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Ethnicity, migration and materiality. Forest Finn archaeology
Mid Sweden University.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Archaeology and Ancient History (JAAH), E-ISSN 2001-1199, no 13, 1-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the early 17th century, Finns migrated within the Swedish kingdom from interior Finland to virgin spruce forest areas in Sweden. There they settled in finnmarker, areas with Finnish-speaking households conducting large-scale swidden cultivation, huuhta in Finnish. Eventually they were called Forest Finns. There farms were centered around a rökstuga, a dwelling-house with a stone-oven without a chimney.

Four Forest Finn farms have been excavated. The article discusses how the Finish households were integrated in the local and regional market economy, thus acquiring the same kind of things also used by their Swedish neighbours, including status and prestige objects, e.g. display ceramics and window glass panes. At the same time, they continued to live in their traditional rökstugor, which, owing to different space, light and warmth compared to a Swedish cottage with an open fireplace conditioned other relations between the individuals of the households. The process of change, Swedification, of the Forest Finns was not unilinear.


Ethnicity is the social process of meeting between two or more groups of people forming ‘us-and-them’-relations. The early-modern Forst Finns is an example of complex change as concerns materiality involved in ethnicity, in this case triggered by the meeting of ‘the others’ as a result of migration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala, 2015. no 13, 1-30 p.
Keyword [en]
Agrarian-technical complex, change, ethnicity, Forest Finns, migration, rökstuga, status objects
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-242191OAI: diva2:785078
Available from: 2015-02-02 Created: 2015-01-22 Last updated: 2015-02-02Bibliographically approved

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