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Finnish Bushcraft

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by Martti, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Tor helge

    Tor helge Settler

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    The Tallukka is interesting. When I was a kid we used "shoes" like that. It was common winter wear along the coast of northern norway. Not so popular now it seems, allthough my daughter had some a couple of years ago.
    We call it "lugga" though.
    Here is some pictures explaining how to make them. These are different from those I used as a kid though. They looked more like the finnish tallukkas.
    http://www.norge123.no/medlemmer/album.aspx?3030333359577869645731705A4430794D7A67304D413D3D2D545544306569426175486B3D


    Tor
     
  2. Doc

    Doc Need to contact Admin...

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    All very interesting - this thread has certainly got me thinking.

    I noticed too that the archer on the seal picture has a short recurve bow. In the UK we went from the longbow to firearms and there is not much historical use of the recurve bow. The short recurve was in use in Hungary and some Asiatic cultures, I believe. Do you have any info on historical archery in Finland?

    I was also impressed by the timber buildings. Even today Finnish timber buildings are rather magnificent:

    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57177&highlight=solo+arctic
     
  3. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    First of all I would like point to my other thread at PaleoPlanet as it contains much more information about the topic I'm going to discuss now.

    Finns or any other nation at Fennoscandia did not use short recurves but all of the illustrations I'm aware drew their inspiration from outside the area. There are no complete indigenous bows preserved in Fennoscandia, save for one late-18th century Saami bow in Sweden. However based on written and linguistic sources from 16th to 19th century I'm positive that Finns used the same type of bow as Saami and other Finno-Ugric nations in Eastern Europe and Siberia. There are also some parts of bows preserved in bogs to back up this theory.

    This type of bow is usually laminated from birch and pine which has sufficient amount of compression wood in it. However individual authors mention also combinations birch-willow and birch-spruce. The glue used in the joints was probably made from fishes, antlers or in one case from pine pitch. Birch bark was wrapped around the bow to protect it from moisture. These bows were taller than the users; measurements from very similar Siberian bows show that they were usually between 170-190 centimeters in length. These bows were abandoned in favour of crossbow during 17th and 18th centuries which was in turn switched to firearms during the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Other type of bow used in Finland we are know of is the self bow. This was probably used the Mesolithic era when the temperatures were high enough to allow oaks and maples to grow in Finland in sufficient numbers, but also during Middle Ages due of possibly Swedish influence.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Need to contact Admin...

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    Kiitos Martti. I owe you an olut.
     
  5. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    I have a kind of a fixation to different belt constructions right now, so I guess I have to share it with you. :rolleyes: I hope you are not bored after I have showed you a half a dozen of same looking belts!

    1. Birch bark belts of two kind. The first one is made from six strips of bark, the second and the third with four strips. Illustration from Valonen's monography mentioned earlier.

    [​IMG]

    2. A sash with some hunting items attached to it.

    [​IMG]

    3. Another sash.

    [​IMG]

    4. Another.... OK, I'll stop here. Do you get the picture?. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    5. A belt with brass ornaments.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. forestwalker

    forestwalker Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Are the sashes tablet woven? The bottom one looks to my unschooled eye like it could be...
     
  7. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    Yes they are. The oldest one recovered from Finland is dated to around 500 AD. The technique is the same with the other Northern European tablet woven items, but of course motifs are quite different. The Karelian ones are often red on white.
     
  8. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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  9. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    One of the best threads I have seen in years. Thanks for posting. I spend time in Finland every year stunning country and really friendly people
     
  10. Chris the Cat

    Chris the Cat Full Member

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    Just fantastic Marrti !
    Realy makes me long to visit your beautiful country.
    I may have to ask you for some advice !
    My best.
    Chris.
     
  11. chrisanson

    chrisanson Nomad

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    good stuff!!! :)
     
  12. Trunks

    Trunks Full Member

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    Martti, thank you for such a great thread :)
     
  13. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    I would be happy to answer any question, bushcraft related or not, you might have on Finland. Meanwhile I would to add to my post on the sashs that even though you usually see colorful examples, most of the Iron Age findings are in fact made with one colour; usually brown, grey, blue or red.
     
