Finnic peoples

The Finnic peoples[a] or Baltic Finns are Finno-Ugric peoples inhabiting the region around the Baltic Sea[2] in Northern Europe who speak Finnic languages, including the Finns proper, Estonians (including Võros and Setos), Karelians (including Ludes and Olonets), Veps, Izhorians, Votes, and Livonians, as well as their descendants worldwide. In some cases the Kvens, Ingrians, Tornedalians and speakers of Meänkieli are also included separately rather than as a part of Finns proper.

The bulk of the Finnic peoples (more than 98%) are ethnic Finns and Estonians, who reside in the only two independent Finnic nation statesFinland and Estonia.[3]

Finnic peoples are also significant minority groups in neighbouring countries of Sweden, Norway and Russia.

Finnic peoples
Finnic languages
Total population
c. 7.4–8.2 million
Regions with significant populations
Finns[a]c. 6.2–7 million
Estoniansc. 1.1 million
Kareliansc. 75,000
Vepsiansc. 6,000
Izhoriansc. 1,000
Livsc. 200
Votesc. 100
Finnic languages
Predominantly Christianity (either Lutheranism or Eastern Orthodoxy);[1] minority Uralic Neopaganism
Related ethnic groups
Other Finno-Ugric peoples

a Tornedalians, Ingrians, Kvens and Forest Finns are subsumed under Finns, as they are most commonly described as being subgroups of Finns proper rather than separate ethnic groups altogether.

Theories of origin

According to the Migration Theory that was based primarily on comparative linguistics, the proto-Finns migrated from an ancient homeland somewhere in north-western Siberia or western Russia to the shores of the Baltic Sea around 1000 BC, at which time Finns and Estonians separated. The Migration Theory has been called into question since 1980 based on genealogy, craniometry and archaeology. Recently, a modified form of the Migration Theory has gained new support among the younger generation of linguists, who consider that archaeology, genes and craniometric data cannot supply evidence of prehistoric languages.[4]

During the last 30 years, scientific research in physical anthropology, craniometric analyses, and mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA frequencies have reduced the likelihood of the Migration Theory—a major westward migration as recently as 3,000 years ago. The Settlement Continuity Theory asserts that at least the genetic ancestors of the Finno-Ugric peoples were among the earliest indigenous peoples of Europe.[5][6][7]

The origin of the people who lived around the Baltic Sea area during the Mesolithic Era continues to be debated by scientists. From the middle of the Neolithic onward, there is a certain extent of agreement among scholars: it has been suggested that Finno-Ugric tribes arrived in the Baltic region from the east or south-east approximately 4000–3000 BC by merging with the original inhabitants, who then adopted the proto-Finno-Ugric language and the Pit–Comb Ware culture of the newcomers. The members of this new Finno-Ugric-speaking ethnic group are regarded as the ancestors of modern Estonians.[7] The Y-chromosomal data has also revealed a common Finno-Ugric ancestry for the males of the neighbouring Balts, speakers of the Indo-European Baltic languages. According to the studies, Baltic males are most closely related to the Finno-Ugric-speaking Volga Finns such as the Mari, rather than to Baltic Finns.[8] The results suggest that the territories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been settled by Finno-Ugric-speaking tribes since the early Mesolithic period.[7]

On the other hand, some linguists do not consider it likely that a Baltic Finnic language form could have existed at such an early date. According to these views, the Finno-Ugric languages appeared in Finland and the Baltic region only during the Early Bronze Age (ca. 1800 BC), if not later.[4]

Finnic oral poetry

The Finnic peoples share a common cultural heritage: the art of ancient "rune" (poem) singing in the Kalevala meter, estimated to be 2,500–3,000 years old. The Finnish and Estonian national epics, Kalevala and Kalevipoeg, are both written in this meter.[9] The Veps are the only Baltic Finnish people with no significant corpus of Kalevala meter oral poetry. The poetic tradition has included epic poems (known mostly in Karelia and Ingria, perhaps as survivals from an earlier, wider distribution), lyric poems and magic chants.

The ancient rune singing has inspired the creation of the national epic of Finland, Kalevala compiled by Elias Lönnrot, and the music of Arvo Pärt, the best-known Estonian composer in the classical field.[10]

J. R. R. Tolkien has highlighted the importance of Kalevala as a source for his legendarium, including The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings.[11]

History of the Finnic peoples

Baltic Finns
Finnic peoples in The Races of Europe by William Z. Ripley in 1899.

