It is also well to note that writers speaking of similarities in cultures between the Old World and New World did speak of a boreal zone of cultures which included the subarctic (taiga) regions of both Eurasia and America (primarily) and which shared a number of cultural features not usually seen further south unless the features derived directly from this cultural region. This area included the use of sleds and sleighs, skis and snowshoes, and the extensive use of birch bark (which is also big in the European Mesolithic as well as the Algonquin area) One of the paramount and characteristic features of this cultural zone was use of the sauna (sweatbath)-DD.
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3. EVIDENCE OF OCEANIC EXPANSIONS
Looking at Algonquians, Picts, and Pacific Coast Tribes
When the long-range seagoing peoples expanded around the arctic sea, in their quest for whales, porpoises, walrus, seals, and so on, they became established in whatever new environment contained these sea animals. However all along there was also fish as a mainstay of their lives, and so these people could enter territories in which such large sea-mammals were rare, but fish was plentiful. Since fish (freshwater fish) were also found inland, skin-boat peoples could also travel up rivers and settle inland, thriving on annual harvests of plentiful fish like salmon. This chapter deals with a few identifiable descendant peoples, arising from the original oceanic peoples. These people arose in a very simple way - they descended the coasts from the arctic waters, and adapted to lives that were less dependent on sea mammals and more dependent on fish. The peoples discussed here include the "Picts", Algonquians, and selected Native peoples of the Pacific coast of North America.
(Note this document is a first version and may have unforseen mistakes in it.)
Obviously if there are sea peoples in the arctic, once they have the capability to do so, they will also start to migrate south along oceanic coasts. Once the skin boat peoples were established in arctic Norway, they were free to migrate southward along the Norwegian coast and into the British Isles, and even further south, establishing people ancestral to the Picts. Similarly once the circumpolar whalers were in the arctic near Greenland, some were free to migrate south along the Labrador coast (the same way the Icelandic Norse ventured south in 1000AD) and establish themselves there, and south to Newfoundland and even further. At the lower end of the Labrador coast was the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, which was the gateway into a large inland water system known as the Great Lakes. They would have travelled into that water system. There they would have become ancestral to the Algonquian speaking peoples, the ones best known for the birch bark skin boats (canoes).
Similarly circumpolar sea peoples arriving at the Bering Strait were free to descend south along the Asian and North American coasts (although ocean currents there favoured the Asian side) We will look at a few Native cultures that were found and recorded at the midpoint of the NorthAmerican coast for cultural and linguistic features that would tie them to the boat-people expansion.
Because voyages across the North Atlantic would begin in the Norwegian arctic waters, we begin our journey with some attention on the great number of rock carvings found at Alta, Norway. I believe that Alta, Norway, was a staging area for many of the migrations that contributed to the culture of the northeast quadrant of North America.
While Lake Onega and the White Sea was the first staging area for the expansion of peoples into the northern seas, the coast at Alta, Norway, was the second staging ground. The region of Alta, Norway, was originally under glaciers, so that location did not become relevant until the glaciers had receded, freeing up the coast as well as the interior.
SCANDINAVIAN PENINSULA FREED FROM GLACIERS
The three maps at right review the concept presented in the main theory of the expansion of boat peoples. In the beginning there were no humans on water (or than creating rafts as needed to cross bodies of water) and north Europe was home to reindeer hunters, each tribe oriented to a particular herd. As the world climate warmed, the reindeer, needing to keep north of the forests, shifted their migrations north and the hunters followed (1). These eventually became the Samoyeds. As the glaciers shrunk, the Kola Peninsula,White Sea, and the emerging Baltic was free of Ice. It was at this time that reindeer hunters could migrate west into the Kola Peninsula (2) (and then further west as the glaciers shrunk) This division of the Samoyeds mixed later with incoming Finnic boat peoples and became the reindeer Saami. And at the same time the new dugout-boat peoples expanded through the north south of the glaciers, eastward until further passage was blocked by the Ural Mountains (3). These formed the foundation of all the Finno-Ugric boat peoples. Finally, with the region of Finland and northern Norway becoming free of ice, and the development of skin boats, many groups of Finnic boat peoples migrated to the northern coasts, to harvest sea life in the arctic seas, especially in the waters warmed by the North Atlantic Drift. (4). Those who remained in the arctic year-round then used the ALTA area coast as a staging location for excursions into the sea both west and south (5)
Alta, Norway is a location that must have been the meeting place for many tribes - tribes who were indigenous and harvested the seas, tribes who arrived seasonally from the interior, and possibly visitors from farther away. The visitors, finding granite hills engraved with carvings, would have added their own at every visit. Such places where many tribes congregate, to trade, exchange news, socialize, and engage in common festivals are well known throughout the world of northern hunting peoples. For example the Lake Onega region was one such place, the region at the mouth of the Vistula another. It is also possible to predict such locations according to the organization of water systems. Such locations appear in archeological investigations as different archeological "cultures" overlapping in that area, suggesting they came together, camped near one another. It is in such locations that sites of religious/spiritual nature can be found.
Alta, Norway granite cliffs are covered with carvings.
For example they show techniques of capturing reindeer that were still found among the Inuit of arctic North America in this century in respect to the caribou (North American reindeer) These rock carvings were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on Dec 3 1985, the only prehistoric site among four Norwegian sites on a list of sites considered to have particularly great national and international value. Since 1972, about 4000 images have been recognized, dispersed on approximately 60 panels in four separate areas in Alta. The largest is at Hjemmeluft/Jiepmaluokta, where Alta Museum is situated. The Alta carvings ceased to be made around 500AD.
As in the case of the other source of arctic boat peoples, eventually there would be a tribe who remained in the arctic and did not migrate back into the interior. Although it is obvious from common sense, it is also proven by the fact that the Alta rock carvings show a great number of skin boats with reindeer heads, hence made from reindeer hides. Since the carvings show moosehead boats and some images of moose too, it is likely that Alta became a major meeting place between peoples from the interior and peoples who had become indigenous to the arctic. All the while there are in the northern interior reindeer peoples who had originated from the east, but were now becoming part of the international mix of peoples converging on the area.
Map using the modern topography, shows that Alta was easily accessible because there were no mountains blocking the way, as well as major rivers oriented in suitable directions. The presence of images of moose and some moosehead boats, suggest that some of the visitors to Alta, who made their own carvings at Alta, migrated to and from the coast in this way from the interior. These people depicted in the Alta carvings were, therefore not exclusively oceanic people. It is this sort of people who are the best candidates for peoples like the Algonquians of North America. (Later in time there is also a connection between the coast and the interior at the Lofotens, as discussed later.).
Besides the tribe, consisting of a number of extended families, being reaffirmed at certain tribal congregating sites, there were places where several tribes could meet. These locations are suggested when archeological artifact material overlaps or has contact. The map shows some locations of overlap which probably were intertribal congregating places. Our interest here with respect to the Atlantic sea-harvesters, is the Alta area. The adjacent map is developed from a learned text on the archeology of northern Europe, that depicts the detectable archeological groupings found in the archeological artifacts. I have proposed certain areas as multi-tribe meeting areas, based on points where three peoples territories meet, as well as major traditions such a rock carving sites. At this early stage, all the archeological cultures shown could have easily spoken the same language, with only dialectic variation. We bear in mind that the main reason for variation in the artifacts is that they lived in different environments. The "Kunda" culture for example hunted seals, so had large harpoons.
The Finnic boat peoples of the interior regions made images according to available rocks. About the same time as the images at Alta were carved into rock, these far-ranging boat-oriented hunters were also drawing the images onto vertical rock walls beside ancient waters. Because of the long range migrations of boat peoples they would be the same or closely related to those from the interior who migrated to and from Alta. The Finnish rock paintings are of similar age as the rock carvings at Alta, but paintings deteriorate much faster than carvings made into granite; hence the Finnish rock paintings are very blurry and smeared. Similar rock paintings are found on similar rock walls in the Great Lakes of North America, but they are much clearer and younger.The people who made the rock paintings and carvings made them only where Nature provided the surfaces. That is why there are large regions without images - there simply were not rock surfaces to use. These people could have been very widely distributed/
The rock paintings at Lake Mackinaw, Ontario, are interesting because they are towards the east, hence closer to the direction from which visitors would have come. For example visitors would have taken a large skin boat up the Saint Lawrence, then created new boats that were more durable for transporting over rough terrain, than skin boats.
The tall cliffs at Lake Mackinaw, in southeastern Ontario, Canada, within Bon Echo Provincial Park, have an impressive concentration of red ochre paintings.
could be a dugout
|Lake Superior versus Alta Artistic
Note the similarity of style between the Lake Superior (La Croix) moose on the left and the moose from the Alta carvings to the right.
In general the artistic style of many of the woodland animals at the Alta carvings is quite similar to Alqonquian artistic styles. The result of North Atlantic crossings and visitors?
Is there any evidence of skin boats in ancient Finnic Scandinavia, used in the interior in the manner of the birch bark canoes of the Algonquians - making them light to be readily carried from one water body to another?
Historical records do speak of small skin boats used in northern Scandinavia among peoples known by names such as the Anglo-Saxon Cwens, Germanic Quans. Historical records speak of the Cwens crossing the northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula easily because of small skin boats that they could portage with ease. To be specific, they are described crossing over into the Lofotens to attack unwelcome Norse settling there as the Danes conquered Norway in 800-1000 AD.
The earliest and most extensive description of it comes from a northern Norwegian of the 9th century, "Ohthere" (in Anglo-Saxon), who spoke about them at the court of King Alfred of Wessex, where his accounts were recorded. King Alfred presented his accounts in his Orosius. The man Ohthere, said as follows:
Then along this land southward, on the other side (east) of the mountain, is Sweden, to that land northwards; and along that land northwards Cwenaland. The Cwenas sometimes make attacks on the Norse over the mountain, and sometimes the Norse on them; there are very large freshwater seas between the mountains, and the Cwenas carry their boats over land into these lakes and thence make attacks on the Norse; the boats are very small and very light. [from Orosius]
I believe that the Cwens, identified today as the Kainu dialect at the north end of the Gulf of Bothnia, may have been a tribe from among the original Finnic natives of forested Sweden. Elsewhere in the historical record, they appear with their names expressed a little differently, such as Quans. Because of the similarity of the word to the Swedish word for 'women' (kvinna) a myth developed in history that the Quans, etc were people dominated by women. But the truth may be that when the region now Sweden was invaded by Germanic men, that they took wives from among the natives, from among the Quans/Cwens and that the Finnish word 'kvinna' came from them. (It would be similar to in North America the word squaw entered the English language.)
[The word Kvina is ethe origin of the English word "Queen", with once again the idea of rulership inherant in it. So I would not diosmiss the idea so lightly-DD]
Since the name UINI or UENE meant 'of the water' it could also refer to a boat (as it did in many Balto-Finnic languages as "Vene") Thus, the actual name of the Cwens/Quans may have actually been NAHK-UENE, 'skin boat', (employing the Esto/Finn nahk 'skin,fur'). Observers would have interpreted this longer word as K'WEN. It is interesting to note that the Finns called the descendants Kainu, which means the original may have been NAHK-UINI since the form with the 'I' can more easily transform to Kainu (NAHK-UINI --> K-UINI --> K-AINU). \
Note that it is also possible, with the Cwens matter, to take the approach that the initial "K" sound was a dialectic feature at the start to launch the UINI, and not an abbreviation of "NAHK". After all, in the same region, there was also the word "Finni". With "Finni" versus "Cwens, etc", we may be talking about Germanic speakers hearing two native dialects, one which they interpreted as having "F" at the front and the other as having "K" at the front. My only reason for pursuing the NAHK-UENE angle is the fact that history records their having very light skin boats, canoes. It sounds very logical.
The K-UINU appear to have carried on trade up the Tornio River reaching the Lofotens via Narvik, thus placing peoples with a more developed, trader, character, in the Lofotens area before the arrival there of the Norse during the 800-1000AD conquests by the Danish kingdom of the time.
The K-UINU skin boats were not kayaks, but at least, they presented examples of light skin boats used for navigating through river systems. It is not known if such boats were always made out of animal skins or whether at any time bark, such as birch bark, was used. Certainly there was birch bark through the area.
The northern Algonquian people of Canada are now famous for the use of boats that used birch bark as their skins. Perhaps, just as the invention of the kayak is the reason for the expansion of the Inuit, the invention of the birch-bark canoe, from original models that used animal skins, was the reason for the expansion of the Algonquians. Birch bark was readily everywhere in the northern forests.
