoki in the north, and established trading centers at the mouths of these rivers. These rivers were at the Eastern end of the Atlantic trading area. Kemijoki area was also in their control, which pointed toward the Arctic Ocean. The tributaries of these rivers offered good access to the land and its riches. In the distant past, these were the exclusive domain of the Saami (Lapps) but due to their nomadic habits, they were easily displaced and placed under the taxation of the Kainuu people and their Kings. The Saami were gradually displaced from their traditional areas including Lake Laatokka (Ladoga), until today they live mainly in Northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia.


Sable skins were highly prized by civilizations all over the continent, in fact all the way Arabia and beyond. Four hundred years ago the animal was still found in Kola, but now only in Siberia. The Arabian Ibn Ruste wrote in 912 that the "Rus" lived by hunting and trapping Sable and Squirrel. He meant the Northern people who were known in the Eastern world as "Rus."

Some say that the Swedes were "Rus" - but according to Ibn, they were Western Finns, as they were the main providers of furs. The Kainuu people controlled the fur trade in the North, so it is likely that these were the people Ibn was dealing with. They became quite wealthy through this trade and by taxing the Lapps. The Saami moved away from their traditional areas that the Kainuu people now controlled. Their old Gulf of Bothnia dwelling places were taken over and they moved North and East: Utajärvi - Pudasjärvi - Oijärvi - Tervola - Ylitornio.

Ottar, or Othere, who was in King Alfred's service in the 800's mentions these people and their lightweight boats with which they traveled from river system to system with ease in their movement West and Northwest into the Norwegian domain. Until finally they came into contact with Halogaland farm boys... (Continued with more information about the Finns)

Lähteet - Bibliography

Jutikkala, Eino, with Kauko Pirinen, A History of Finland, Amer-Yhtymä Oy, Espoo 1979
Patoharju, Taavi , Suomi tahtoi elää, Sanoma, Pitäjänmäki 1958
Zetterberg, Seppo, ja Tiita, Allan , Suomi kautta aikojen, Otava 1992
Kuussaari, Eero, Suomen suvun tiet, F. Tilgmann Oy, Helsinki 1935
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