The Mesolithic Period

The region has been populated since the end of the last glacial era, about 10,000 BC. The earliest traces of human settlement are connected with Suomusjärvi culture and Kunda culture. The Early Mesolithic Pulli settlement is located by the Pärnu River. It has been dated to the beginning of the 9th millennium BC. The Kunda Culture received its name from the Lammasmäe settlement site in northern Estonia, which dates from earlier than 8500.[12] Bone and stone artefacts similar to those found at Kunda have been discovered elsewhere in Estonia, as well as in Latvia, northern Lithuania and southern Finland.

The Neolithic Period

Around 5300 BCE pottery and agriculture entered Finland.[13] The earliest representatives belong to the Pit–Comb Ware culture, known for their distinctive decorating patterns. This marks the beginning of the Neolithic,

Pit–Comb Ware culture

Neolithic period

Until the early 1980s, the arrival of Finnic peoples, the ancestors of the Estonians, Finns, and Livonians on the shores of the Baltic Sea around 3000 BC, was associated with the Pit–Comb Ware culture[14] However, such a linking of archaeologically defined cultural entities with linguistic ones cannot be proven and it has been suggested that the increase of settlement finds in the period is more likely to have been associated with an economic boom related to the warming of climate. Some researchers have even argued that a form of Uralic languages may have been spoken in Estonia and Finland since the end of the last glaciation.[15]

Bronze Age

The beginning of the Bronze Age in Estonia is dated to approximately 1800 BC, in present-day Finland some time after 1500 BCE. The coastal regions of Finland were a part of the Nordic Bronze Culture, whereas in the inland regions the influences came from the bronze-using cultures of Northern Russia. The development of the borders between the Finnic peoples and the Balts was under way. The first fortified settlements, Asva and Ridala on the island of Saaremaa and Iru in the Northern Estonia, began to be built. The development of shipbuilding facilitated the spread of bronze. Changes took place in burial customs, a new type of burial ground spread from Germanic to Estonian areas, stone cist graves and cremation burials became increasingly common beside small numbers of boat-shaped stone graves.[16]

The Iron Age

The Pre-Roman Iron Age began in about 500 BC and lasted until the middle of the 1st century. The oldest iron items were imported, although since the 1st century iron was smelted from local marsh and lake ore. Settlement sites were located mostly in places that offered natural protection. Fortresses were built, although used temporarily. The appearance of square Celtic fields surrounded by enclosures in Estonia date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The majority of stones with man-made indents, which presumably were connected with magic designed to increase crop fertility, date from this period. A new type of grave, quadrangular burial mounds, began to develop. Burial traditions show the clear beginning of social stratification.

The Roman Iron Age is roughly dated to between AD 50 and 450, the era that was affected by the influence of the Roman Empire. In material culture this is reflected by a few Roman coins, some jewellery and artefacts. The abundance of iron artefacts in Southern Estonia speaks of closer mainland ties with southern areas, while coastal Finland and the islands of western and northern Estonia communicated with their neighbours mainly by sea.

Northern Europe in 814
Northern Europe in 814.

By the end of the period, clearly defined tribal dialectical areas—Finns, Tavastians, Karelians, Northern Estonians, Southern Estonians, and Western Estonians including the islanders—had emerged, the population of each having formed its own understanding of identity.[17]

Early Middle Ages

Finnic peoples in chronicles

The word Finn is first mentioned in the form fenni in the 1st century AD by Tacitus, the Roman historian. However, it is possible that he was referring to the people of northern Europe in general, particularly the Lappic or Sami people. After that the name finni is used by Claudius Ptolemaeus (around 150) and the Eastern Roman writer Jordanes in his Getica (551). References to Finnic tribes become much more numerous from the Viking era (800–1050). It was not until about 1171 that the word Finni was employed to mean the Finns.

The term Eesti, the name of the Estonians, occurs first again in Tacitus; however, it might have indicated Balts. In Northern Sagas (13th century), the term started to be used to indicate the Estonians.

In a Norwegian text (11–12th century), the name Kiriali referring to Karelians and the term cornuti Finni, interpreted as referring to the Lapps or Sami people, first appear.