The argument in favour of this approach to the origins of the word 'canoe', is that ancient peoples named things by describing them. Alternative explanations fail to provide as appropriate a description as here. The name for the vessel would have endured, even as the original meaning was forgotten.
In the last section - SEA-GOING SKIN BOATS AND OCEANIC EXPANSION: The Voyages of Whale Hunters. - we looked at many words in the Inuit language of the North American arctic, that showed close parallels with Estonian and Finnish. If here we propose the Algonquian canoe-oriented hunters of the northeast quadrant of North America, also came largely across the North Atlantic, then we should also be able to find connections across the North Atlantic between Algonquian languages and Finnic languages. That is what we want to find out.
Perhaps northeast North America originally did not have people with a boat-using way of life (ie earlier people may only have used boats, rafts, to cross bodies of water, not to use as an everyday vehicle for hunting-gathering.) Perhaps peoples who crossed the North Atlantic, bringing the boat culture, mixed with indigenous hunters, and the combined culture, adding boat use to hunting, experienced a dramatic explosion that caused the migrations inland. The fact that Algonquian languages were found up all the water systems draining into the northern Atlantic, proves that there was an introduction of new culture that was so beneficial that it caused a population growth that promoted expansion. Only a small number needs to have come, who then intermarried with the natives and produced a more successful culture causing their small beginnings to expand dramatically, absorbing or diminishing the original native hunters.
The Algonquians of Quebec and Labrador called themselves "Innu". There were the Labrador Innu associated with the Churchill River, Montagnais Innu associated with the Saguenay River. But as we moved west, the names changed a little. The Algonquins of the Ottawa River valley today call themselves "Iniwesi" which means 'we people here alone'. The Ojibwa peoples use variations of the word "Anishnabe" whose meaning is something more complex than 'the people'. However all the Algonquins have their word for 'man, person' in a form similar to inini.
One of the concepts discussed above is the use of the AMA pattern to express 'water' in the sense of an expanse, a sea. In the discussion of the Inuit language, it appeared it was found there.Yes, we can find it within Ojibwa. For example 'he surfaces out of water' is mooshkamo, the word for water being expressed by I believe -kamo. The AMA pattern is also in gitchi/gami 'great water-body = ocean, sea'. As we saw, the intrinsic meaning of AMA was 'wide expanse, world-plane'. The same idea seems to be present in Ojibwa, in that gami properly refers to a 'water-body, sea' and not to the liquid. But we can go further and even find that one of the Ojibwa patterns for 'mother' is -geem- which is relatively close to gami. Does this indicate a view of a large water body as mother, the same as we see everywhere else, as discussed above? (Estonian ema, Basque ama 'mother')
Let's now turn to the Ojibwa word for 'water', the liquid.
As already suggested, the Finnic word VEE or VII is the stem for 'water'. But also the pattern UI- in Estonian/Finnish also speaks of water, liquid. It is possible that vee developed from ui-. The -N adds the idea of possession, genitive case.
Although the Inuit language presents the V sound, the Ojibwa/Anishnabe language lacks the V, and B plays the role of the V. In the Ojibwa/Anishnabe language there exists the suffixes biiyauh a verbalizer meaning 'quality character nature of water or body of water' and bi, bii 'verbalizer/nominalizer refering to liquids, water'. Examples are biitae 'water bubble', biitau 'surf', nibi 'water', ziibi(in) 'river', mooshkibii 'he surfaces out of water'. It can be argued that the sounded "B" was the original sound, since it is easier to make than "V". In other words, the Inuit "V" and even the Finnic "V" may have originated from a softer B-like sound that is simpler than "V". (A chimpanzee can produce a "B" sound!) Thus the original word for 'water' or 'liquid' may have sounded not like modern Est/Finn. "VEE", "VII" but more like "BHII" or "WII".
It is clear that there is indeed parallelism between the Ojibwa and Estonian/Finnish, considering that Ojibwa did not have the "V" sound, that "B"="V". While Inuit presented the pattern UI- for 'water', Ojibwa presents BI. We note that the sound "V" can also evolve from a consonantal use of U (ie "W"). Is it possible that "UI" was the original word for water among the original boat peoples?
Concluding, generally we see that, although vague, both Inuit and Ojibwa have words that suggest that at a very ancient time the concept of 'expanse of sea' was AMA, and that the 'expanse of the sea' was identified with the World Mother. Furthermore, both have the same word meaning 'water, liquid' if we allow the possibility that "UI-" can evolve into "BI-". And we can include the Finnic languages, if we allow that "UI-" can also evolve into "WI-" and "VI-".
Are there more connections between Algonquian language and Finnic? The following paragraphs will take a quick and brief look at the Ojibwa language, to see how it fares in terms of finding Estonian/Finnish parallels. The examples given here are from the "Ojibway Language Lexicon" by Basil Johnson, presenting the dialect of north of Superior, a dialect that is unlikely to have been subject to much influence from other cultures in the past.
COMPARING OJIBWA AND FINNIC
Ojibwa Koogaediwin means 'village', 'temporary encampment'. As we saw in PART TWO SEA-GOING SKIN BOATS AND OCEANIC EXPANSION: The Voyages of Whale Hunters. there was Inuit qaqqiq 'community house' versus Estonian/Finnish kogu/koko 'the whole, the gathering'. Indeed in the Estonian landscape a common name for a village was Kogela 'place of gathering'.
We saw that the Inuit language had the dual form, but that was not significant since the explicit recognition of a dual form is only needed if the concept of being in a paired situation is important. What was important though, was that it appeared that the dual form was marked by the "K" as it is in Estonian/Finnish (example kaksi). In Ojibwa too, the sound "G" appears to have a function similar to Estonian at least. The pronoun niin means 'I' but adding ge- to the front as in geniin makes it 'me too'. This is analogous to Estonian ka mina 'also me'. It applies similarly to other pronouns. Ojibwa reveals a dual in the imperative, where commanding two people is marked by -G at the end. For example commanding one person is biindigen! 'you go inside', while commanding two people is biindigeg!. This resembles the Estonian plural imperative, which uses the -ge ending as in mine! becoming minge!.
Ojibwa also distinguishes between animate and inanimate words. All nouns in Ojibwa or Cree language are animate or inanimate and the verbs must agree. The main implication is that animate nouns always end in G in the plural, while inanimate nouns end in N in the plural. For example the animate inini 'man' in plural becomes ininiwag while the inanimate ishkode 'fire' becomes ishkoden. This phenomenon of animate versus inanimate can be interpreted in an interesting way. Animate beings are things which 'accompany' the human, and thus require the K, G sound that marks accompanying. There is no distinction between animate or inanimate in Estonian/Finnish, but once there may have been, since many names of animals or trees begin with KA, KO, KU. For example Estonian karu, koer, kajakas, kaur, kala, kull, kask, kuusk, etc . It suggests the primitive ancestors named animate things with "KA" plus some descriptive suffixes. It is clear that in the ancient past there was a more systematic use of the K sound in ways that recognized parallelism of animate things.
It is significant to investigate the Ojibwa word for 'land, earth'. As I said above, if the sea-people used the word AMA to refer to the World-Mother, and mainly to the Sea-Mother, then they would have had another name for the land. In Basque, 'earth' is given by lur. This could in my view originate from ALU-RA 'way of the firmament, foundation'. The Ojibwa word for 'earth' is aki, but this word is similar to Ojibwa words related to time! For example ajina 'a while, a short time'. And once again we see a parallel since it compares with Estonian aja- stem for aeg meaning 'related to time'. In the Inuit examples we saw Inuit akuni 'for a long time', which we compared to Est./Finn. aeg/aika 'time', kuna/kun 'while', and kuni/--- 'until'. Estonian also has the interesting imperative akka! meaning 'begin!'. Ojibwa has akawe! with the reverse meaning 'wait!' These examples of words pertaining to time suggests that the Ojibwa word for 'land, earth' presents the concept of 'the everlasting place'.
One of the unique aspects of boat-people spiritual world-view is that spiritual journeys are seen to be carried out in spirit boats. The word for the soul-spirit in Ojibwa is chiibi after death and chiijauk when still alive. We can speculate on whether it has a connection with the Chi of oriental worldview, but for the present, we can point to Estonian, and its traditions using "HII".
Most recently in Estonian tradition HII was used in the idea of grove as in püha hiis 'sacred grove', thus one may wonder if it only meant 'grove'. The answer is that püha 'sacred' is probably redundant in püha hiis. The -S ending on hiis suggests it originates from HIISE, meaning 'something connected with HII'. Elsewhere in the Estonian vocabulary one finds that hiig- means 'extreme, giant', and indeed that parallels also to English high. (As I propose elsewhere English arose from a pre-Indo-European base that was of the same linguistic universe as the Finnic languages, and many English words are interpretable by Estonian when they cannot be interpreted by any other language.)
The concept 'big, high, great' exists in Ojibwa also in the word kitchi. Perhaps there is a connection between the two CHI situations. (?)In that case the common concept in all is 'extreme'.
However, the Ojibwa use of CHII in chiimaan, the word for 'canoe, boat, water-vessel' is peculiar, but can be explained in terms of the concept of the human body being a vessel of the spirit -- the boat too was seen as a vessel, container, hence the name chiimaan.
To continue the quest for parallelism, the following are a sampling of words in no particular order, that jumped out at me. A proper study of correspondences requires a greater knowledge of Ojibwa than I have. Ojibwe, like Inuit, is built from strings of elements. There are no clear 'words' in the sense of modern European languages having clear 'words'. Thus it is necessary to be able to break down the words into constituent components.
The Ojibwa word inashke! sometimes abbreviated to na! can be compared to Estonian näe! 'look!' which is based on Estonian/Finnishnäha/nähtä 'to see'. There was a similar situation above with Inuit.
The Ojibwa word awun 'fog' is interesting because the Algonquians had the practice of the sweat lodge, which in Finnic is called sauna. In Finnic the word fails to break down, other than au means 'honour'; but if we assume auna is 'fog', then the initial S would suggest 'in the fog'.
An interesting Ojibwa word that used the word for 'water, surf' is kukaubeekayh meaning '(river) falls'. This word compares with Estonian/Finnishkukuda/kukua 'to fall'. Also kukozhae 'ashes, cinders' may reflect the same meaning of falling. An Ojibwa speaker can tell us if the implication in the kuko- element is 'fall'.
Ojibwa kun means 'bone', and it compares with Estonian kont 'bone'.
Ojibwa pun means 'lung' which reminds us of Inuit puvak 'lung' which connects well with Estonian puhu 'blow'.
Ojibwa puyoh means 'womb', which reminds us of Inuit, paa 'opening', Estonian poeb 'he crawls through' Est/Finn poegima/poikia 'to bring forth young'.
Another Ojibwa word element that is both in Inuit and Estonian/Finnish is -nozhae- 'female'. We recall Inuit ningiuq 'old woman' and najjijuq 'she is pregnant'. These compare with Estonian/Finnish stem nais-/nais- meaning 'pertaining to woman, female-'. The Ojibwa nozhae is very close to Estonian/Finnish nais-/nais-, and with exactly the same meaning. Estonian says naine for 'woman', genitive form being naise 'of the woman'
In Inuit we found the word for 'father' to be ataata. However the common Estonian word for 'father' is isa. This is reflected in Ojibwa -osse- 'father'.
In Ojibwa we have the following referring to trees: metigimeesh 'oak', metigwaubauk 'hickory', and metigook 'trees'. In Estonian/Finnish mets/metsä means 'forest'.
Ojibwa iss, iz, izo is a verbalizer, reflexive form, indicating action to the self, to one, to another. This compares with Estonian/Finnish ise/itse '(by) self'.
Ojibwa kae is a verbalizer that makes nouns into verbs. Can be compared to Est/Finn. käis/kydä 'to go, function'. There was something similar in Inuit.
Ojibwa ssin, assin shin is a verbalizer meaning to be in a place. This compares with Estonian/Finnish cases and words that use -S- and denote a relationship to the 'inside' of something. For example Estonian says tule sisse to mean 'come inside.' Note that we found above that Inuit too employed "S" to convey the idea of 'interior'
In terms of pronouns there is nothing close to Estonian/Finnish, except for kakina 'all' which compares with Estonian/Finnish köik/kaikki also meaning 'all'.
Another very close parallel is between Ojibwa naub or naup meaning 'lace, string together, connect, join, unite', and Estonian/Finnish nööp/nappi 'button'.
