WHO PUSHED THE SÁMI ANCESTORS AWAY? – Expulsion, Exodus, Ethnic Cleansing in The Sweden-Finland Kingdom. (1:2) Focus: The East Half of the Kingdom.

Next Time: Old and recent oppression and confusion in Norway and Sweden. Modern warfare and empty laplands. And on Stalin’s terror, and Russian conditions. Also more on Felleslappeloven and international treaties.

Historic Guilt? Who, where, why, how?
On Early Suomi-Sámi History, remarks and notes
which could be of help for every Truth and Reconciliation commission.
– part 1 of 2 –

EDITED Nov 24: One passage on Savo, that would be ”Häme” in a document from 1454; and a crucial (earlier left out) part on Great Nordic War 1714-21.
EDITED Nov 27. Interpretation of Kolske as Arkhangelsk. / PE 

Forced migrations
1595 the Teusina Peace Treaty (read it here: https://histdoc.net/historia/se/teusina.html)

Sammaledes skole och the Swenske befalningzmänn vthi ingen motte hindre store herrens, zaar och storfurstes, Feodor Iwanowitz, öffwer alt Rysslandh zamoderzetz, zaarske höghetz befalningzmän till at optage skatten vthaf the Lapper, som lyde vnder det Duinske, Kexholmske landh och Kols slott.” and this

Theslikest skole och icke heller den store herrens, zaar (English Czar, current Swedish: Tsar) och storfurste, Feodor Iwanowitz, öffwer alt Ryssland zamoderzetz, zaarske högheetz befalningzmän heller andre hans vndersåter vthi någen motte förhindre wår stormechtigste konungz befalningzmän till att opbäre skatten vthaf Laperne ifrå Österbothnen alt in till Warånger, hwilke tilförende och vthaf ålder vnder Swerigis riike lydt haffwe och deres skatt Swerigis konungh gifwit

Passage 1 speaks about by Russia recently won territories, within which Russia hereby is declared to own the privilege of collecting taxes from: that is the estates (or counties) of Kol, Duinske and Kexholm. A common interpreation of the places mentioned is: Kexholm: Fi. Käkisalmi, Ru. Приозерск, Kar. Karjala in Ladoga, Duinske: area around Lake Onega and Kol: this is Novocholmogory, namely the fortress initiated (ot at least thought to be the first construction start year) 12 years before the Teusina Peace, in 1583… More known to us as Arkhangelsk,
Passage 2 states the old Swedish-Finnish fiscal area, namely Ostrobothnia; which here seems to be understood as the whole of the Northern half of the country. We need to recall that the full extension of the Nordic countries (here: including Russia) not was entirely known by 1595).
What did happen, from what we could conclude, is that 
some of the South-Easternmost Sámi groups, around Lieksa in Kainuu territory were forced to more over to the Russian side, as an effect of Teusina Treaty. This might also have struck the Southern Kainuu, Eastern Ostrobothnian Sámis and most of the remaining Savo as well as Karjala/Karelian Sámi groups. According to tax lengths we do find Sámis as south as Nyslott or Savonlinna as late as back in the 1540s. We also hear about Savo proper Saámis in 1454; and there are areas where these groups seem to have claimed land farther beyound centuries where we usually consider to be in Sámi eras. A problem is the Finnish usage of the term lapp (at least in present- and modern-day history contexts), which might be mildly put confusing for a Swedish Historian.

GUILTY PARTIES: Sweden, Russia (Novgorod) and to some extent Finland.

Great Nordic War – terrible times
Apart from that, 1714-21 as well as for example; the furious Russian attacks on – in a first and worst wave – on what is Finland of today, mad massacres, plundering, foray and in a second wave – burning along practically the Bothnian coastline including also Sweden proper. Indeed it was a frightening, horrendous era;: it drove thousands of Finns from their homes, to be domestic migrants. Here we need to investigate thoroughly how many Sámis that also did migrate.

