Kvenland And kven people(Kainuu ja kainulaiset)





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Published on Apr 24, 2012

Kven people (Cwen, Kvæn, Quen, Qven, kveeni) - kainulainen, kainuulainen or kveeni in Finnish and Kven languages - are a Finnish tribe of people.

The Kvens have continuously inhabited the territories of Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and some of the surrounding areas since the last ice age, and possibly before the ice age as well.

At some point, the neighbors of the Kvens - presumably first the Norse - began referring to them as Kvens and their land as Kvenland. The Kvens have historically referred to themselves as kainulainen, and their land as Kainuu and Kainuunmaa ("maa" meaning land).

The ethnically and culturally separate people, the Samis, are indigenous largely to the same areas than the Kvens. The cultures, lifestyles and traditions of the two peoples have been very different since as far back as can be told, and in medieval accounts the two peoples are always discussed separately.

Over a long time, the size of Kvenland gradually shrunk. In the end of the Viking Age it still covered nearly all of the middle and northern parts of Scandinavia and the modern-day Finland, as well as all of the Kola Peninsula (located in the extreme northwestern part of today's Russia), based on medieval accounts.

Over the last two millennia, the Kven population and their culture have slowly assimilated and mixed with the rest of the Nordic populations, greatly contributing to and melting with what have become Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

However, still today the unique and distinct Finnic Kven culture can be found very visibly represented in Northern Scandinavia, by the Kvens in Norway and the Tordedalians in Sweden.

In Finland - over centuries -, the Kven people and their culture have melted together with the cultures of other local Finnic tribes, such as the Tavastians, Savonians and Karellians, into what Finland is today.

In the end of the Finnish-Soviet Continuation War, a vast majority of the Kvens of the modern-day extreme Northwestern Russia were resettled to Finland.

Based on the Norse sagas and other medieval accounts, the ruling families of England, France, Iceland, Ireland, Normandy, Norway, the Orkney Islands, Russia, Scotland and Sweden - among many others - descended from the kings of Kvenland and Finland.



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