The Russian Primary Chronicle's opening chapter lists the following peoples living "in the share of Japheth" among others: Chud, Merya, Muroma, Ves, Mordvin (Moksha and Erzya), Chud beyond the portages, Perm, Pechera, Yam, Ugra, Liv.[18]

The name Sum, possibly meaning Suomi (Finland in Finnish), is found in Nestor's Chronicle (1000–1100). The names of other Finnic tribes are also listed including Veps, Cheremis, Mordvin (Moksha and Erzya), Permian.[19]

The Chudes, as mentioned by a monk Nestor in the earliest Russian chronicles, are in 11th century context usually considered as Estonians, although it sometimes referred to all Finnic peoples in north-western Rus.[20] According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, Chuds bordered on the Varangian Sea (Baltic sea).[18] In 1030 Yaroslav I the Wise invaded the country of the Chuds and laid the foundations of Yuriev (the historical Russian name of Tartu, Estonia).[20] They remained until 1061 when, according to chronicles, Yuryev was burned down by the Chudes. According to Old East Slavic chronicles, the Chudes were one of the founders of the Rus' state.[21]

The Northern (or eastern) Chudes were also a mythical people in folklore among Northern Russians and their neighbours. In Komi mythology, the Northern Chudes represent the mythic ancestors of the Komi people[22]

Middle Ages

In the 13th century the east Baltic world was transformed by military conquest: first the Livs and Estonians, then the Finns underwent defeat, baptism, military occupation and sometimes extermination by groups of Germans, Danes and Swedes.[23] Finland was governed as a part of Sweden, while Estonia was under a Baltic German knightly brotherhood. Finland and Estonia became independent at the beginning of the modern age in 1917–1918 (see history of Finland and history of Estonia). The Karelians remained under Russian and then Soviet rule, and their absolute and relative numbers dwindled. When urbanization was peaking, less-numerous peoples rapidly lost capacity to maintain their village-based cultures and so were often assimilated to the mainstream society.

See also


  1. ^ Also referred to as Baltic-Finnic or Balto-Finnic peoples.


  1. ^ "Population". Statistics Finland. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. ^ Niskanen, Markku (2002). "The Origin of the Baltic-Finns" (PDF). The Mankind Quarterly. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  3. ^ "Finnic peoples". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Kallio, Petri 2006: Uralilaisen kantakielen absoluuttista kronologiaa. (With English summary: The absolute chronology of the Proto-Uralic language.). Virittäjä 2006
  5. ^ the early indigenous inhabitants of Europe by Richard, Lewis (2005). Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf. Intercultural Press. ISBN 978-1-931930-18-5.
  6. ^ Niskanen, Markku (2002). "The Origin of the Baltic-Finns" (PDF). The Mankind Quarterly. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  7. ^ a b c Laitinen, Virpi; Päivi Lahermo (August 24, 2001). "Y-Chromosomal Diversity Suggests that Baltic Males Share Common Finno-Ugric-Speaking Forefathers" (PDF). Department of Genetics, University of Turku, Turku, Finnish Genome Center, University of Helsinki. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  8. ^ Siiri Rootsi (19 October 2004). "Human Y-Chromosomal Variation in European Populations" (PDF). Tartu University Press. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  9. ^ Pentikäinen, Juha; Ritva Poom (1999). Kalevala Mythology. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21352-5.
  10. ^ Nidel, Richard (2005). World Music. Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-415-96801-0.
  11. ^ Chance, Jane (2004). Tolkien and the Invention of Myth. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2301-1.
  12. ^ Jean-Jacques Subrenat (2004). Estonia: Identity and Independence: Translated into English (On the Boundary of Two Worlds: Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics, 2) ... and Moral Imagination in the Baltics). Amsterdam: Rodopi. p. 24. ISBN 90-420-0890-3.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Minahan, James (1998). Miniature empires: a historical dictionary of the newly independent states. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-313-30610-9.
  15. ^ Helle, Knut (2003). The Cambridge history of Scandinavia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-521-47299-7.
  16. ^ Jean-Jacques Subrenat (2004). Estonia: Identity and Independence. p. 26. ISBN 978-90-420-0890-8.
  17. ^ Jean-Jacques Subrenat (2004). Estonia: Identity and Independence. pp. 28–31. ISBN 978-90-420-0890-8.
  18. ^ a b Samuel H. Cross (1968). Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text. Medieval Academy of Amer. p. 52. ISBN 0-910956-34-0.
  19. ^ Angela Marcantonio (2002). The Uralic Language Family: Facts, Myths and Statistics (Publications of the Philological Society). Blackwell Publishing Professional. pp. 21–3. ISBN 0-631-23170-6.
  20. ^ a b Tvauri, Andres (2012). The Migration Period, Pre-Viking Age, and Viking Age in Estonia. pp. 33, 59, 60. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  21. ^ Pre- and Proto-historic Finns by John Abercromby p.141
  22. ^ FOREST MYTHS by Pavel F. Limerov at google.scholar
  23. ^ Christiansen, Eric (1997). The northern Crusades. Harmondsworth [Eng.]: Penguin. p. 93. ISBN 0-14-026653-4.

Chud or Chude (Old East Slavic: чудь, in Finnic languages: tshuudi, tšuudi, čuđit) is a term historically applied in the early Russian annals to several Finnic peoples in the area of what is now Estonia, Karelia and Northwestern Russia.Perhaps the earliest written use of the term "Chudes" to describe proto-Estonians was c. 1100, by the monk Nestor, in the earliest Russian chronicles. According to Nestor, Yaroslav I the Wise invaded the country of the Chuds in 1030 and laid the foundations of Yuryev, (the historical Russian name of Tartu, Estonia). Later sources used Chud to describe other Baltic Finns called volok which is thought to refer to the Karelians.

According to Old East Slavic chronicles the Chudes were one of the founders of the Rus' state.


Chukhna, Chukhnas, Chukhontsy (singular: Chukhonets (male), Chukhonka (female)) is an obsolete Russian term for some Finnic peoples: Finns, Estonians, Karelians, Ingrian Finns.

It is thought to be a derivative from the ethnonym Chud.The 18th century Linguarum totius orbis vocabularia comparativa of Peter Simon Pallas has a vocabulary of the "Chukhna language".

Vladimir Dahl, in his Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian language, records a reference to Finns in the vicinity of St. Petersburg.In modern usage, the words are considered ethnic slurs for Finns and Estonians.

Deportations of the Ingrian Finns

Deportations of the Ingrian Finns were a series of mass deportations of the Ingrian Finnish population by Soviet authorities. Deportations took place from the late 1920s to the end of World War II.

East Karelia

East Karelia (Finnish: Itä-Karjala, Karelian: Idä-Karjala), also rendered as Eastern Karelia or Russian Karelia, is a name for the part of Karelia that since the Treaty of Stolbova in 1617 has remained Eastern Orthodox under Russian supremacy. It is separated from the western part of Karelia, called Finnish Karelia or historically Swedish Karelia (before 1808). Most of East Karelia is now part of the Republic of Karelia within the Russian Federation. It consists mainly of old historical regions of Viena and Aunus.

19th century ethnic nationalist Fennomans saw East Karelia as the ancient home of Finnic culture, "un-contaminated" by both Scandinavians and Slavs. In the sparsely populated East Karelian backwoods, mainly in White Karelia, Elias Lönnrot collected the folk tales that ultimately would become Finland's national epic, the Kalevala.

The idea of annexing East Karelia to Finland ("Greater Finland") was widely supported in newly independent Finland. It was especially popular during the Continuation War when it seemed possible through German assistance. Most of East Karelia was occupied by Finnish forces 1941–1944. The war was accompanied by hardship for the local ethnic Russian civilians, including forced labour and internment in prison camps as enemy aliens. After the Continuation War, calls for annexation of East Karelia have virtually disappeared.

After Karelia was divided between Finland and Russia in 1918, the Finnic peoples that made up most of the population of East Karelia were promised far-reaching cultural rights. However, these rights were never realised and under Stalin ethnic Finns were persecuted and an intensive Russification programme began. Since the fall of communism, there has been a revival in Finnic culture in East Karelia.


Estonians (Estonian: eestlased) are a Finnic ethnic group native to Estonia who speak the Estonian language.


Finnic or Fennic may refer to:

Finnic languages (Baltic Finnic), a branch of the Uralic language family spoken by the Finnic peoples

Finnic peoples (Baltic Finns), the peoples inhabiting the region around the Baltic Sea

Finnic mythologies, the various mythologies of the Finnic peoples

Finnic mythologies

Finnic mythologies are the various mythologies of the Finnic peoples.

Finnish mythology

Estonian mythology

Finno-Ugric peoples

The Finno-Ugric peoples are the peoples of Northeast Europe, North Asia and the Carpathian Basin who speak Finno-Ugric languages – that is, speakers of languages of the Uralic family apart from the Samoyeds. Many Finno-Ugric peoples are surrounded by speakers of languages belonging to other language families. The concept of Finno-Ugric was originally a linguistic rather than ethnic one, but a sense of ethnic fraternity between Finno-Ugric–speaking peoples, especially Finnic peoples, developed during the 20th century.

The four most numerous Finno-Ugric peoples are the Hungarians (13–14 million), Finns (6–7 million), Estonians (1.1 million) and Mordvins (744,000). The first three of these inhabit independent states – Hungary, Finland, and Estonia – whereas Mordovia is a republic within Russia.

Other Finno-Ugric peoples have autonomous republics within Russia: Karelians (Republic of Karelia), Komi (Komi Republic), Udmurts (Udmurt Republic), Mari (Mari El Republic), and Mordvins (Moksha and Erzya; Republic of Mordovia). The Khanty and Mansi peoples live in Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug of Russia. The Komi subgroup Komi-Permyaks used to live in Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug, but today this area is a territory with special status within Perm Krai.

The traditional area of the indigenous Sami people is in Northern Fenno-Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula in Northwest Russia and is known as Sápmi.


The term in Finnish historiography heimosodat (German: Kriege verwandter Völker) has been translated literally into English as "Kindred Nations Wars", "Wars for kindred peoples" or "Kinship Wars," specifically Finnic kinship. It is sometimes erroneously translated as "Tribal Wars". It refers to conflicts in territories inhabited by other Finnic peoples, often in Russia or in borders of Russia. Finnish volunteers took part in these conflicts either to assert Finnish control over the areas inhabited by related Finnic peoples or to help them to gain their independence. Many of the volunteer soldiers were inspired by the idea of Greater Finland. Some of the conflicts were incursions from Finland and some were local uprisings, where volunteers wanted either to help the people in their fight for independence or to annex the areas to Finland. According to Roselius, about 10,000 volunteers from Finland took part in the armed conflicts mentioned below.

Estonian War of Independence (1918–1920)

Pohjan Pojat ("Sons of the North") and I Suomalainen Vapaajoukko (I Finnish volunteer corps) helped Estonian troops.

Viena expedition (1918)

Murmansk Legion

Aunus expedition (1919)

Petsamo expeditions (1918 and 1920)

East Karelian Uprising (1921–1922)

National revolt of Ingrian Finns (1918–1920)The phenomenon is closely linked to nationalism and irredentism, as Finland had just won its national independence, and a part of the population felt that they had obligations to help other Finnic peoples to attain the same. Estonia, the closest and numerically largest "kindred nation", had gained its independence at the same time, but had fewer resources, fewer institutions ready to support its attained position, and more Russian troops within its borders. Other Finnic peoples were at a less organized level of cultural, economic and political capability. The Finnish Civil War had awakened strong nationalistic feelings in Finnish citizens and other Finnic peoples, and they sought tangible ways to put these feelings into action. For the two next decades, Finns participated at a relatively high rate in nationalistic activities (e.g. Karelianism and Finnicization of the country and its institutions). This development was related to the trauma and divisiveness of the Civil War. Many White sympathizers in the Civil War became radically nationalistic as a result of the war. The strenuous five-year period 1939–45 of total war—which also mostly unified the nation—reduced this enthusiasm.

Ingrian Finns

The Ingrians (Finnish: inkeriläiset / inkerinsuomalaiset; Russian: Ингерманландцы, romanized: Ingermanlandts'i), sometimes called Ingrian Finns, are the Finnish population of Ingria (now the central part of Leningrad Oblast in Russia), descending from Lutheran Finnish immigrants introduced into the area in the 17th century, when Finland and Ingria were both parts of the Swedish Empire. In the forced deportations before and after World War II most of them were relocated to other parts of the Soviet Union. Today the Ingrian Finns constitute the largest part of the Finnish population of the Russian Federation. According to some records, some 25,000 Ingrian Finns have returned or still reside in the Saint Petersburg region.


Kreevins (Latvian: Krieviņi) were Votes who lived in the proximity of Latvian town of Bauska and spoke a dialect of Votic. In the middle of the 19th century they merged with the surrounding Latvians, although many traditional aspects of Votic culture are still preserved. The name krieviņi means "little Russians" (diminutive form) in the Latvian language due to their equally foreign sounding language to Latvians.


Savakot (plural; singular: Savakko) is one of the two main ethnic groups of Ingrian Finns, the other being Äyrämöiset. Savakot are the descendants of the Savonian people migrated to Swedish Ingria (which now part of Russia) from Savonia.According to Peter Köppen, in the middle of the 19th century there were 43,000 Savakot on the Karelian Isthmus. In 1929 in Leningrad Oblast there were about 115,000 "Leningrad Finns", which counted both Savakot and Äyrämöiset and excluded "Finland Finns" (which numbers were 13,000). At that time (1929) their urban population was insignificant. At the same time, their literacy level was among the highest (72%), which was given as a reason for the higher level of their agriculture. Agriculture was their major occupation, with shoreside population engaged in fishing, and small part engaged in logging. Later the self-identification of Savakot disappeared.