Ojibwa pagi, pagid 'release, let go, free liberate, set free' can be compared to Estonian põgenik/pakolainen meaning 'refugee, escaper'.
Ojibwa asin means 'rock', which compares with Estonian/Finnish asi/asia 'thing, object'.
Ojibwa kayashk 'seagull' corresponds to Estonian kajakas 'seagull'.
The preceding is a small sampling of words that leap out to a person familiar with Estonian. It is by no means an exhaustive study. Further study is necessary, possibly focussing on words shared with other Algonquian languages and Inuit. What is interesting about the Algonquian languages is that their distribution in northeastern North America is such as one would expect if boat peoples travelled up all the rivers after descending via the winds and currents of the Labrador and Newfoundland coast, and finally being discouraged to go further south only below Newfoundland where the Gulf Stream current came from the opposite direction. The exception to this pattern are the Cree, who lived in the water basin of the south part of Hudson Bay. It is however possible that the Cree transferred into this northern water basin after first travelling up rivers such as the Ottawa or Saguenay, and then followed the Hudson Bay southern coast.
If the Algonquian boat-using hunter-fisher-gatherers originated from voyagers who crossed the North Atlantic at an early time (and they could be a southern branch of the "Dorset" culture) then we have to consider that the voyagers may have all been men, and they took wives from people already found there, indigenous people without a boat-culture. The combined talents perhaps produced a new more prosperous culture that caused a population explosion that then fuelled the expansion up the rivers. We must not forget that we cannot have a dramatic expansion of peoples without population growth, and we cannot have population growth without some beneficial development. I suggest that if the original peoples of northeast North America did not use boats as a daily vehicle, then a people who came with a boat-culture already developed would have introduced the conditions that would have caused the required population growth as they would have entered an untouched economic niche.
We also note that the Algonquians who retained the name Innu to describe themselves, were within Quebec and Labrador. Is it possible then, that the influence of the newcomers was strongest where they first came, and that the influence degenerated with those who migrated westward into the interior? Are the Algonquians indeed descended from the "Dorset" culture? Common sense is that the "Dorset" did not vanish. Some merged with the Inuit, and others would have been pushed south into Labrador and Quebec. Pushed south, and into the interior, they were no longer able to make their skin boats out of walrus skins, and thus was born the birch-bark skin canoe. It is logical.
As stated at the start, the INI, form was used by the Algonquians of Labrador and Quebec in the form Innu. Nonetheless the more westerly Algonquians still had words of the form inini to mean 'man, person'. Since the Inuit had inuk to mean 'man, person' we have to conclude that there is some sort of connection between them, that they both ultimately originated from peoples who came with skin boats.
There is no question that there once existed an "Atlantian" people. They travelled the north Atlantic ocean, camping on islands, as we can see in the illustration of Greenland Inuit whale hunting. They were short people, and that is to be expected too, as an adaptation. People who travel extensively by boat need strong upper bodies, but can have short legs (Short legs on large torsos can be still seen among the Inuit - short legs are also good for reducing loss of body heat) Author Farley Mowat (Farfarers, 1998), pictured a people he called "Albans" based in the British northern islands. He pictured them being most interested in walrus, and travelling as far as the Labrador coast to obtain walrus ivory to sell in Europe. Mowat's view of the skin boat traditions of the northeast Atlantic was far too narrow, however. He made no mention of the rock paintings of skin boats in Norway, and made no connection between the Norwegian examples of skin boats and the skin boats of the British Isles, recorded in historical records and surviving through the centuries as the Irish "curragh".
We can read with interest when Farley Mowat reveals that in the traditions of the Shetland Islands in the north of the British Isles, sea-harvesting peoples called the "Finns" appeared.
Existing Shetland traditions speak of a people called Finns who inhabited Fetlar and northwest Unst for some time after the Norse occupied Shetland. This name is identical with the one by which the Norse knew the aboriginals of northern Scandinavia. It is also the name given by Shetlanders (of Norse lineage) to a scattering of Inuit (sic). who, in kayaks, materialized amongst the Northern Isles during the eighteenth century.. (Mowat, Farfarers: Before the Norse, p 110, Toronto, 1998)
But it did not occur to Mowat that these were the same people as the ones he was looking for, and not some other people? He was looking for people closer to himself - settled people living on the coasts - and thus did not seriously consider "Finns" to have been identifiable with "Sea-Lapps" from the Norwegian coast, and that possibly they were less primitive than the Inuit/Eskimo he assumed they were. The difference between the Altantic seaharvesters that were called "Finns", and those who left a record of skin boat use in the British Northern Isles, may be simply that the latter became more localized by becoming more involved with the economies of the interior of Britain. There is indeed proof that skin boat peoples of the British Isles were more localized than their migratory ancestors, and found everywhere on the coasts, at least on the west side. According to Mowat in Farfarers, the Roman poet Avienus, quoting fragments from a Carthaginian periplus (seaman's sailing directions) dating to the six century B.C. described a rendevous with native British in skin boats as follows.
To the Oestrimnides [Scilly Islands] come many enterprising people who occupy themselves with commerce and who navigate the monster-filled [ie walruses, seals, whales, propoises, etc] ocean far and wide in small ships. They do not understand how to build wooden ships in the usual way. Believe it or not, they make their boats by sewing hides together and carry out deep-sea voyages in them. (quotes in Mowat, Farfarers)
The people described in the above passage are clearly not the long ranging oceanic aboriginals, but still they are probably descended from them. Finding good conditions in the British Isles, and the ability to trade wares from the sea for other goods, they would have formed an intermediate culture. It is these people that are identifiable with the archeological "Picts". They exploited land resources and trade, (such as keeping sheep and goats on various islands roaming wild, to harvest from time to time when they stopped there). It was never a one-dimensional situation.
Evidence that the skin boat of the British Isles was descended from the Norwegian skin boats is found as late as the 18th century. A drawing of a curragh from the 18th century is interesting in that there is an oxhead on the prow. This is remarkable as it suggests descent from an arctic European tradition of putting the head of the animal whose skin is used, at the prow, a practice that began with the moose-skin boats and the moosehead on its prow, visible in ancient rock carvings such as those in the Norwegian arctic at Alta, and Sørøya, and other places like Lake Onega.
When boat skins were later made of planks, the practice of the head on the prow seems to have continued for a time, giving rise to the "dragon boat" concept. The presence of the "dragon-head" in Norse vessels demonstrates that the Germanic conquerors of the Norwegian coast (800-1000AD) became identifiable with seafarers purely from the Finnic natives starting to speak the Germanic language (Norse), and participating in the new Norse culture. The idea of Vikings originating from Germanic heritage is false. They originated from the Finnic boat peoples, and became speakers of Germanic Norse in much the same way that North American Native peoples have become English speakers..
Another important historical reference presents us with another truth that ought to be obvious - that the skin boats of the British Isles crossed the waters to Norway as well. This comes from Pliny the Elder dated to 77 A.D. in which he writes about information from an earlier historian Timaeus whose original work has been lost.
The historian Timaeus says that there is an island named Mictis lying inward six day's sail from Britain where tin is found and to which the Britons cross in boats of osier covered with stiched hides. (Pliny, NaturalHistories, IV, 14, 104.)
Mowat suggests that this place called Mictis might have been Iceland. However if the skin-boat seafarers of the British Isles had an intimate relationship with any location it may have been the Lofoten Islands of Norway. We also note that since the Gulf Stream flowed past the British Isles and north towards the Lofotens, then the sailing was with the current. If we can use Finnic to decipher the word Mictis, we could suggest something like MÄGE-D-ESE 'mountainous land/place' , which is an obvious description of Norway. Finnic languages were highly syllabic, and foreigners speaking Greek or Latin had a tendence to compress syllables.
If they travelled to the Lofotens, that brings into play the Cwens spoken about by Ohthere (as discussed earlier), who seem to have carried on trade between the Lofotens and the Baltic, employing portable skin boats, canoes.
Thus we can accept that many of these oceanic skin-boat peoples, who ventured away from the Norwegian arctic waters where they began, and then became localized among the British Isles, tended to sheep on land behind their huts, and traded with interior peoples; but at the same time the traditional way of life would have continued as well: there were also the long-range migrations of traditional oceanic people, who made circuitous migrations from one harvest area to another. They would be the ones who would camp for a time on outer islands (like the Shetlands) to use as a home base for harvesting the surrounding seas. The "Finns" of Shetland traditions were not, I'm certain, accidental visitors of Inuit. I think they were people who deliberately migrated in a circuit which touched on Iceland, Faroes, Shetlands, and Norway.
These oceanic people would have had no interest in making their way into the dangerous surf close to the coasts. They appear to have preferred staying in the outer islands. Why not? According to historical references to Irish monks seeking to live on isolated outer islands, and encountering only the natives there, the "Picts", the dwellings the natives created resembled igloos made of stone, that is, domes (or near domes with a small roof) created by piling rocks round and round. They procured goats and/or sheep and placed them on grassy islands, and from time to time came back to the island to capture and eat them in addition to what they caught in the seas. Obviously those "Picts" who became more settled, if any did, became more diligent breeders of these sheep and goats.
History affirms that Iceland had aboriginal peoples, but not on the main island which had little more than volcanoes. They were the Eskimo-type people who were better off camping on the outer island close to the areas they fished and hunted. Since these were seasonally migratory people, foreign observers would never observe them to be settled anywhere. They would never need to build any permanent dwellings anywhere. Thus the absence of any early permanent settlement on Iceland should not be construed as Iceland being unknown. It was known, alright - by aboriginal peoples. They were known by the "Picts" and "Finns" too insomuch as they themselves were aboriginal or semi-aboriginal. Therein lies the problem in Mowat's Farfarers - he cannot accept that the people he envisions - the "Albans" (one group among the Pictish north of the British Isles) - were more primitive, more like Greenland Eskimo, than he wants to admit. Why this problem? Because there has always been a dicotomy of view as to the "discovery" of North America. Archeologists and anthropologists accept that aboriginal peoples may have migrated throughout the arctic waters, and known all about Iceland, the North Atlantic, Labrador, etc. - already maybe 5000-6000 years ago. But there is also that racist perspective which says "aboriginals do not count", and so there are endless debates as to whether the Norse landings around 1000AD were the "first" or whether there were earlier landings on Labrador or Newfoundland coasts, by Irish monks; or some other group. Who cares? Aboriginals always knew, and European seagoing aboriginals from the Alta area, visited and perhaps stayed millenia ago. Archeology has found evidence of contact with Europe - primitive aboriginal Europe.
Mowat, growing up in a generation that saw North America as an unknown land first visited by Eric the Red and others - the romantic story that enthralled schoolboys a half a century ago - NEEDED to make his "Albans" just as civilized and just as part of the European civilization as the Norse. If they were aboriginal like the Sea-Finns of Norway or like the Greenland Eskimos, well there would not have been a story; there would not have been the "Wow" factor, of proposing people from Britain encountered the Labrador coast and Newfoundland even before the Norse. Thus Mowat, needing civilized peoples in Iceland, started looking for evidence of farms and settlements there, before the Norse. Oh yes, there were the aboriginals camping on islands doing their sea harvest, but if we want to find the somewhat civilized "Albans" then we have to find farms. And so Mowat ventures the theory that many of the farms attributed to Norse, were actually stolen by them after they wiped out the "Albans".
It is assumed by most academics today that Iceland was the Thule mentioned by the Greek traveller Pytheas, who voyaged in the north around 320BC, presumably with natives as hosts or guides. We should not assume that Pytheas sailed unknown waters of the north with a ship and crew from the Mediterranean. He was obviously taken by people who knew the region and Thule was the name they gave to Iceland.
Most likely Pytheas was a Massilian merchant (ie at Marseilles) who was always engaged in commercial dealings with Veneti merchants who were established in Brittany and constantly sailing to and from Britain (according to Julius Caesar), as well as delivering goods south via the Loire and Rhone River routes. He may have asked the Veneti traders if he could accompany them north, and if they would show him where major northern goods came from - tin, walrus ivory and skins, and amber - since in fact his journey proceeds first to Britain (where tin came from) then to the Orcades (Orkney Islands) where once there were walrus herds, and finally it appears all the way to the southeast Baltic, where the island of Abalus was identified as the source of amber.