  14. andybysea

    andybysea Full Member

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    Very enjoyable,read and pic's thanks for posting!
     
  15. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    One of the least discussed matter in Finnish bushcraft and hiking literature is the merits of the Finnish long range patrolmen during the Continuation War. Their missions took them hundreds of kilometers behind the Soviet lines for weeks at a time (the record being around two months and 500 kilometers of walking). I am fortunately enough to have a copy of a report compiled in 1944 after the fighting had ended. Much of my bushcrafting today is based on the experiences gathered by the soldiers behind enemy lines.

    What comes for the equipment the report suggest that a knife is required for every man but an axe per a squad (of eight man) is enough. A simple saw blade wrapped in leather or cloth is also carried and used without the handle by two men. The information on clothing is also interesting. It follows pretty much what George Mallory used on his Everest expedition in 1924, that is several layers of underwear, woolen shirt and windproof anorak.

    One thing what every individual patrol reports mentions is the use of [pine] pitch oil to deter mosquitos during the summer. It is readily available in Finland but I doubt anywhere else.

    Lastly some photographs of these men in action.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #55 Martti, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  16. Chris the Cat

    Chris the Cat Full Member

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    How did they render the pine pitch in oil, and was it mixed with anything ?
    Thanks for shareing your research with us !
    My best.
    Chris.
     
  17. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    One of the 1930s Finnish camping manuals I have in my collection states that it was usually mixed with cooking oil or glycerol. Nowadays I can procure a 10 ml bottle for six euro each.
     
  18. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    Another interesting thing when reading these reports is to think how they changed the philosophy of equipment and clothing design just before the eve of man-made materials. Two reports, one from the 500 km patrol and one from a counter-insurgency mission that lasted for a month conclude that apart from the materials I mentioned in my previous message men should also have a zeltbahn type of a tent.

    If you want to have period medicine collection with you, you should have at least some thymol and bismuth-based product (Xeroform is mentioned).

    If this seems complicated, I can make a list that include all the findings of these reports in simple form. :eek:
     
  19. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    Wise words from an old bear hunter I happened to come by. The hunter in question was Eero Heinäkangas (1799-1884). His tally altogether was 73 bears with a firearm. I have found from old inventories dating to 1700s and 1800s that most of the Finns owned two or three got vadmal jackets and furs, similar what Heinäkangas used. Translation by me from Finnish.
    Saloilta ja vesiltä I-II - Project Gutenberg

    "We asked the old man to tell how he equipped himself to the hunt. - He never used a spear. His weapons were a rifle, a puukko and an axe in a hunting bag. There he also kept ammunitions, a hip flask and a piece of rye bread. Next to the skin he wore a thick woolen shirt. If the weather was not too cold, he did not took with him his long-haired sheep fur but a short-haired sheepskin vest. On top of the vest he wore a coat made of vadmal. For many years he wore mooseskin chamois trousers that reached below the knee and during the winter he always wore felt socks [...]. He always wore a thin cap made out of baize cloth [...]. Only when he chopped wood or went to a church he wore mittens, [...].

    He never slept nights at forest during the mid-winter, save for the two nights he slept in a bear cave for two nights. This time of year he found better to walk to the nearest house and return to the forest on the next day. Starting from end of March he found better to stay the nights at the forest since it saved time and strength. [...]"
     
    #59 Martti, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  20. Chris the Cat

    Chris the Cat Full Member

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    Beckolja ?
    I guess that is a Swedish name ( ? ) I picked mine up in the Swedish Arctic a couple of years ago. I have three small dark brown bottles left.
    It smells of smoked kippers!
    I whish I had bought one of the woven sashes when one was offered to me but I was running low on cash!
    My best.
    And keep up the posting Martti!
    Chris.
     

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