Björnskallar och magiska bilder - Skogsfinsk religion och folktro i materiella källor
Sammanfattning: This essay is about the “forest finns” in Sweden. That is a well known conception when you talk about the extensive immigration of a finish population to Norway and Sweden during the 17th and 18th century. They colonized the big, unoccupied forests in the middle and northern parts of Sweden. The topic for this text is religion and folklore among the finish immigrants. In different historic sources and older literature they are portrayed as non Christian and especially able of doing conjuring tricks. The purpose of this essay is to examine witch material source that is available in this topic about folklore and religion in the “forest finn” culture. The questions are how the researchers so far have deal with this matter, which archaeological material there are to use and how to move forward with them. In this essay three categories are examined; carvings in stone and trees, trees with hunged bear sculls, and places with a tradition to be a “finn cemetery”. The first two categories are problematical as material source; trees with carvings been deforests and bears sculls in trees falls and disappear. Though it may seem like a thin material there are ways to find and use it. There are carvings in stones as well and there are a few examples of them. The problem in that case is if they are connected with a “forest finn” culture. Therefore, the context in the landscape extremely important; is the stone placed near a known way to a summer farmstead or near a place for a finish croft or a way to a church? The places with tradition of bear scull trees or a cemetery are often bound to a written or oral story and tradition about it, and sometimes only a special name. This sort of places needs to be investigated to see if some kind of material remains can be seen. In the case with the trees the bear sculls there are example where the wedges to put the sculls still is left. And it’s that kind of subtle remains you have to look for in this case, wedges or just the gap where it once sat. The important conclusion of this essay is that you need to use all the different types of methods: traditions and names for places, a thorough and systematic stocktaking, and a context and landscape analyse.
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