We have mentioned often that the original Scandinavia and northern Britain was originally "Finnic", and that means linguistically as well. Indeed even today the surviving northern reindeer Saami are considered linguistically Finnic. The next closest are the Finns and then Estonians. (I don't know the Saami language, and therefore my comparisons are with Estonian ) Thus it is interesting to note that the word Thule seems to be a simple Finnic word that easily describes Iceland. Considering that Iceland is an island with active volcanoes that erupt ever generation or so, it would be natural to call it '(island, land) of fire'. In Estonian it would be pronounced exactly as the Greeks would say Thule (In Greek Th represents the softer "D" sound. In Estonian and Finnish the single T is spoken like a "D". A double T is needed for the harder T of English)
The modern Estonian word for 'volcano' is tulemägi literally 'fire-mountain', and so the word tule is correct in association with volcanoes. "TULE-" is the stem to which endings are added, and so a foreigner would always hear the stem as case endings are added (tule-sse, tule-st, tule-lt, etc). Thus Pytheas, listening to his hosts speak, would repeatedly hear "dew-leh" which would be written in Greek Thule. Finnish adds an -N for the genitive, hence 'of fire' is tulen, which agrees with one ancient reference which called it Tylen.
Because they have long disappeared, assimilated into the Norwegians, most people are unaware that the peoples formerly called "Lapps", earlier called "Finns" and today called "Saami" were not a single cultural group. Their various dialects were also different enough to almost be regarded as separate languages. Generally the literature says, there were three types of "Lapps", the Sea-Lapps, Forest Lapps, and Reindeer Lapps, all but the last enduring in the Norwegian north into modern times. The Reindeer Lapps have endured strongly, and that is why they, or "Saami" as associated with reindeer herders, today, and the public knows little of the fact that the whole Scandinavian peninsula was once filled with "Finns" of every nature. In other words, at one time, perhaps as late as the stories of "Finns" camping on the Shetlands, there were "Sea-Lapps" of "Sea-Finns" down the. Norwegian coast, and travelling into the British north to fish; and there were "Forest-Lapps" or "Forest-Finns" across the entire Scandinavia where land was not under the Germanic plow, as far as Finland and beyond. Southern clans and tribes, those in greater contact with encroaching farmers, whether Celtic or Germanic, adapted towards more civilized ways - adopting farming, engaging in trade, following European culture. The matter of "Finns" is not black-and-white. The northern isolated regions had more primitive "Finns"("primitive"=living self-sufficiently off Nature) and the southern farmable regions has more civilized "Finns" ("civilized"=living within established civil structures, interdependent, specialized activities).
History reveals that Britain was invaded by Romans and Celts, and then by Germanic invaders. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the withdrawal of Romans from Britain, history states that there were three groups fighting to seize power in the void left by the departure of the Romans - the Germans (Angles, Saxons, etc) pushing in from the southeast coast, the Celts pushing in from the southwest coast, and the "Picts" from the north. When the term "Picts" is used in historic texts, it refers generally to all the peoples in the north, which would generally tend to exclude the primitive peoples there. What is important is that the north was different from the Romans and the Celts, and had its own language, which was presumably the native British language.
History reveals that when southern civilization pushes into the north, it assimilates natives from south to north; thus it is a reasonable assumption that the northerners, whether seafarers or not, were descendants of the original British who retained their original language and culture. (Those in the south had become Romanized or Celticized) Author Mowat did not like to use the term "Picts" because he chose to see the "Picts" as immigrants, accepting a legend described by the Anglo-Saxon monk-scholar Venerable Bede. He therefore invented "Albans" to maintain a distinction. My own view is that the term "Picts" was always an ambiguous term when used. It included anyone in the north parts of Britain, whether trade, fisherman, crofter, or migratory aboriginal "Pict" who moved from place to place in an annual cycle. My view is that, as in recent North America, the impact of civilization has different effects on different native groups. Some become very involved in civilization, and others remain grimly entrenched in their traditional ways. And of course those who became increasingly involved with Roman, Celtic or Germanic ways, eventually assimilated into them and vanished.
After Britain had been taken over by Anglo-Saxons, Ireland by Celts, and the Scots were beginning to take over in the north, a monk scholar named Venerable Bede, in his description of Britain, attempted to identify the "Picts" of his time and their origins. Obviously deriving his information from arrogant patronizing Celtic sources, perhaps Irish monks, he told a strange story of Picts arriving by sea in longboats, attempting to land in northern Ireland, and being told by the Scots there that the land was full and they should cross over to what is now Scotland. The Picts in Bede's north were a peculiar people in that they followed their descent matrilineally. It is in the nature of legends to try to explain prevailing realities; thus the explanation for their matrilineal culture was that when the Scots told them to move on, the Scots also gave the Picts Scottish wives because the Picts came without any women. Out of gratitide the Picts therefore kept track of the lineage of these Scottish woman. What patronizing garbage!
This story is obviously self-serving self-glorification on the part of Scottish and Irish legend-weavers. If we investigate the matter, the evidence seems to point to a different story. The Picts, descended from native people, were in northern Ireland first, and the Scots were migrating from the southern parts of Ireland in search of a place to settle. Reaching the north, they found the Picts there, and it would be the Picts that told the Scots to cross over into the northern part of Britain, since the first Scottish settlements appear on that side. The Picts who told the Scots to move on, according to Ptolemy's geography of Ibernia (Ireland in the Roman Age), were probably those he called Rhobogdi. This word can be interpreted as a low vowel dialect version, or an interpreter's corruption, of a word that in higher vowels would sound like RHIBIGDI. If we assume that RHI- is some sort of descriptive prefix, then we have BIGDI, a word that is a perfect candidate for the origins of the word Picti that first appeared in Roman records in the third century AD. (Yes, the word is first used with reference to a people in the north of Britain about the same time as the information of Ptolemy's geography of Abion and Hibernia!)
The soft form of BIGDI is significant in that Finnic language tends to be softer. (T is more like "D", P more like "B", K more like "G", unless these are all doubled). If we interpret it with Estonian, it could have a simple meaning '(people) of the catches' (ie catches of fish, etc) which in modern Estonian would be püükide ("pew-kee-deh"). (Supporting the presence of such a word in western Europe is the French word for 'catch' pêche) It seems reasonable that during Roman times, the northerners would come south to sell their catches at markets, and, since the catches from the sea were the major product of the north, all the northerners could have eventually acquired the general description of 'people of the catches'. One of the problems faced by people trying to make sense of the Picti word, is that in Caesar's time the peoples south of the mouth of the Loire were called the Pictones. That was the reason Mowat assumed that some of the Pictones migrated north with some of their neighbouring Veneti, and that was where the name came from. But if the name had a descriptive meaning, the two names could be a coincidence: both fished and both assumed a name that described that.
The Venerable Bede, said also that the Picts came "in longboats from Scythia". We can read this part of the legend in the following way: The people identified as Picts were seen in Bede's time to recieve long distance traders arriving in longboats, and it was observed the Pict language was similar to that of the visiting traders. It was established that these visitors came from "Scythia", and thus the deduction was that the Picts had originated in the same place.
In Greek times "Scythia" referred to all the lands north and west of the Black Sea, but by Roman times only the northern parts remained "Scythia", the southern part becoming "Sarmatia". By Bede's time "Scythia" would have been understood to be the lands to the east of the east Baltic coast. Since all the peoples with boats and engaged in trade in "Scythia" were in Bede's time (a century or two before the Vikings), Finnic (Estonians, Livonians, etc) , we conclude that the Picts to which Bede referred were those who were part of a trade network, and who recieved goods from the east Baltic coast. Given that to the west of the Rhobogdi Ptolemy shows Vennicni, we can presume that the Vennicni name is a corruption of Vennicones in Ptolemy's Albion near Aberdeen, and that these are identifiable with the trader-Picts who were part of the Veneti/Venedi world of traders. Thus we see two groups identifiable with "Picts", the sea-harvesters who only fished, and the traders who maintained trading posts and warehouses and awaited the arrival from time to time of a longboat with goods. Within these two groups, the level of primitiveness, or civilizedness, varied too; however I believe that in general, the larger populations in the south generally saw the north as the region of the "(fish) catchers" in much the same way that in North America, the eastern coast is generally seen as the regions of "fishermen" , or the "fishing industry" even though much else is going on there too.
There has been a tradition to assume that the name of the Picts, originating from Roman"Picti" first used in the early 3rd century AD, was derived from a Latin word meaning 'painted', presumably from native British painting their bodies for war. However all indications are that it was an indigenous word, not one invented by Romans. The appearance of a people called Rhobogdi has been mentioned above. We will look at Ptolemy's naming more closely. The map below shows the two locations of the names Rhobogdi and Epidi.
I show how one can arrive at Epidi by raising the vowels and abbreviating Rhobogdi. Such names were collected in Roman times from sources who were usually not natives, but officials working for the Romans and the distortions could have been made by the official and not the natives themselves. Since the major occupation of the northern peoples was harvesting the sea, one could suggest that the Picti word (Bogdi in the example), had something to do with catching fish, etc. That inspires us to suggest the Estonian püükide 'of the catches' may be some sort of parallel. (We bear in mind that Estonian has a very strong sea-trader tradition and would qualify as being located on the coast of "Scythia"which the Venerable Bede claimed was the source of the Picts!) The Rho at the front, would be the RA found in Rhone, Rhine, etc. which means 'way, path' and is often seen in the names of the earlier trade waterways (Ptolemy named the Volga Rha) but more often ot appeared as a suffix: Lige-RA, Wese-RA, Od-RA, etc.
There probably were two types of historic Picts. One type were sea-harvesters and used skin boats made from walrus hides, lived nomadically on outer shores and islands, and lived in semi buried circular rock shelters (like igloos, but made of rock and covered with sod). They were of the oceanic sea-hunter stock which had ultimately come from arctic Norwegian shores, and perhaps remained tied to it. The other type of people associated with the term "Pict" in later history, were long distance traders of the Veneti trade network, who made their stops at the trader-Picts. Ptolemy's map even suggests these trader-Picts were established beside the sea-hunter-Picts in order to be handy to each other. To the west of the Rhobogdi were the Vennicni and on the east side near today's Aberdeen were the Vennicones. Since the term VENNE, VENTA, etc were associated with trading, they can be seen as the trader-Picts, with long distance trade links to the east Baltic coast (the coast of "Scythia")
In his description of "Picts" Bede was probably describing the more visible trader-Picts, descendants of VENNE traders, not the less visible Picts out at sea, and living on islands and coasts. The sea-harvesters would rarely have been encountered by farming peoples, if the VENNE traders served as intermediaries in any trading contacts with the farmers to the south(Celts, Saxons, etc). The trader-Picts, as stated, may have been people of a Baltic-Finnic nature, hence the connection with "Scythia" behind the east Baltic. But the sea-hunter-Picts could have had another dialect, more like the dialect of the Greenland or Norwegian sea-hunters. Or indeed, something like the Greenland Inuit, if we include them among the North Atlantians.
Mowat, in reviewing Bede's story as I described it, accepted Bede's story hook line and sinker, and therefore, if "Picts" were immigrants, had to invent "Albans" as the original people. To deal with the reference to "Scythia" Mowat said that it was a reference to the Scilly Islands at the southwest tip of Britain. But this presumes Bede was confused about what "Scythia" really meant - which is impossible as everywhere in Latin texts "Scythia" is east of the east Baltic (Finnic) coast. Where then does "Scilly" come from? In Ptolemy's geography, not far from their location the name Uxella appears. I suggest that the Scilly Islands were originally called "Uxella Islands", and the modern name "Scilly" is a corruption of that over the centuries. ("Uxella" via Finnic suggests a combination of uks and -la giving 'place of the door, port' which reminds us once again of the deep Finnic aboriginal nature of not just Scandinavia, but east into the British Isles.)
The end of both the seagoing "Finns" and the "Picts" came around 1000AD, as a result of the conquest of the Norwegian coast by the Danish kingdom, and then the expansion of the Celtic Scots into the Pictish north. The dominant culture eventually takes over. Memories of "Finns" visiting the Shetlands, or accounts of dark-complexioned "wild Irish" (as the illustrator of the curragh called them), may represent the last witnessing of these peoples in the British Isles. After civilization arrived in the British north, there was a new breed of fishermen, who lived in settlements, did farming or kept herds on the side, etc. They weren't real sea-people, forever migrating seasonally from camp to camp. They were land people who had a permanent settlement and went to sea now and then.
