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Minne och livsmönster: Skogsfinsk identitet i tre undersökta bosättningar från tidigmodern tid


  • Hanna Bergholm

Summary, in Swedish

Bergholm, H. 2014. Memory and life pattern: Identity of Forest Finns in three excavated settlements from the early modern period.

From the 1580s until the mid 1600s the “Forest Finns” – stemming from the area Savolax in eastern Finland – colonized parts of central and north Sweden. There were several factors that caused this migration; war and overpopulation were two of those factors.
The purpose of this essay is to determine whether the Forest Finns kept their cultural memory, identity, rituals and traditions after having migrated to Sweden during the 1600s.
The method used to achieve this is to compare the common scientific definitions of what is considered “Forest Finn culture” with the findings from three Forest Finn settlements in central and northern Sweden from the 1600s. The sources used are literature about Forest Finns and excavation reports from the settlements. An emphasis is placed on looking for the typical cultural attributes and also for differences within the group. The findings from the excavations are analyzed using the terms “cultural memory” and “identity” to determine what, if anything, could be considered examples of Forest Finn culture.
The comparison between the findings from the settlements and what is considered typical Forest Finn attributes showed that the settlements were quite different from each other as well as from what is used to define Forest Finn culture. The results also showed that there was a big difference in wealth and social status within Forest Finn settlements.
In the analysis of this result questions are raised about whether the common definitions of Forest Finn culture are faulty or not. The definitions seem to be strongly influenced by the over simplistic national romanticism of the 1800s, since a lot of pioneering research was made in that era.






Examensarbete för kandidatexamen


  • History and Archaeology


  • Forest Finns
  • memory
  • identity
  • 1600s
  • Sweden


  • Mats Roslund (Professor)