The History of Lapland

Written by John Scheffer
Oxford 1674

Of the Division of Lapland.

Those who have writ of Lapland, mention different divisions of it. Saxo in his 5th Book, and elswhere, speaks of two Laplands, and after him Johannes Magnus tells us, that both the Laplands are joined together Southward. I suppose in that division they had respect to their situation, and meant the Eastern and the Western Lapland: for so Damianus Goes, who seems to borrow from Joh. Magnus, expresses it. Lapland, saith he, is divided into the Eastern and the Western, separated from each other by the Bothnic Sea. From whence we may gather that that part of the Country which lies on one side of the Bothnia, was called the Eastern Lapland, and that which lies on the other, the Western.

Besides this division of Lapland, there is another taken from the places most frequented by the Inhabitants. For one part thereof, lying along the Coasts of the Ocean, is from thence called Siœfindmarken, that is the maritime Lapland; the other lying higher on the Continent, Fiœldmarken, that is inland Lapland: tho by some they are calles simply Findmarken and Lappmarken. This last division Pet. Claud. gives us in his 27th Chapter. All the Sea Coasts, saith he, Northward and Eastward as far as Findmarkia reaches, are possest by the Siæfinni, or maritime Finlanders, but the mountainous and champaign Country, by the Lapfinni, from thence named Lapmarkia or Wildfindlandia, that is wild or savage Findland. Where he calls one part of the Country Lapmarckia, the other Findmarckia, the one lying along the shore, and bordering on the Sea, the other mountainous, woody and savage, upon the Terra firma. And this too may be worth our notice, that Wildfinland with him it that which others call Lappmarkia: I suppose, because the Natives live by hunting, as those of the other do by fishing. For he presently adds, There are many thousands in that place that feed on nothing but the flesh of wild Beasts. And indeed some there are with whom those only pass for the true Laplanders: as Samuel Rheen, who in his 2d Chapter of his forementioned Book, tells us, that besides the Scrickfinni (so he calls them that with Pet. Claud. are Siœfinnes) there are other true Laplanders, that live on nothing but rain deer. And so from the Natives feeding on wild Beasts, Lapland properly so called, is also stiled Wildfindland, in opposition to Findmarkia, whose Inhabitants live both on Fish and Cattel. And yet there may be given another reason for the imposition of this name, from the many woods of that Country. Olaus Magnus in more places then one calls the natives, men that dwell in woods, or Savages: as in the title of his 3d Chapt. of his 4th Book, which is, Concerning the fierceness of the Savages, of those that dwell in woods, in which Chapter he describes the Laplanders. And in the following Chapter he says, that the wild Laplanders are clothed with rich skins of several Beasts. The Baron Herberstenius also in his History of Moscovy, calls them Savage Laplanders, who tho they dwell, says he, on the Sea Coast in little Cottages, and lead a brutish kind of life, are yet more civilized then the Savages of Lapland: whence ’tis plain, that by the Finlanders living near the Sea, he means those that others call Siœfinnes, and by the Savage Laplanders those that possess the inland Country, who he thinks were so called from their wildness and barbarity. And by and by he adds, that by converse with Strangers, who come thither to trade, they begin to lay aside their Savage nature, and become a little more civilized. Afterwards he calls them Diki Loppi, which name the Moscovites give them at this time, as hath been shewed elswhere.