Most references to ancient British, whether they were called peoples of Britannike or Albion, referred to the highly visible localized and settled peoples of the British mainland. They did not refer to the sea-going peoples with their skin boats who inhabited the outer islands and coast, and appeared to observers only at coastal markets. Thus these sea-people are relatively invisible in the historical records made by visiting Greeks and Romans.
I think that there was in the British Isles ALWAYS the dicotomy of peoples, the peoples of the land territories and the peoples of the surrounding seas. And because they lived in such different environments they did not interract very much, and were therefore ethnically somewhat different, although ultimately both were of the same origins in the northern aboriginal boat-peoples or water-peoples in general.
When the British Isles were invaded by the Romans and the Celts, the only escape the sea-hunters of the British Isles had from the aggressors, was to simply sail away, find a new place to live that lacked the ugly Europeans. Some may have migrated to Canadian shores. It is interesting that according to archeologists the natives called "Beothuks" appeared in Newfoundland around about Roman times. Interestingly, when Portuguese captured some into slavery in the 17th century, there is one record that stated that they resembled Portuguese except a little taller and better built in the upper body. Were they Picts, refugees from Roman expansions into the British north? Did the name "Beothuk" have a similar meaning? (In Estonian püüde or even peode means 'of the catching'; also we note that Ptolemy identifies a tribe named Epidi) I have no doubt that Farley Mowat did look at the Beothuks of Newfoundland as candidates for his "Albans", but as before, rejected them because they were too primitive. His book Farfarers simply HAD to be about civilized peoples not about aboriginals; otherwise how could it trump the saga of the Norse. Imagine if a book talked about aboriginal seagoing peoples in the British Isles "discovering" North America. The concept has been advanced and is continuing to be advanced by archeologists. For more discussion about the subject tackled by Farley Mowat in his Farfarers, including a better theory about mysterious "longhouse foundation" remains on the Labrador coast, see the background article: EXPLAINING "LONGHOUSE FOUNDATIONS" ON THE LABRADOR COAST
Pure common sense alone suggests that boats landed on the Canadian coast of Labrador and Newfoundland numerous times, since the circumstances of sea-faring aboriginals, and ocean currents to carry them towards the west has existed since about 5000BC. And if so then we would expect that the cultures and languages of the peoples of the Canadian arctic (Inuit) and of the forested regions below (Algonquian-culture peoples), would possess in their language and culture elements that can be compared with those of the Finnic-Uralic world at the origins of skin boats, and more directly oceanic people of the northeast Atlantic, historically appearing as skin-boat peoples there, described as short people called "Finns" and in northern British waters, "Picts".
I believe that all the Atlantic oceanic people originated from the same origins - the skin boat peoples who harvested the seas off the coast of arctic Norway. That was their training ground. Once they had mastered their way of life and their populations grew, some wandered south, discovered the British Isles, and then with continued success, some continued further south. Now finding themselves in regions with large trees, they could create ocean-going vessels again with wood.
The Basque language, is acknowledged to be pre-Indo-European. Some scholars assume that the Basques are descended from the original peoples of nearby regions dating back to the cave people who left art on cave walls. However, we have to recognize that there were two types of people during the pre-Indo-European civilization in Western Europe - the seagoing people and the interior people. The Basques display strong seafaring traditions, and therefore it is reasonable to propose that they are descended from the Atlantic seagoing peoples. This in turn implies that they are distantly related to Finnic and Inuit cultures, to the peoples of the expansion of boat-peoples. While it is possible the Basques learned whaling in the modern era, it is equally possible that the Basques have always known, and have had an ancient connection with peoples like the Greenland Inuit whalers. We don't know very much about what the Basques did in ancient times.
It happens that Basque presents some words that can be interpreted with Estonian. Not too many - otherwise linguists would already have made a connection common knowledge - but it is there. Reasoning the possibility of Estonian and Basques having a common origins, if the Basques originated from the earlier boat-people, the dugout people, and not the later oceanic skin-boat people, then the separation between Basque and the Finno-Ugric languages would have been maybe as much as 12,000 years, because that is when the "Maglemose" dugout-boat peoples began to expand. That amount of separation is far too great to find any similarlities at all. On the other hand, if the Basques emerged from oceanic hunters, then the linguistic distance would be less, less than 6000 years, dating back through arctic Norway and Lake Onega to the "Kunda" culture. In other words, if Basque roots lie at the same place as the roots of Inuit, that is going back to the whale hunters of the White Sea, then the common language is about the time of the Lake Onega or White Sea rock carvings, or about 6000 years ago. It follows that we SHOULD find the same nature of similarities between Estonian and Basque as between Estonian and Inuit, or other boat people descended from the same "Descendants of KALLU".
Would it be reflected in a comparison of Basque and Estonian?
A genetic connection between two languages cannot be proven by conventional comparative linguistic analysis if the two languages are more than about 3000 years apart. However the ability to find a great number of coincidences that are unlikely to have been borrowed from a mutual third language, has statistical significance. If there are coincidences better than what would occur by random chance, conclusions can be drawn from it. Let us do a short comparison of Basque and Estonian words. For more discussion about how reliable such comparisons may be, see the sidepanels in PART TWO.
COMPARING BASQUE AND FINNIC
The grammatical structure of Estonian and Basque are similar, having many case endings, for instance. But it is not close enough to merit discussion. Our intention here is not to make definitive linguistic discoveries, but to show that - along with the other evidence - comparing Basque with Finnic does not contradict our theory.
I will focus on words: I used a mere 1000 common Basque words as the source, and my own basic knowledge of Estonian words. I found that the majority of Basque words were obviously Basque versions of Romance names, borrowed from many centuries of influence from Romans and then French and Spanish. Thus if we eliminate the Romance words, we greatly reduce the number of usable Basque words.
From this limited word list I found a rate of coincidence with Estonian that is significantly greater than random chance. One has to recognize that the Basque words have to not only resemble Estonian words but the meanings have to resemble each other too. The probability of such double coincidence by random chance is very low. Usually, when bad comparisons are done, the analyst finds correspondence in the form, and then contrives an explanation to bring two meanings such as "insect" compared to "small" because an insect is small - such absurdity. You will not that in the following comparisons, the meanings are the same or very close.
Words I found include: Basque su 'fire', compared to Estonian süsi 'coal, ember', süüta 'fire up'; Basque oroi 'thought' compared to Estonian aru 'understanding'; Basque ama 'mother' compared to Estonian ema 'mother'; Basque uste 'believe' compared to Estonian usk 'belief', usu 'believe'; Basque ola 'place' vs Estonian ala 'field (of endeavour)'; Basque kale 'street' vs Estonian kald 'bank, shore' (ie original streets of boat people were rivers, shores); Basque ke 'smoke' vs Estonian kee 'boil'; Basque leku 'space' vs Estonian lage 'wide open (place)'; Basque hartu 'take' vs Estonian haara 'grab hold'; Basque ohar 'warning' vs Estonian oht 'danger'; Basque tira 'pull' vs Estonian tiri 'pull away, pull loose'; Basque gela 'room' vs Estonian küla 'living place, abode, settlement'; Basque lo 'sleeping' vs Estonian läbeb looja '(it, like the sun) sets, goes down, goes to sleep'; Basque marrubi 'strawberry' vs Estonian mari 'berry'; Basque txotx 'twig' vs Estonian oks 'branch''; Basque ohe 'bed' vs Estonian ase 'bed'; Basque osatu 'complete' vs Estonian osata 'without any part''; Basque or zakur 'dog' vs Estonian koer 'dog'; Basque jan 'eat' vs Estonian jänu 'thirst'; Basque jarraitu 'continue' or jarri 'become' vs Estonian järg 'continuation', järel 'remaining, to-come', etc; Basque giza 'human' vs Estonian keha 'body'; Basque haragi 'beef/meat' vs Estonian härg 'ox'; Basque izen 'name' vs Estonian ise(n) 'of oneself'; Basque lau 'straight' vs Estonian laud 'board, table' (ie straight piece of wood); Basque lasai 'calm' vs Estonian laisk 'lazy' or lase 'let go'; Basque ezti 'honey' vs Estonian mesi 'honey;
Basque is considered to be descended from the people the Romans generally called Aquitani, located mainly in the Garonne River water basin as far as the Pyrennes mountains. Aquitani in fact implies 'water-people'. The name may originate from Uituriges or Uitoriges ( Caesar Gallic Wars, I, 18) the name of a people who controlled Burdigala the town on the lagoon formed by the outlets of the Garonne River. The word Uituriges or Uitoriges resembles Estonian/Finnish because the the first part corresponds well with UI- words meaning basically 'swim', such as Estonian uju, Finnish uida. The latter part of Uituriges, is the word meaning 'nation' (as in Estonian riik, riigi), hence the name Uituriges means 'floating nations'. An alternative name for them in the historical record was Bituriges. If this was a true alternative name, then we should look to BI in the meaning of 'water', and the full word paralleling modern Estonian Veederiigid, meaning 'water-nations'. This latter version would be the most applicable inspiration for the Latin Aquitani. I believe in a pre-literate world where people and places were named by describing them, that it is possible BOTH versions Uitoriges and Bituriges were used.
The most interesting word in Basque from the point of view of sea-peoples is the word for 'water' which is ur. This word exists, in my view, in the name "Uralic Mountains". Clearly URALA is a Finno-Ugric word. But can we connect the first part UR- with Basque ur? Perhaps we can if we allow ur to an abbreviation of UI-RA. The -RA is a widely used element of the ancient world, appearing in association with travel-ways. Furthermore, the Basque allative case ending (motion towards) is -ra. Combining this with the appearance of UI in the historical name Uitoriges, suggests it is possible Basque ur is an abbreviation of UI-RA, 'the way of the floating, swimming'. It obviously did not view 'water' originally as the liquid but as the sea over which the seafarer travelled.
The Basque word for 'earth' appears to add an L to ur producing lur. But it is more likely from ALU-RA, 'land-territory path'. ALU (Estonian alu 'base, foundation, territory') is reflected in Basque ola meaning 'place (where something is done)'. Thus here once again the Estonian interpretation mirrors something in Basque, indicating too that Basque and Estonian were closer at an earlier time. The chances of the Basque lur being based on ALU is supported by the fact that in Roman times the stem ALU occurs several times, especially in the Roman name Albion but more clearly in the Greek Alouiones (read ALU-AVA-N). If the native British used ALU or ALO 'land-base', 'territory' as the stem for some geographic names, then we can expect that the ancestors of the Basques did too, since in seafaring terms both places were part of the same Atlantic world.
ON COMPARING WORDS OF TWO LANGUAGESThe comparing of words of two languages is treated with suspicion by linguists because it is so subjective. What one scholar thinks is close, may seem far for another. For example one scholar who likes to find Basque everywhere, has written "Canada, spelled Kanada in Basque, clearly is assembled with the vowel-interlocking formula: .ka-ana-ada, akabu (ultimate, extreme end) anaitu (to get together) ada (noise of...), 'At the far end we'll have a noisy-get-together' i.e. 'On the other side we'll have a party'. This interpretation is absolutely and utterly absurd. Ancient people named places by their most characteristic and obvious description. A large lake, for example might be called "Large Lake" in that language. Even an Estonian interpretation of "Canada" would be better than the one presented above - konnade '(land) of the communities' - because it is a plain obvious description.
In comparing words of languages, I try to be restrained, to limit the comparisons to extremely obvious parallels. If we do not limit ourselves to close parallels, we enter the realm of the imagination, in which the human mind becomes able to see anything in everything.
In PART TWO: SEA-GOING SKIN BOATS AND OCEANIC EXPANSION: The Voyages of Whale Hunters) we looked at the Wakashan group in the region of Vancouver Island, who were original arrivals on the coast and brought whale hunting traditions. In this section we look further at the Northwest coast of North America.continue south along the Pacific coast of North America and consider other Native peoples whose relationship to the whale hunters is less clear. As I mentioned in PART TWO, during the 1970's when a student at the University of Toronto, I went into the stacks where books are kept and pulled books off the shelf covering the North American Native (Indian) languages, flipping through the word lists, to see if words that resembled Estonian words jumped out, focusing on basic words such as those for 'mother', 'father', 'earth', 'sky', 'water', 'fish', 'sun', 'day' and so on. What I discovered was that I was seeing Estonian-like words in several languages along the middle Pacific coast, known more commonly as the Northwest Coast (of North America). PART TWO looked at the acknowledged whale hunter peoples around Vancouver Island whose languages have been grouped under the name "Wakashan", with special attention to the Kwakwala (Kwakiutl) language. Below, we take a closer look at the situation on the Pacific coast with a view of understanding better the origins of the various peoples there - which ones came by boat already with maritime traditions, and which ones moved to the coast later from the interior and adapted to coastal life. It is the ones who were boat peoples originally in which we hope to find a background extending back in time to the circumpolar skin-boat migrations.
THEORIES ON THE ORIGINS OF THE NORTHWEST COAST CULTURE
Because of the peculiar features of the Northwest Coast native people, features which include totem poles, colourful masks and other traits of advanced culture and technology, scholars have tended to separate the development of the Northwest Coast culture from the general average progression of culture among the more inland native people. Origins in Polynesia and Asia have been proposed owing to various similarities in art and artifacts. However, recent archeological findings and scholarly studies do not support such a simplistic idea as a wholesale settlement of the coast by immigrants from elsewhere. Any visitor to the Northwest Coast in at least the last 5,000 years would have found the coast already occupied by a strong and healthy maritime people. Thus a migration coming from the sea would either have been chased away, or if they managed to find a place to settle and be at peace with their neighbours, they would have been assimilated into the dominant surrounding culture after a few generations; Only if the immigrants came in a fleet of boats with a superior technology could we expect the language and culture of the newcomers to become established and survive. Such an event is not likely to have occurred; however, before the coast was settled, indeed before North Americans even considered maritime life.
However, in the case of intrusion by land from the Interior, the displacement of the coastal people already there would not have been as difficult, because the displacement would not have to occur suddenly, but it could occur slowly as natives of the Interior slowly learnt the ways of the coastal people and bit-by-bit intruded into their economic niche.
After the initial arrival of boat peoples around 3000BC, the coast developed mainly on its own (in situ), accepting influences from the interior natives. Apparently the culture and population blossomed from about 3,000 BC, and as Knut R. Fladmark determines from his paleoecologi'cal study (A Paleoecological Model For Northwest Coast Prehistory. Knut R, Fladmark, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa,1975), this occurred as a result of the sudden flourishing of the salmon owing to a stabilization of a previously fluctuating ecological environment which greatly affected the fish. The number of archeological finds from that period onward suggests that the coastal people acquire free time to develop higher culture and energy-expensive technology, and the population grew.
Another explanation for the sudden flourishing of the coast from around 3000BC could be that previous populations were not inclined towards boats and fishing, and the sudden flourishing resulted from newcomers introducing this new maritime way of life that made greatest use of the abundant salmon. It is possible that original Americans, derived from land-based people, may have looked upon fish like today modern people look upon snakes or insects. It took newcomers in boats to introduce the highly beneficial notion of catching and eating the plentiful salmon.
The main groups of native people on the Northwest Coast were the following. There was the northern group which included the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and Haisia, South of them, centred around Vancouver Island were the people of-the Wakasham group which included Kwakiutl (Kwakwala), Nootka, Bella Coola,etc. Further south there were primarily the people known as Salish.
NORTHERN GROUPS: WAKASHAN, SALISH , HAIDA, AND TLINGIT
Linguistically, the northern and Salish languages are different from the Wakasham languages, suggesting that people with different languages have arrived from the interior and taken up the maritime culture of the people who were originally there.
It is believed that the Wakasham cultures most closely represent the original cultures of the Northwest Coast The first to present this theme was Franz Boas who in 1902 and 1910 papers, according to Fladmark (p268) "saw an early basic unity of culture around the North Pacific, from Siberia to the Columbia River. This continuum was later disrupted by a coastal Eskimo migration, separating Siberian and Northwest Coast cultures and by the intrusion of the Tsimshian and Coast Salish, Boas based the Tgimshian migration on traditional histories of certain clans who claimed an interior origin. The theory of a coastward Salish movement was initiated by the pioneering archeological research of Harlan I, Smith, who interpreted a number of traits found at Marpole and Port Hammond shell- middens as being of Interior derivation..."
Since 1950, publications by C.E. Borden have pursued the concepts of an early Eskimo substratum and later migrations from the Interior. Fladmark quotes Borden with the following passage, written after Bordens first season of field work at Whalen Farm site: " While the evidence which was gathered last summer... cannot be as yet regarded as conclusive, the data that were obtained strongly suggest that an earlier group of Indians who lived at this site for a considerable time, and whose entire organization was evidently coastal by long tradition, was eventually overwhelmed by intrusive Indians whose culture exhibits strong ties with the interior... It appears that an early period of extensive dislocations among the Indian groups of the Northwest were caused by repeated waves of migration of Athapaskan speaking peoples sweeping from Northern regions southward along the coast and through the interior.. Great unrest was caused among the Salish, It appears that Salish-speaking groups were jostled out of positions in the interior of Washington and migrated towards the coast, where they adapted themselves to a new life. They did not necessarily settle for long periods in one place but often may have been hustled along to more distant places by newer groups coming from the interior" (Borden,1950, p245)
Regarding other linguistic groups on the Northwest Coast, besides the Wakashan and Salish considered above, Borden had these notes in a second paper of 1954:(pl94, quoted by Fladmark p 271) " Again, if as it seems, the Haida and Tlingit languages are related to Athapascan we may assume that when the late-arriving Athapascan peoples were expanding, some of them either crowded or followed the early Salish southward into the interior of British Columbia, while a few groups, especially the ancestors of the Haida and Tlingit, filtered through river valleys...to the coast where they either displaced, or more likely, mingled with the (Wakashan?) maritime population already present, at the same time adopting much of their coastal culture. "The origin of the Tsimshian is obscure. They may be late arrivals from Asia (cf. Barbeau), but it is also possible that they migrated northward from an early southern habitat... It is probable that the Tsimshian came to their present location from the interior."
According to Borden, the prehistory of the Northwest Coast as archeology shows it in investigations done the following stages of evolution 1)An early maritime or "Eskimoid" culture with northern origins; 2)coastal migrations of interior groups, 3)a final repatterning and intergration of elements derived from early Interior and Coastal cultures.
To put it simply: First came the whalers from their circumpolar migrations who established maritime culture where none had existed before, and then interior people seeing new opportunities in unoccupied coastal locations, migrated to the coast, and finally there were various degress of merging of cultures as the two cultural and linguistic groups interracted. Two of the coastal peoples with interior origins are the Haida and Tlingit.
By 1962, after excavations in the Fraser Canyon, Borden still believed the ancestral Wakashans were responsible for the original maritime culture on the Northwest Coast, but now was wondering if their culture was transferred back north and caused the success in the Eskimo there to cause their west-to-east expansion (the "Thule" cultural expansion) Borden avoided proposing a common ancestry for Northwest Coast and Eskimo culture by using the term "Eskimoid" (Eskimo-like). However, other scholars went on to propose such a common ancestry. (Our own theory of the circumpolar expansion of boat peoples, particularly whalers, of course proposes a common ancestry going back to the first development of sea-peoples at the White Sea.)
Fladmark does not place much faith in theories pertaining-to an Asian or Eurasian connection, but acknowledges the possibility in the following passage: "..it is always tempting when dealing with microblade assemblages to draw comparisons and ultimate origins from Eurasian Upper-Paleolithic cultures. Certainly it is possible to find Eurasian parallels for any of the traits of the Early Microblade Complex - for example thick-nosed scrapers of the early Moresby Tradition of the Queen Charlotte Islands are remarkably similar to Aurignacian carinate scrapers. However, the marked absence of important Upper Paleolithic traits, such as true burins and backed blades on the Northwest Coast, indicates that correspondences are generalized, and any attempt at directly deriving the Early Coast Microblade Complex from Old World ancestors would be speculative at least." (p286) Fladmark himself relates the archeological evidence to paleoecological events on the Northwest Coast, and concludes with the following theory. Before about 5000 years before present there were oscillating sea-levels varying river gradients, and climatic fluctuations along the entire coast which maintained regional salmon . and other anadromous fish productivity far below present levels. Thus, during the period from about 10,000 years before present to 5,000 tears before present, the coastal people did not depend on fish as much as they did after. Archaeological data pertaining to before 5,000 B.P. (before present) show that the early cultures on the coast belonged to two groups: a northern group who were probably marine oriented (who probably hunted sea animals and were generally "Eskimoid"), and a southern group who were probably land-oriented. The former is called the Early Coast Microblade Complex, and the latter the Lithic Culture type. Kitchen middens (accumlations of refuse) from this early period lack shells (indicating the people did not eat shell-fish) and art work or articles of ground stone, After 5,000 B.P. [=3000 BC]archeological sites along the entire Northwest Coast show large midden accumulations of shells, ground stone ornaments and art-work. This sudden surge in culture Fladzuark attributes to the ecosystems stabilizing and the regional salmon species suddenly becoming very productive. According to Fladmark: "When salmon achieved full productivity, man probably required little or no adjustment in his exploitive technology" The maritime technology for catching fish was already in place, so that "adaptive developments took the form of specializing towards this resource more than any other, and making requisite adjustments in settlement and energy dissipating mechanisms in response to the pronounced seasonality, locational concentration, and high magnitude of this single energy source."(p296) As I said earlier, another approach is that the indigenous peoples did not exploit salmon because to them it was a strange creature, and then the arriving maritime culture promoted it within themselves and to all with whom they came in contact. Salmon were plentiful and life began to revolve around the salmon.
Before life began to revolve around the salmon, the coastal people were mobile and scattered. Afterward, the people became more focussed on this resource which produced massive amounts of food ('energy') on a seasonal basis. The result was the availability of energy to devote to the manufacture of technological and cultural items. Based on numbers of radiocarbon-dated artifacts, a surge in-population occurred between 4000 B.P and 3000 B.P. (2000BC to 1000BC)
Comparison of the languages and mythology beween the Wakashan (using Kwakwala as the example) and Finnic languages was done in PART TWO, and it tends to agree with the archeological findings of connections with Inuit, and ultimate origins in the ancient Finnic whaler cultures depicted in the rock carvings of arctic Scandinavia. It is hard to argue against the conclusion that the Wakashan languages and cultures originate as "Sons of the Thunder-god KALLU" , and were then influenced subsequently by the newcomers - Salish, Haida, Tlingit - from the itnerior. See PART TWO >> SEA-GOING SKIN BOATS AND OCEANIC EXPANSION: The Voyages of the Whale Hunters for full investigation of language and mythology of the Wakashan peoples, particularly Kwakwala (Kwakiutl)
Other languages further south, also with echoes with Finnic languages/cultures, produce their own unique mysteries.
SOUTHERN GROUPS OF NORTH PACIFIC COAST --KAROK, YUROK, & HUPA If we refer to the map above, we find the Karok, Yurok and Hupa at the south end, in northern California.
While the story towards the north seems to speak of early arrival of the Wakashan groups from the north as "Eskimoid" whalers, and later migrations towards the coast of interior peoples, plus some mixing, the story towards the south is less clear. However we look at it because of similarities with Finnic culture.
The Karok, Yurok and Hupa formed the southern focus of the so-called North Pacific Coast Culture While most of the information of this culture comes from studies of the Yuroks, there was a hight degree of cultural uniformity among the three groups: neighbours on the same river highway, they visited each other's performances of the same festivals, intermarried and feuded over the same issues. (Drucker p 176)
Surrounding this pronounced culture, further south and further inland were simple patterns of Central Californian genre (Drucker p 177) North of this area where the Pacific coast cultures of diminishing intensity until one reached the Columbia River and the Chinook tribes. In this area too, in the interior was the Kalapuyan tribe, which we will look at also, later.
As concerns the Karok, Yurok and Hupa cultures, in spite of the sameness of culture, the languages are not. The Karok language is not closely or obviously related to any other language.
In my investigation of Pacific coast languages for words that resembled Estonian or Finnish, I looked at all three, and the Karok language had most examples by far that could be compared to Estonian/Finnish. Since Karok bears no resemblance to Yurok or Hupa, we can presume that this association between the languages is a relatively recent development - one or two of them being original, and the remaining/remainder arriving in the area by migration. Before I advance a theory about Karok origins, we will look at the Karok culture and then at words that resonate with Estonian/Finnish words - as much as I could find using the limited word list in the source material.
BACKGROUND TO KAROK
The Karok , Yurok and Hupa tribes are a group that - in spite of their different language - practiced a similar culture. All of them occupying the Klamath River valley in northwestern California, wherever their culture came from, the river valley tied them all together culturally.
