Savonian people

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A maid from Savonia churning butter. From Boken om vårt land by Zachris Topelius

Savonians (Finnish: Savolaiset, Savonian: Savolaaset, Savolaeset) are a subgroup of the Finnish people descending from the inhabitants of historical province of Savonia. Savonians differ from other Finnish clans by their dialect (see Savonian dialects) and cultural tradition. Originally they are descendants of the historical Finnish Karelians and the Tavastians. Nowadays the historical homeland of the Savonians is divided between the provinces of Northern Savonia and Southern Savonia. The regional identity of Savonians, like that of the other traditional Finnish clans, is declining. Savonians and Karelians were the first people in Finland who started to use surnames during the Middle Ages. These surnames are recognisable for containing the "nen" diminutive.

Savonians traditionally practiced slash-and-burn agriculture. During 16th and 17th centuries many Savonians emigrated to Eastern Norway and Central Sweden and became known as the Forest Finns there. In the 17th century there was also migration to Swedish Ingria (now part of Russia), where they are known as Savakot and are collectively known as the Ingrian Finns with the other migrant group, Äyrämöiset (Finnish Karelians).

The stereotypical Savonian is talkative, easy-going, jolly and humorous, occasionally even to an offensive excess. Traditionally, the Savonian people have often been considered as "sneaky" and "mendacious." However, recent research has shown that this infamy is largely due to misunderstandings caused by the traditional Savonian social indirectness.[1]


  1. ^ Yle News Savolainen kierous onkin vaarinymmarrys :
Articles of the – Finnish people – its subgroups and its diaspora
Traditional groups (or "heimot")

Tavastians | Karelians | Ostrobothnians | Savonians | Finns (proper) | Swedish-speakers


Finnish Americans | Finnish Canadians | Ingrian Finns | Sweden Finns (Tornedalians, Forest Finns) | Kvens