Category Archives: Finland

Finland costumes

Traditional Finland costume. A Female Tschermiss.

Traditional Finland costume. A Female Tschermiss. Traditional Russian national costume

A Female Tschermiss.

Traditional Finland costume. A Female Tschermiss.

Une Tschérémisse.

THE Tschermiss are of Finland origin, and have their settlements in the governments of Kazan and Niznei-Novgorod, on both sides of the Volga, but chiefly along the left bank of this river; whence they extend as far as Perm. Continue reading

A Female Peasant of Ingria.

Traditional Finnish Ingria national costume. Scandinavian folk dress

A Female Peasant of Ingria.

A Female Peasant of Ingria.

Une Paysanne d’Ingrie.

THE Russians made a conquest of Ingria (Finnish: Inkeri or Inkerinmaa) about the commencement of the last century. At that period the inhabitants of the flat country consisted of a Finland race, differing, but little, in their language and customs, from the Fins of Carelia. This people were called Ischorzi, from Ischora, the name of a small river, which has its entrance on the left bank of the Neva. Continue reading

Back of a Finland woman in holiday dress.

Traditional Finland national costume. Scandinavian folk dress

Back Figure of a Woman of Finland in her Holiday Dress.

Back of a Finland woman in holiday dress.

Une Finnoise en Habit de Fête, par derrière.

The Finns call themselves Suomi, which signifies marshy. The country inhabited by this nation extends to the north of the Finland, and to the west of the Bothnian Bay (Finnish: Perämeri) at the Baltic Sea. The ground is stony, and very uneven; in many parts totally barren, and every where rewarding but sparingly the labours of the husbandman. The families of their ancient chiefs are extinct, or at least forgotten. They have no longer a nobility: a degree of rank is however kept up amongst them. The inhabitant of the towns is considered superior to the peasant, and the peasant acknowledges himself inferior to the towns-man.
Their towns are much dispersed, and even the houses are situated at a considerable distance from each other; the progress of knowledge and industry is consequently slow. In return for their hard labour, the earth barely produces them a subsistence. Of all the spots inhabited by this people, the marshy Carelia is the most unfruitful. Rye and oats are the only grain it produces. In the best seasons, their harvests are never superabundant. To avoid the famine that threatens them, they are forced to mix with their meal and bran the bark of the fir tree pounded, wild roots dryed, and whatever they can meet with, capable of supporting their wretched existence.

A Peasant of Finland in traditional dress.

Traditional Finland national costume. Scandinavian folk dress

A Peasant of Finland.

A Peasant of Finland in traditional dress.

Un Paysan Finnois.

IN his exterior the inhabitant of Finland strongly resembles the Laplander; but in body and mind the former is more cultivated than the latter. They are of the common stature, and dwell in towns and villages. The dress of the citizens, or inhabitants of the towns, varies in no respects from that of the towns of Sweden. The peasantry also dress like the Swedish peasantry. The greater part suffer the beard to grow, and others only the whiskers. Large breeches are worn, and many twist their cast-off linen round their legs in lieu of stockings. Some wear shoes made of skin, and others of the bark of trees matted together. They also wear a shirt, which tucks into the breeches, a doublet, and a short coat which buttons. A skin girdle goes round the waist, to which are hung a large knife, keys, and the instruments for lighting a fire. The hair is worn straight, and is covered with a hat similar to those worn by the Dutch. Their clothes are generally made of the stout Walmar cloth manufactured by the women ; but sometimes of a finer texture, which they purchase, and sometimes of skin or linen. In winter they commonly wear sheep and other skins.
They profess the Lutheran faith, and adopt the Christian era in their chronology. Although their idols, and the worship paid them, have long since been abolished in Finland, much superstition is, nevertheless, to be met with among the country people; these ancient opinions are perpetuated, they pass from father to son, and it is extremely difficult to eradicate them; seeing that the farms arc so dispersed, and at so great a distance from each other, that the peasantry cannot enjoy a wholesome and rational system of instruction. The following are some of their superstitious notions. On Mondays and Fridays no person ought to look for success in any enterprise: whoever makes a noise on St. George’s day is in danger of suffering by tempest: on Christ-mas clay the cattle must not be let out of the stable: on St. Stephen’s day a coin, or piece of silver, must be thrown into the vessel out of which the horses water: on time evening of Shrove Tuesday no fire or candle must be lighted, &c.

Gallery: Costume of the Russian empire by Edward Harding.

A Finland woman in holiday dress

Traditional Finland national costume. Scandinavian folk dress

A Woman of Finland in her Holiday Dress.

A Finland woman in holiday dress, 1803.

Une Finnoise en Habit de Fête.

IN winter, the country women, in easy circumstances, wear rich furs on holidays. The summer dress is similar to that which we have just described, but more elegant, and made with more taste and skill. The jacket is of silk, longer than ordinary, and trimmed with a border like a furbelow, of a different colour to the jacket. In the front it, is ornamented, from the knee to the furbelow, with elegant embroidery and glass pearls. The apron, though narrow, is striped with various colours, embroidered, and richly ornamented with medals and glass pearls. The girdle is decked with ornaments of steel or brass, in the form of buttons, and tied before with several ribbons. The front of the bosom is also carefully embroidered, and adorned with glass pearls and shells. Several rows of false pearls are worn round the neck. A quantity of ribbon, about six inches in breadth, passes through their large ear-rings, and floats upon the shoulders and sleeves of the chemise, which are wide, open, short, and prettily embroidered with wool of different colours. The head is covered with a scarf tied in the manner of a cap; it passes through the girdle, and descends to the heel.

Gallery: Costume of the Russian empire by Edward Harding.

A Female Peasant of Finland.

Traditional Finland folk dress. Finland national costumes

A Female Peasant of Finland.

A Female Peasant of Finland.

Une Paysanne de Finland.

THE Female Peasantry wear shifts, trousers, stockings, and slippers, or shoes which only cover the heel, sole, and toes: they also wear a habit similar in form to a shift, not very long, but wide and without sleeves: their aprons are small, but not so their doublets or corsets, which very much resemble a shift with wide sleeves. The head is covered with a piece of linen, which descends to the shoulders and back. Continue reading