This distinctive northwestern California culture, which may be considered a variety of the North Pacific culture centering in British Columbia, reaches its most intense form among these three tribes
The Karok-Yurok-Hupa culture lacked many of the features of the culture to their north, but to compensate there was an elaboration of certain features well beyond what was practiced in the north, such as the development of the use of dentalia shells like modern money.
DENTALIA SHELLS AS MONEY
The Nootka who 'fished' the shells, like other northerners, sorted them into large medium and small sizes, and strung them by an imprecise fathom. Yurok on the other hand, graded their shell treasures like jewelers sorting fine gems, and devised a standard of measurement. Yurok strings were all the same length. The unit of highest denomination was a string filled from end to end by ten shells of nearly equal length. (Drucker p 177-178)
The Yurok and presumable Hupa and Karok, thus used dentalia nearly like modern currency. Indeed every adult male has a mark tatooed on his upper arm by which he could check the accuracy of the length of a string of dentalia held between thumb and forefinger.
Naturally societies that have established a monetary standard are interested in "monetary wealth" and so there was an overwhelming interest in weath, and indeed the society idealized the notion of men spending as much time possible in the routine of sweat bathing and cold water bathing, partial feasting, observing strict continence, gathering sweathouse wood all for the ultimate purpose of achieving wealth. (Drucker 183)
While the Nootkan and Kwakwala people in British Columbia put themselves through various purification rituals just as rigorously, they did not identify as precisely as the Karok, Yurok and Hupa, what the outcome of these rituals would be To the tribes in British Columbia, the purpose of purification rituals was to become charming and charismatic so that the spirits of the environment would act favourably towards them, but what constituted favourable behaviour was left open to the circumstances and needs of the time.
As in modern monetary society, the Karok, Yurok, and Hupa even assigned value to rare items that had little instrinsic value like the dentalia shells, large obsidian blades, scalps of giant pileated woodpeckers [!!!], and skins of albino deer. The pursuit of rare goods to which are assigned a high value is an obvious raison d'etre for a trading people, and I wonder if a trading people arrived at the mouth of the Klamath perhaps 2000 years ago (about the time of the Romans when there were several seatrading peoples like Phoenicians and Veneti) and settled there on the river, and by doing so transferred their trader material culture to the natives, including the sauna (more about the sauna, below) We note that in the northeast parts of North America too, the native peoples had little concept of material wealth until the concept was brought by European traders seeking furs and suddenly transforming an animal's coat into a monetary unit.
ORDERLINESS IN CUSTOMS AND LAW
Other aspects of the society also indicated sophistication of the kind we associate with Europe. The principle of wergild was used as a device for resolving conflicts (conflicts resolved by suitable payments) based on the value of a man's life being equal to the bride price paid for his mother. In terms of how much penalty there should be, "With the same kind of precision shown in their refinement of the dentalia-grading system, they worked out an elaborate scale of seriousness of offences against the person, from murder to an insult....This systematic approach gave an orderliness to Yurok law that was lacking in the wergild settlements of groups far to the north, where grandiose demands for blood money were just as grandiosely rejected." (Drucker, p 184)
Yurok (and presumably Karok and Hupa) society was made up of small groups of patrilineally related males, clustered around the genealogical senior of the unit, the 'rich man'. Nominal owner of the sweathouse and the group's wealth, he directed activities of the group-owned economic tracts, such as a section of the salmon weir of acorn grounds. However, as among other Coast Indians, wealth was really a group, not individual property....(true also in Europe in the non-Indo-European regions like across northern Europe in the Finnic regions in Roman times)
THE SWEATHOUSE (SAUNA)
Although sweat bathing was found throughout North America in more improvised forms using rocks heated in a fire outside, among the Karok, Yurok and Hupa, it was refined into an institution with its own special building and rituals. The sweat bath was an important part of the ritual purification for good fortune. The men usually assembled in late afternoon for the sweat bath; when they left the sweathouse by the flue exit, they plunged into the chill river water, then spent several hours alternatively immersing and scrubbing with aromatic herbs, while reciting formulaic prayers for good fortune." (Drucker p 180) Primitive sweathouses were found among other Indian people throughout North America notably the Algonquians who we believe are also from boat-people, hence ultimate north Scandinavian aboriginal origins. But here it was in a permanent structure with an interior fireplace. Drucker described it as follows: They Yurok sweathouse was a rectangular structure of planks....The walls lined the sides of a deep pit ....A large fire pit in the floor provided direct heat, not steam, for sweating. Men entered through the usual round doorway......Ethnographers and others who observed the Indians still using their typical structures were impressed by the neatness of the sweathouses....Sweathouses rarely contained more than neat wooden stools and well-polished wooden headrests, which were individual property of each occupant, and perhaps a load of wood stacked beside the fireplace....etc. (p 180)
Was the similarity of the Karok-Yurok-Hupa sweat house with Finnic sauna of the last millenia a coincidence? The natural result of continued development from the primitive makeshift "sweat lodge" of the Algonquians and others? Or does it suggest, as with other cultural behaviour the arrival of traders into the Klamath, from Finnic sea trade peoples of Roman times or earlier? (The southerly Finnic cultures in the European north, through contacts with continental Europe and beyond, did establish seatrade in northern waters and possibly south too via amber trading)
Perhaps the Klamath River peoples, already shaped by early whale hunters, received a new wave of visitors, now more advanced, who were able to enhance what already existed (based on the principle that it is easier to evolve from something that already exists than to invent something entirely new and therefore mysterious to the general public.)
As a result of the pursuit of wealth the Karok-Yurok-Hupa culture was more secular than the coastal Indians of British Columbia. Here, instead of working to please ambiguous imagined spirits, men worked to gain the liking of the dentalia shells (to attract money), or quite real things such as charming a real deer he could see rather than an imagined spirit before seeing a real deer.
Still, there WAS religion, just as there is religion in out modern secular world. Humans need to addess an unknown even if in most of their regular lives they deal with hard reality not superstition. There was the World Renewal Cycle. Because their live was based on harvesting salmon, and collecting acorns, the ritual involved the concept of ancestral people and the First Salmon and the First Acorn. This ritual ensured continued success in harvesting salmon and acorns. Peculiar to the Karok-Yurok-Hupa societies was that they generated major festivals around these rituals, whereas towards the north the ritual towards the first salmon was a solemn act, which was not spun into celebrations, socializing, etc. In this respect once again, their culture resembles what was found in northern Europe among the indigenous aboriginals, when they gathered at places accessible to several adjacent tribes. In particular, Finnic culture had the midsummer festival that marked the longest day or shortest night of the year, with a huge bonfire to light up the night during the few hours of darkness -- but this was a concept only found in the north where the annual progression of the length of day or night was dramatic ultimately culminating above the arctic circle in days or nights lasting months.
Are these similarities in culture and daily life with developed Baltic Finnic culture of maybe the Roman Age, pure coincidence? The result of parallel evolution from the foundations laid down by whale hunters? Or does it suggest traders of ultimate Balto-Finnic origins arriving at the mouth of the Klamath around the Roman Age - before or after? Are the further coincidences in words in the Karok language, suggestive of later arrivals, or are we looking at words carried to the area already from early times by the first whalers to migrate down the coast from the circumpolar boat peoples?
The Karok language is not closely or obviously related to any other (in the area), but has been classified as a member of the northern group of Hokan languages, in a subgroup which includes Chimariko and the Shasta languages, spoken in the same general part of California as Karok itself (William Bright pg 1)
This suggests to me that the Karok may have arrived by sea, and travelled upriver. Possibly there were no people along the river originally, if the indigenous people were land-based and had no interest in fish, and the Karok found an empty economic niche. Perhaps the Chimariko and Shasta are descendants of the original arrival.
The following is my investigation of Karok words
NOTES ON ORTHOGRAPHY USED HERE
The Karok words in the source The Karok Language, William Bright, uses a phonetic orthography dating to the 1950's. In order to be reasonably consistent with what I did with writing out the Kwakwala language in a more readable fashion, I interpreted the orthography of the Karok words in my own way like with the Kwakwala, based on the Latin phonetics. The accent mark in the original I show by bolding and the dot I show by doubling the letter. Sadly until recently with the establishing of an international phonetic alphabet there have been very many phonetic orthographies, so that I am sometimes lost when looking at older materials - since I am not a trained linguist familiar with such things. If my interpretation of the sound of a KAROK word is a litle incorrect, I don't think it is serious enough to alter the comparison with an Estonian/Finnish word. We are not pursuing precise linguistics here, just scanning for coincidences that are beyond the probability of random chance. To better understand how William Bright 'heard' the words, see Bright, William
The Karok Language, 1957, University of California Press, Berkeley&Los Angeles
Thus to summarize: the phonetics of Latin is used as before with Kwakwala TRYING to present it the same way; bolding means emphasis of a sort, length is shown by doubling the consonant. Furthermore the ' means glottal stop. For Estonian/ Finnish it is written in standard Estonian/Finnish without further markings. (Those with no knowledge of Estonian, please refer to any handbook on pronouncing Estonian or Finnish; however the variations from Latin pronunciation are not great.).
KAROK ESTONIAN/FINNISH (stress on 1st syllable)
'AAHKU 'to burn' AHI / AHJO 'fireplace / forge'
'AHI- 'to burn'
'AAHA 'fire, lantern'
-AHI is also used to mark the past tense. Estonian uses the -SI- or -I- to mark the past tense.
' I Š 'flesh, body' IHU / IHO 'flesh, body'
PAAH 'boat' PAAT 'boat'
' IMMAAN 'tomorrow' HOMME / HUOMENNA 'tomorrow'
KUUSRA(H) 'month; sun, moon' KUU / KUU 'moon'
' IPAHA 'tree' PUU / PUU 'tree'
YUMAA 'pertaining to the dead' JUMAL / JUMALA 'god'
KOO 'all' KÕIK / KAIKKI 'all'
KOOVAN 'together' KOOS / KOOSSA 'together'
KOOKANHI 'to accompany' KAASA/ KANSSA 'in accompaniment with'
KARU 'also' KA 'also'
' AXAK 'two' KAKS / KAKSI 'two'
TIIK 'finger' TIIB or TIIV 'wing'
IKXIV 'thunderhead' ÄIKE , IKKE / UKKONEN 'lightening'
'ARAARA 'man, person' RAHVAS 'a people, nation'
'IINIŠ 'to come into existence' INIMENE/ IHMINEN 'person'
SÜNNI / SYNTY 'be born'
' IIN '(the world, human race) to exist'
Note: This compares with Inuit words like inuit 'people' and inuusaaqtuq 'he is born'' AAHO 'to walk, go' KÄI /KÄY 'walk, go'
compares with Kwakwala QASA 'walking' and Inuit qai-
' AAS 'water' VEE-/VEE- or VESI/VESI 'water'
compares with Kwakwala 'WÄP VIIHI 'to dislike, hate' VIHA / VIHA 'anger, hatred'
IMYAH- 'to breathe' HINGA / HENGITTÄ
IME / IMEÄ 'suck'
SU' VARIH 'deep' SÜGAV / SYVÄ 'deep'
SU' 'down, inside' SUU / SUU 'mouth'
IMUUSTIH 'to look at, watch' IMESTA /IHMETELLÄ 'be amazed'
' UUS 'pine cone' KUUSK / KUUSI 'fir-tree'
VAASAN 'enemy' VASTA / VASTA 'against, opposing'
VAASIH 'back' 'opposite side'?
' AASIŠ 'go to bed' ASE 'bed, nest'
KOOKA 'kind, classification' KOGU / KOKO 'grouping, collection'
SIIRIH 'to shine' SÄRA Est. 'sparkle'
TAAT 'mother' TAAT Est. 'old manä
Since Inuit ataata refers to 'father' this looks like a gender reversal
'AKAH 'father' UKKO 'mythological god'compare with Kwakwala QÄQÄS 'your grandfather' and Inuit AKKA 'paternal uncle'MA' 'mountain' MÄGI / MÄKI 'mountain'
PATUMKIRA 'pillow' PADI Est. 'pillow'
'AAMA 'salmon' KALA / KALA 'fish'
This looks like a simple matter of substitution of M for L ?YAV 'good' HEA / HYVÄÄ 'good'
' AK 'pertaining to use of hands' KÄE/ KÄEN 'of the hands'
' ASA 'to wear on one's body' KASUTA Est 'use'
KASUKAS Est. 'fur coat'
HOOTAH 'late' OOTA / ODOTA 'wait'
KUNIŠ 'sort of, kind of' -KENE Est 'kind of'
-TARA 'instrument' TARVE / TARVE 'instrument'
-VA suffix for action over extended time -V / -VA suffix marking present participle
-TIH suffix marking continuing action -TI ending for Estonian past imperfect passive
-AHI like past tense -SI / -I marker for past tense
The number of examples is small because the source list was small. This list represents about one in 35 words, similar to our other comparisons. The source words include all kinds of compound words and derivations. We selected only those that show strong correspondences. Some may be coincidences, but some patterns are sufficiently unique that they could not appear by random chance. The connection of some ancestors of the Karok language and the boat people is supported by the word 'IIN for the existence of the human race. It resonates with Inuit INNUK 'person'.
