Previous Page Search Again Next Page

of years ago. The parent group spoke the same language but was not racially unified. All peoples are formed of varied backgrounds, and so are the Finno-Ugric group. The distinction between language relationship and racial background has not always been sufficiently clearly made. The Finnish scholar, M. A. Castren, indicated the relationship between the Finno-Ugric languages and the Samoyedic; both belong to the language family of the Urals, as later research has confirmed, but Castren's claim of a relationship between the Ural and the Altai families is considered an assumption for which most recent research has found no evidence. Since the Altai family includes the Turco Tartar, the Mongolian and Tungus languages, and even Korean, the Finns have been mentioned as being related to the Mongolians. What has just been stated indicates that the language relationship does not exist, and since there are no racial characteristics in common, either, any assumed "relationship" is simply a deep-rooted fallacy.

The Original Home of the Finns

Formerly, Finns were said to be Asiatics, since they had come to their present home from far in the east, just as some scholars have considered Asia to be the original home of the Indo-Europeans as well. But most recent research has shown that the cradle of the parent Finno-Ugric group was not in Asia: scholars today are practically unanimous on the point that it lay in European Russia. There, in an area where the primeval forests and the immense steppes came together, there seems to have been a focal point from which the Finno-Ugric group subsequently began to spread out in all directions. The search for new hunting grounds gradually drew the Ostyaks and the Voguls east of the Urals, while their close relatives the Hungarians moved out in the opposite directions, across the steppes. The Baltic Finns retained contact with their sparsely populated central area between the Oka and Vaina rivers for some centuries longer, but finally they, too, scattered : the Finns are said to have arrived in Finland in a wave of migration and to have established fixed settlements there about the year 800 A.D. 1

The Period of Swedish Domination

The northern land now known as Finland had been populated for thousands of years before the arrival of the Finns on the scene, but the old had to make way for the new. Trade, and the contact

1. Arvi Korhonen, Editor: Suomen Historian Käsikirja. Helsinki, 1949. Paavi Ravila, "Suomen Suku ja Suomen Kansa." I, pp. 1-22.


Previous Page Search Again Next Page