to the North

The Earth is tilted towards north ('north' and 'bottom' are the same word in Estonian) (Aado Lintrop, Šaman's book). Finno-ugric people thought that in north and west is the world of the dead, in south and east the world of the living.
The Sun has dropped to the north, despite north being on the top end of maps. Besides, dog-faced men were supposed to live there where sky and earth meet.

Inarinpolku or Anarašmade is a 100 km long historic market road from Sevettijärvi in Finland to Karlebotn by the Arctic sea in Norway. Karlebotn on the south-western end of Varanger peninsula was a lively market center from 1600s until 1890s. Goods between cities of northern Norway and harbors of North-Russia traveled through this area. Multicultural traders included Norwegians, Russians, Sweds, Finns and Sami people (there are many types of Sami people by the way and they have a dozen of different languages). From Russia for example came grain, tar, rope and other fishing materials. Business died down when the Finnish-Norwegian border was closed in 1852.
It is an old territory of Sami people. Sami people are supposed to be the only original inhabitants of the EU territories (melted out of ice?). They live in four countries. In Norway there are over 40 000 of them, in Sweden 15-25 000, in Finland less than 8000 and in Russia about 2000. Excitement about lands by the Arctic sea started in the 1500s when Sweden, Denmark and Russia started to compete there (today's Norway belonged to Denmark and Finland to Sweden). The main fields of activity for the Sami were rain-deer herding and fishing. With the border agreement of 1751 between Norway and Sweden it was allowed for the herders to move freely over state borders but big herds moving here and there and fishing of the Finns in the Arctic sea created controversies about which one can read in Oulun Lehdi of 1885. The situation for Sami changed in 1800s when Samiland was divided between four countries. In 1809 had Finland been included to Russia which meant dividing Lapi villages on Finnish-Swedish border. 1826 the joint area agreement of Näätämö between Russia and Norway was terminated. Because of disagreements between Russia and Norway the Finnish-Norwegian border was closed in 1852. In 1888 also the Finnish-Swedish border was closed. The closing of borders as well as taxing caused the herds to diminish and Sami started to settle down. Land was also distributed in Lappland and the Sami participated actively in getting it. Since a big part of land still belongs to the state, the question of using the land by the Sami in Finland is under dispute until today. More about it in an article of Arvo Vitikainen 'Mistä on kysymys Ylä-Lapin maanomistusongelmassa?'.

On the Finnish side the trail is waymarked, on the Norwegian side not so very much. The Finns kindly distribute maps here, here and here. Relevant are 1:50 000 topographic maps Sevettijärvi W524 and Näätämo X513, 1:100 000 Sevettijärvi Nuorgam, and 1:400 000 Retkeily GT Pohjois-Suomi could also be of help.
With the Norwegians it's more complicated. From e-store I could get one 1:50 000 sheet 2335 IV, the other (2334 III) was not available. In mapstor it's possible to download Russian 1:100 000 maps, useful are sheets ending with 082 and 070. The end of the trail is even marked on the map. Fascinating.
more about maps

Add a comment

Email again: