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Were the “Kainulaiset” in the Kalix River valley Finnish or Swedish-speakers?: A reinterpretation of ethnonyms in Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia area from the Viking Age and onwards
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7114-4605
2018 (English)In: Acta Borealia, ISSN 0800-3831, E-ISSN 1503-111X, no 2, p. 1-33Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Norwegian ethnonym Kven and the Finnish ethnonym Kainulainen occurred at latest in the first millennium AD. A tacit truth held today is that the ethnonyms represent the same ancient Finnish-speaking group, only named differently by Norwegians and Finns. The aim of the article is to find out whether the ethnonyms have been used to designate different groups of people. The Finnish-speakers in the nearby Tornedalen has called the lower part of the Kalix River in northernmost Sweden the Kainuu River and the upper part Kaalas River after the original Sámi name of the river. According to theories on ethnicity they called the lower part the Kainuu River [Fin. Kainuunväylä] because they wanted to mark out the Swedish speakers of different ethnicity, who they called Kainulaiset. The latter mainly settled the lower part of the river in the Middle Ages and Finnish-speakers the upper part. The article reveals that the Sámi variety Gainolâš was used by the Sámi for depicting dominant majority populations of different ethnicity, especially Scandinavians, but sometimes also Finns. It also argues that Finnish settlers in southern Finland and the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia used Kainulainen for depicting Swedish settlers when the two language groups first encountered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2018. no 2, p. 1-33
Keywords [en]
Ethnonym, Kainulainen, ethnicity, nationalism, Sámi, Finn, Kven
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72470DOI: 10.1080/08003831.2018.1536183ISI: 000452061000003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055702490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-72470DiVA, id: diva2:1275975
Projects
Recalling the Past, Silvermuseet, Arjeplog
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M11-0361:1Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-01-29Bibliographically approved

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Where the "Kainulaiset" in the Kalix River valley Finnish or Swedish speakers(675 kB)22 downloads
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Publisher's full textScopushttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08003831.2018.1536183

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Elenius, Lars

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