Immediately to the north of the original home of the Karok Indians lay the homelands of the Indian tribes that belonged to several linguistically defined groups including the Shasta, Takelma, and Kalapuyan. Although Kalapuyan tribes are not often discussed in connection with the North Pacific Coast culture, as they lived slightly inland (see map above), they occupied the banks of a major branch of the Columbia River, a river that flowed into the Columbia from the south, and no doubt they lived by fishing salmon as intensely as the Columbia River Chinook Indians.
Kalapuyan defines a family of languages or dialects. By discovering similar words among several languages of the Kalapuyan family, linguists hope to discover words that belonged to the original language, which might be called "Proto-Kalapuyan". Such a study was done by William Shipley involving a comparison of three Kalapuyan languages: Tfalati, Santiam, and Yoncalla. This work (Proto-Kalapuyan, in Languages and Cultures of Western North America, 1970 - see references at bottom) was used as one of the sources of Kalapuyan words for comparison with Finnic.
It has been proposed many years ago - in 1965 - by Morris Swadesh that Kalapuyan languages are perhaps related to Takelma and together they formed a larger grouping. In any event, Swadesh presented words of Takelma plus three Kalapuyan languages (the three described above) in his 1965 paper (see references below) and I also mined that paper as a source of Kalapuyan words.
The following short study looks at Kalapuyan words which strongly resemble Estonian and Finnish words, starting with Shipley's list of Kalapuyan words, and then adding words that Swadesh presented but Shipley did not present, to enlarge the source words. Even so, the total number of words remains small; however our intent is not to do a linguistic study but to show that we are able to find remarkable parallels that by laws of probability suggest they cannot all be mere random chance correspondences.
Like the Karoks, it is difficult to link Kalapuyans to the whale hunter migrations, since they too had moved into the interior and lived off harvesting salmon.
To begin with, the name "Kalapujans" is so close to Estonian kala püüdjad 'fish catchers' that I hoped to find a parallel; however I failed to find the data I sought. I did however find a word for 'fish' from Swadesh's material. It was given as K'AWAN (I use ' for the glottal stop or throat catch) which came from the Yonkalla dialect. It is possible therefore that there could have been a replacement of L with W.
WORD COMPARISONS - KALAPUYAN VERSUS FINNIC
Because the "Proto-kalapuyan" words derived by Shipley are still artificial, the following comparisons are made from the real Kalapuyan word, indicating the dialect with T, S, or Y representing respectively Tfalati, Santiam, or Yoncalla.
In terms of orthography, I continue to use the approach that uses the Latin sounds as a basis, with additional markers selected from common keyboard symbols. Emphasis (if the source material gives it) is given by bolding, the single quote marks a catch in the throat or glottal stop, and a dash marks a sound break (without catch). These are very intuitive conventions.
T=Tfalati; S=Santiam; Y=Yoncalla
|PAL (T) 'big'
PUU£ (T,S 'blow'
' EEFAN (S) 'father'
TIITA (S) 'give'
HUUSU (Y) 'good'
TAHKI (T) 'kill'
PA£ (T) 'lake'
MEEFU (T) 'mountain'
NUNA (T, S) 'nose'
MIM (T,S) 'person'
T-ASTU (S) 'sit'
HUYS (T,S) 'smell'
YALKYAK (T) 'straight'
PYAN (T, S) 'sun'
KwAYN (T) 'swim'
PAMYUT (T) 'think'
K'AWAN (Y) 'fish'
PUUHA (S) 'alder (tree)'
PEEM (T) 'tree'
HUL-LII (S) 'want'
WAL-LA (S) 'down'
SOME TAKELMA WORDS
(neighbouring, but not considered Kalapuyan)
' EL-AA- 'tongue'
PEYAAN 'daughter, girl'
|PALJU / PALJON 'much, alot'
PUHU / PUHU 'blow / speak'
ISA / ISÄ 'father'
TEE / TIE 'do'
HEA / HYVÄÄ 'good'
TAPPA / TAPPA 'kill'
PAAT (Est) 'boat'
MÄGI /MÄKI 'mountain, hill'
NINA / NENÄ 'nose'
INIMENE (Est) 'person'
ISTU/ ISTU 'sit'
HAIS / HAISU 'smell'
JALG / JALKA 'leg, foot'
PEA / PÄÄ 'chief, most important'
PÄIKE (Est) 'sun'
KÄI / KÄY 'go'
Est. PEAMÕTTE 'main idea'
MÕTTE / MIETE 'thought'
KALA / KALA 'fish'
PUU / PUU 'tree'
HOOLI / HUOLI 'want, desire'
ALLA / ALLA 'down'
KAKS / KAKSI 'two'
KEEL / KIELI 'tongue'
POJA / POJAN 'child; boy'
' IIN '(the world, human race) to exist'
' IPAHA 'tree'
' AXAK 'two'
Note that although the number of comparisons obtained, the original sources of words was quite small. The word list for Karok was also moderately small. These comparisons can be continued if larger number of original (old) words can be uncovered. It is clear that in whatever way the Finnic seafarers arrived and mixed with indigenous peoples, the very fact that some of the above words are also found in Karok, Kwakwala and even Inuit seems to point to the arrival of boat peoples, originally of the same groups that became the Inuit, perhaps even more than once over the course of time.
Nobody likes science that uses intuition, because the value of the result depends on the quality of the intuition. But intuition works when used by experienced people, and can even be quantified a little by having the intuitive person first try to establish the "control" of what results are achieved at random. Then when that same person analyzes a real language, a rate above the "control" suggests that the results are not purely random chance. It is analagous to the manner in which drug companies test drugs - one group is given a placebo and the other the real drug and the results are recorded. If the results from the real drug are better than the results among those THINKING they are taking a real drug, but really only taking a placebo, then that proves the result. Why can't we try something similar with comparing languages in which the languages are far too old for standard comparative linguistics?
In my case, in my quick scanning ofl the books on North American Native language in the stacks in the University of Toronto library in the 1980's I developed a good sense of what was random from the over 95% that I rejected. Intuition is helped by intelligence too. I knew that a valid result will tend to have a large number of basic words corresponding such as words for 'mother', 'father', 'person', 'water', and so on. A random result will not highlight such core words and the correspondences will not even be close.
Language must also have logic in it. What is the likelihood (to invent an example) of the word for 'mouth' becoming the word for 'water' (An ignorant "scholar" might argue for pages that saliva is water therefore we must accept) The science when using intuitive rather than deductive approaches, lies in the laws of probability. In the examples given for the Kalapuyan we note that there is correspondence with Finnic in the word for 'nose', and the word for 'smell.' That coincidence is the most powerful one of all the data. The fact that BOTH have good correspondences, adds support, since if a people preserve the word for 'nose' they will more probably also preserve the word for 'smell' since the two are connected concepts.
Thus, in the absence of formal linguistic analysis methods - impossible for such distant comparisons - we can look for proof within the conceptual logic of the results themselves. Logic also allows the presence of the same word across several language to lend support to an argument that , considered in isolation, is uncertain. We note that all the words for 'fish' begin with a variation of the KA- sound, although many of the K have become glottal stops. This takes us back to Inuit IQALUK, which seems to imply Finnic KALA is a condensation of the original formulation.
The purpose here is not to prove anything specific with respect to these languages, but purely to show SOME evidence that seems to point towards the southward migrations of circumpolar skin boat peoples to the North Pacific coast and their settlement there. Nothing has been studied to any depth, and there is much opportunity for students to pursue one of these angles further, using more data and better analysis methods.
SOURCES REFERRED TO ABOVE FOR THE KAROK AND KALAPUYA STUDIES
(Other references are cited within the text or illustrations)
Some problems in North American archaeology 1902, American Journal of Archaeology (2nd series)
Ethnological problems in Canada. 1910, Journal Royal Anthropological Institute 40:529-39
Notes on the prehistory of the southern Northwest Coast. 1951, British Columbia Historical Quarterly 14:241-46
Facts and problems of Northwest Coast prehistory, 1950, Anthropology in British Columbia 4:35-49 Some aspects of prehistoric Coastal- Interior relations in the Pacific Northwest 1954a, Anthropology in British Columbia 4:26-32 Bright, William
The Karok Language, 1957, University of California Press, Berkeley&Los Angeles
Cultures of the North Pacific Coast, 1965, Chandler, San Francisco
Proto-Kalapuyan, 1970, Languages and Cultures of Western North America, ed. E.H.Swanson Jr., Ohio State Univ Press, Pocatello, Idaho, 1970
Kalapuya and Takelma, July 1965, International Journal of American Linguistics, vol 31, No. 3
--As I had mentioned in my editorial comment in the last blog posting, Paabo relies mainly on Linguistics and I made up my corresponding theory based on Archaeologically recognised cultures, stone-tool types and other aspects of Physical culture. Below are a series of maps I made up to show the advance of Mesolithic and later Boreal-Archaic cultures until they finally colonised all around the Arctic Ocean, The Northwest Coast cultural area and the Sea of Okhotsk, and full across both Canada and Siberia. The sources are the standard reference books Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology, especially the maps in the Appendix Chapter 64, "Chronological Atlas", Figs 64:14-64:20, pgs 444-447, and crossreferencing to An Introduction to American Archaeology -DD
|Arctic-Mesolithic Map 1, 6000BC|
|Arctic-Mesolithic Map 2, 4000 BC|
|Arctic-Mesolithic Map 3, 2000 BC|
--The overall picture is much the same as Paabo's overall scheme: plus the lower latitudes of the New World and Europe involve the Algonquin as I had stated in the earlier article still popular on this blog. I see no reason to modify my statements made on the earlier blog and no conflict with Paabo: in this case we are talking about languages and peoples related to the Uralics, but at a remove from them. Using the Nostratic superfamily model and my own earlier statements on the matter, the Basque and related languages were remnants of Megalithic Europe, much-modified over time (non-controversial) and related most closely to Sumerian and some Caucasiatic languages in a sort of Megalithic family (dslightly more controversial, but supported by many experts and cited on the Wikipedia) which in turn has a New World extension in the Algonquin, Wakashan, Salish and Almosan family classifications (the more controversial component, but still supported by professional Linguistts, especially in Russia). All of these languages are seen as related to Uralic but at a remove, and otherwise counted in the Eurasian family grouping by other Linguists particularly in Russia. And as can be seen on the bottom map below, the influence of the Algonquin-speaking carriers of the Boreal Archaic had spanned the width of Southern Canada to begin showing up in the Northwest Coast area in the period of 2000-1000 BC, about contemporary with the organization of the "Eskaleutian" cultures into arctic-mammal hunting specialists, and the arrival of the Dene speaking peoples out of Asia into the Western USA (the "Chinese" cultural featues associated at the time includes cremation burials in small mounds or cairns, which shows up in the Archaeological record of the West Coast just about then) Cressman, Butler, Swanson and others are cited in An Introduction to North American Archaeology as to the sudden introduction of the "Boreal Archaic" elements into the NWCoast area (supposedly from the area around the Great Lakes) In a total of a dozen works between them, as cited in the text. And the diffusion of the same Boreal Archaic culture Northward into the area around Hudsn's Bay, to eventually be absorbed into the later Inuit cultures when they expanded into the area, is also documented similarly in the same book but as associated with an earlier set of dates.
Please remember that Archaeologists have been aware of the similarity in ground-slate tools in both the New World Boreal Archaic and in Scandinavia since the 1920s and some claims for TransAtlantic diffusion were the direct result of those observations and advanced by some of those scientists at that time.
This all appears to hang together very well as an overall wiorking theory. Next part of this shall explore a very old suggestion of "Finns" as inhabitants of Britain and especially Ireland, Scotland, the Orkneys, Shetland and other islands, and their more familiar survival into Folklore according to the theory.
Best Wishes, Dale D.