There is also a 3d Division of Lapland, that respects the several Princes to whom the Country is in subjection. And this Andr. Buræus intends, when he tells us, The greatest part of Lapland, viz. the Southern and inland Country, belongs all to the Kingdom of Sweden: The maritime tract, that lies on the Ocean, and is called Findmark (whose Inhabitants the Siœfinni, or maritime Findlanders, are so named from their living by fishing) to Norway: The rest of them that dwell from the Castle of Warhuus to the mouth of the white Sea, are subject to the Russians; which part the Swedes call Trennes, the Natives Pyhinienni, and the Russians Tarchana voloch. Of their subjection to these severall Princes, we shall speak when we come to treat of their Government; and also of those parts that belong to Norway or Denmark, and Russia. At present we shall only mention the division of that part which is under the Swedes, and is named by Buræus, the Southern and inland Lapland, and by Petr. Claud. Lappmarkia properly so called. This is divided into six lesser parts called marker, or lands, tho Buræus chuses to render them Territories or Provinces. Each of these have their distinct names, and are called Aongermandlandslapmark, Umalappmark, Pithalappmark, Lulalapmark, Tornalapmark, Kiemilapmark. So Samuel Rheen in his first Chapter, That part of Lapland which belongs to Sweden is divided into the Kiemensian, Tornensian, Lulensian, Pithensian, Umensian, and Angermanlandensian Lapmark. Buræus mentions but five of these Provinces, viz. Umalappmark, Pithalappmark, Lulalapmark, Tornelapmark, and Kimilapmark, comprehending Angermandlandslapmark under Umalapmark, not that they are one and the same Province, but because they are both governed by one Lieutenant. Each of these Provinces take their name from Rivers that run thro the midst of them, as Wexionius in his description of Swedland assures us. As for theis situation, Angermanlandslapmark borders upon Andermannia and Jemtia, to this joins Umalapmark, next to that is Pithalapmark, and then Lulelapmark, all of them lying Westward, reaching on one side to that ridg of Hills that divides Swedland from Norway, and on the other side to the Western Bothnia. Northward of them lies Tornelapmark, and extends it self from the fartheh corner of the Bay of Bothnia all along the North Sea, called by Seamen Cape Noort. Next to this lies Kimilapmark, winding from the North toward the East, and bounded on one side by the Eastern Bothnia, on another side by that part of Lapland that belongs to Russia, and on a third side by Cajania and Carelia.

Moreover these Provinces we are speaking of, are subdivided into lesser parts, called by the Swedes Byar, as Samuel Rheen tells us, and are equivalent to our Shires, and the Pagi of the Ancients. So in Cæsar we meet with Pagus Tigurinus, and Pagi Suevorum, which were not Villages or Country Towns, but large parts of a Country, such as the Greeks called νόμοι, used in ancient times in the division of Ægypt. Hence the Glossary renders the ancient Toparchiæ, Pagus, τοπαρχία, χώρα, νόμος. There are several of these Pagi or Shires in each Province, except Angermanlandslapmark, which makes but one Pagus, vulgarly called Aosahla. Umalapmark hath four, Uma, Lais or Raanby, Granby, and Vapsteen. Pithalapmark seven, Graotreskby, Arfwejerfsby, Lochteby, Arrieplogsby, Wisierfby, Norrvesterby, Westerby. Lulalapmark five, Jochmoch, Sochjoch, Torpinjaur, Zerkislocht, and Rautomjaur. Tornelapmark eight, Tingawaara, Siggewaara, Sondewara, Ronolaby, Pellejerf, Kantekiemo, Awiowara, Tenouthsejochki. Kiemilapmark the same, Enarabii, Sanbeaobii, Kiemikyla, Koulajerf, Kiedkajerf, Mansialka, Saodankyla, Kithilaby. So that all the Territories or Provinces are divided into 33 Byars. In each of these there are several Clans or Families, which the Swedes call rækar, each of which have a certain allotment of ground assign’d them for the maintenance of themselves and their Cattel; not in the nature of a Country Farm with us, but of a very great length and bredth, so as to include Rivers, Lakes, Woods, and the like, which all belong to one Clan or family. In every Biar there are as many allotments as there are families that can live of themselves, and are not forced by poverty to serve others. In the Byar called Aosahla there are about 30 of these Clans, or families, in others more or less according as they are in bigness, which all have their several names, tho ’tis not worth while to repeat them. And thus much shall suffice of the third division of Lapland, not lately made (except that under Charles IX some Clans had certain allotments assign’d them) but derived from very ancient time; as appears from hence that neither the Laplanders have known, nor the Swedes given them any other, since the Country hath bin under their subjection. Nor are the words modern, or taken from any thing that may give any cause to suspect them of novelty: which I the rather observe, that from hence the native simplicity, agreable to the antiquity of the Nation, may appear.