GUILTY PARTY: Russia.  (Edited/added Nov 24, 2019)

The consequences of the 1323 Peace Treaty of Pähkinälinna, Schlüsselborg or Nöteborg are less known (Шлиссельбург; Sjlisselburg, Schlüsselburg, (Fi.) Pähkinälinna or Lyyssinä); not ought to have led to, eventually or directly migrations; but in deed seen over decades it did.

Earlier in late Nordic Medieval era, Russian ravages seems to have been driven the Sámi groups away from the older habitat: among this one ought to mention the 1200s, coloured by ”Karelian” attacks and ravages in the three Lapplands except Russian Lappland; the late 1400s when the area around present-day’s Oulu became target for numerous attacks and ravages by the PomoresRussians and/or Karelians (probably strengthened by other Fenno-Ugric or Balto-Finnic. Attacking forces during these medieval days most often referred to as Karelians, less often as Biarmians and sometimes, in the traditions seemingly positioned as the Čuds (tjuder in Swedish, Čuovrit in North Saami) – perhaps a scientifically correct ethnonym might be Proto-Karelians?). A striking fact is that the tradition around this hostile people or hords are clearly stronger in Northern Sápmi and almost unheard of in Southern Sápmi.

During the 1200s another attacking force must be included into the equation, namely the Swedish Kingdom! Magnus Birgersson ladulås is, according to several sources, said to have placed an attack towards the Sámi people areas, coordinated and followed by a pacification by the local nobleman Matti Kurkki (medieval form, today Kurki), in Swedish sources called Matthias Kurck. He seems to have been of Savo or Häme origin, most likely a mixture. The Swedish attack seems to have been taking place in the second half of the 1270s; and might be the point from which you can place the intiating era of Swedish-Finnish Colonialism. One cannot really sort out that this tradition – given it actually did take place – to a great extent did aim at Biarmians or the Čuds/(proto-)Karelians. Behind these hostile meaures stood Novgorod (AD 1136-1478), an early great power with a huge appetite for Arctic, Nordic and Siberian indigenous lands: the Uralic speaking knights only executed the dirty work. An interesting observation is that we can also to a vast extent spot traces of which will later become the birkarla (taxation and trading) system; they seem, indeed to have drawn a model from the very early tax faring journeys by the Čuds. This system also tending to be even older than Novgorod itself:
Thus this system kept on going for a period of 650 years or ca. 900-1550. One could even claim the Royal taxation system with its similar roots (many laplands even did get run by Sheriffs who actually were birkarla-men) kept on going for even another 250 years!
Anyhow it looks like what we today refer to as Finnish Sámis in the Northernmost parts, as well as the once within Kemi Lapland and those under Ostrobothnian flag (AD circa 1360-1441 under County Korsholm or Mustasaari) that they eventually enjoyed a period of relative calm and maybe a chance to gather silver via commercial or trade activities like their relatives in the Western areas. Since the raids or ravage attacks most often also aimed at Finnmark, that may be a historical fact we even could state, since they are less heard of in the lion’s share of the 1300s (nevertheless: in the years of 1377 a new attack at what is likely to be interpreted as Oulu – Owla – is performed from Novgorod). And this is also the period when Sámis are, totally, as a collective, guilty of tributing taxes to the King of Sweden-Finland, or the growing great power of Swedish Kingdom; which actually already under Swedish flag from 1561, which actually made the utmost lion’s share of Baltic and Bothnic Sea to a Swedish inland Sea, eventually for some shorter epoque encompassing the whole of the Sea. Nevertheless; there were mostly an uneasy atmosphere in the erämaa east of Kajana castle.

Eric of Pomerania visited Finland (”Eastern part of the Kingdom”) several times and stated anno 1411 that the erämaa belonged to ”the kingdom”, also as distant areas as 200-250 km away from cultivated fields. Only a few years after this, the mass baptism actins in huge water pools took place. At the same time, Novgorod intiated monasteries in Southern- and Easternmost Karelia as well as up in the White Sea.