Setos (Seto: setokõsõq, setoq, Estonian: setukesed, setud, Finnish: setukaiset, setut or setot) are an indigenous ethnic and linguistic minority in south-eastern Estonia and north-western Russia. Setos are mostly Seto-speaking Orthodox Christians of Estonian nationality. The Seto language (like Finnish and Estonian) belongs to the Finnic group of the Uralic languages. The Setos seek greater recognition, rather than having their language considered a dialect of Estonian. Along with Orthodox Christianity, vernacular traditional folk religion is widely practiced and supported by Setos.

There are approximately 15,000 Setos around the world. The bulk of Setos, however, are found in the Setomaa region, which is divided between south-eastern Estonia (Põlva and Võro counties) and north-western Russian Federation (Pechorsky District of Pskov Oblast). Setos are an officially protected ethnic minority of Pskov Oblast.

The culture of Setos blossomed in the early 20th century when many national societies of Setos were organized. In 1905 the number of Setos reached its maximum. After the proclamation of independence of Estonia its authorities adopted a policy of Estonification of its population, which eventually led to virtual disappearance of Setos as a distinctive linguistic entity of Estonia. In Russia, due to the influence of Estonian language schools, high rates of mixed marriages, and emigration to Estonia, the number of Setos drastically decreased as well.


The Tornedalians are descendants of Finns who, at some point, settled to the areas of today's Northern Sweden near the Torne Valley district and west from there.

Tver Karelians

Tver Karelians are a people who inhabit regions of Tver, Saint Petersburg, and Moscow. Their dialect is remarkable in that it does not borrow from other Baltic-Finnish languages due to centuries of geographical isolation. Although the number of Tver Karelian people is about 14,633, very few (about 25 in one census) name the dialect as their primary language.


Veps, or Vepsians (Veps: vepsläižed), are a Finnic people who speak the Veps language, which belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic languages. The self-designations of these people in various dialects are vepslaine, bepslaane and (in northern dialects, southwest of Lake Onega) lüdinik and lüdilaine. According to the 2002 census, there were 8,240 Veps in Russia. Of the 281 Veps in Ukraine, 11 spoke Vepsian (Ukr. Census 2001). The most prominent researcher of the Veps in Finland is Eugene Holman. Western Vepsians have kept their language and culture. Nowadays, almost all Vepsians are fluent in Russian. The young generation in general does not speak their native language.


Votes, sometimes also Vods (Votic: vađđalaizõd) are a Finnic ethnic group native to Votia in Ingria, the part of modern-day northwestern Russia that is roughly southwest of Saint Petersburg and east of the Estonian border-town of Narva. The Finnic Votic language spoken by Votes is close to extinction. Nonetheless, the Votic language is still spoken in three villages of historical Votia and by an unknown number of fluent Votic speakers in the countryside. The villages are Jõgõperä (Krakolye), Liivcülä (Peski), and Luuditsa (Luzhitsy).Votians were one of the founding people of Veliky Novgorod.


Võros (Võro: võrokõsõq, pronounced [vɤrokɤsəʔ], Estonian: võrukesed, Finnish: võrolaiset) are inhabitants of historical Võrumaa (Vana Võromaa), a region in Southeastern Estonia (Võru and Põlva Counties with parts extending into Valga and Tartu Counties). The term is particularly used by proponents of a regional identity.

About 70,000 people live in historical Võrumaa and many more identify as Võros although they live outside the territory, mostly in Tartu and Tallinn.


The Äyrämöiset or, as the Russians call them, Evrimeiset, are a Finnish language-speaking people who lived in the Saint Petersburg Oblast and earlier also on the Finnish part of the Karelian Isthmus. Äyrämöiset are one of the two main Finnish groups in St. Petersburg Oblast, the other being the Savakot. Most of the Äyrämöiset are Lutherans. The name äyrämöiset (äkrämöiset) comes from the ancient county of Äyräpää (Äkräpää) in the Western part of the Karelian Isthmus - which was a part of the kingdom of Sweden after 1323 AD. In earlier times existed as well an agricultural deity called Äkräs (Ägräs), the god of beans, peas and hemp and the mythological forefather of the äyrämöiset.

Baltic Finns
Sami peoples
Volga Finns
Ugric peoples


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.