Finally in this little exposé we should have a look at Russian attacks and ravages in Southern Finland in the 1400s and 1500s. Simultanously, after the Russian annexation of Novgorod in the 1470s new severe attacks did take place in North-East Ostrobothnia. These were the predecessing events which later led to the Teusina Peace Treaty. Many farms and houses were burnt down, and abandoned during these periods. And the reason this is important is that we need to find the main reasons why the Sámi people gradually left Uusimaa and Central parts of Finland, the core area for proto-Sámis or Late Proto Sámis, among Language historians called Lakeland Sámi speakers (Cf. Aikio 2012, Korpela 2014, Heikkilä 2014): those, at this point, seems to be (a) Swedish crusades, (b) Finnish-Swedish settlement movements and early expulsions as well as (c) Novgorod’s attacks and counter attacks aimed at the Swedes, of which 1292 AD Attack at Häme might be the most well-known one (amomng many), and (d) in this Sámi movement’s utmost final stages, Russian ravaging raids along the Uusimaa coast in the 1400s and 1500s. For further reading on Novgorod, see Halperin 1999 (”Novgorodians and the ”Novgorodian Land”. In: Cahiers du monde russe 40/3 [1999] Varia)

GUILTY PARTIES: Sweden, Russia (Novgorod) – to a less extent Finland.

Czar Fiodor I ruled by the time of Teusina Peace Treaty
he lived 1557-1598, reigned from 1584. He was the last
czar of the Ruruk dynasty. Anonymus, 1630s.
Classic Colonialism, with driving the indigenous Sámi people away with an expanding settlement movement and cultivation of the ground/thorough modulation of the erämaa, ground for hunting-foraging-fishing that is; as well as the landscape and grazing areas for reindeer pastoralism.
Iron age and 1300s-1700s: well-documented movements i Savo, Häme, Karelia, Kainuu, Ostrobothnia, Kemi or Chimeå Lapland (lappmark in Swedish). Same phenomenon is also registrered by Archaeologist about Southern and Central Karelia already back in the late Iron age or ”prime time” viking age. Some might be the cause along the crusade era in the 11-1200s.

GUILTY PARTIES: Finland, Karelia, Russia, Sweden (I would say – in that order).

Refugee movements, domestical migrative or immigrative: Can be technically – or seemingly – done by free will; but almost without exceptions the trigger factors as well as the basic reasons for commit a refugee or domestic migratory act were to be found in the field of tensions in-between the Great Novgorod, later Russia on one side, and Swedish Kingdom on the other.

Isoviha ja Nuijasota
Among numerous known and indicated such refuge-initiating events we must mention primarily the Huge War, (Sw.) Stora Ofreden (Fi. Isoviha) 1714-21; influencing mainland Finland as well as most coasts and (the older) Civil War Nuijasota (Sw. Klubbekriget) in the 1590s; of which the first encompassed enormous burnings and huge, nightmare-creating (only by reading about them) massacres and the second also did feauture a truly horrifying face, which led thousands of Savo people to flee, migrate over to Sweden and start a new life. This did also occur among the Sámi people, only that these groups are less investigated and researched about; if researched at all?

Appropriate amounts of scholarly resources, personally and economically ought to be funded for such research; and this must indeed take place within the framework of a Truth and Reconciliation commission.

Peter Ericson Nov 19, 2019


En reaktion på ”WHO PUSHED THE SÁMI ANCESTORS AWAY? – Expulsion, Exodus, Ethnic Cleansing in The Sweden-Finland Kingdom. (1:2) Focus: The East Half of the Kingdom.

  1. Thank you Peter, for this fascinating article. I am hoping to do research into the Sámi and have just returned from a short trip to Swedish Sapmi. The history is very important, I hope to keep your article for reference. Best wishes to you – I’m sure there are many Sámi who would be interested to read your extensive knowledge.

    Gillad av 1 person


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