Tana, Norway

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Tana kommune
Deanu gielda
Tanaelva River Bridge Tana.jpg
Coat of arms of Tana kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Tana kommune
Finnmark within
Tana within Finnmark
Tana within Finnmark
Coordinates: 70°11′58″N 28°11′9″E / 70.19944°N 28.18583°E / 70.19944; 28.18583Coordinates: 70°11′58″N 28°11′9″E / 70.19944°N 28.18583°E / 70.19944; 28.18583
Country Norway
County Finnmark
District Øst-Finnmark
Administrative centre Tana Bru
 • Mayor (2007) Frank Martin Ingilæ (Ap)
 • Total 4,049.71 km2 (1,563.60 sq mi)
 • Land 3,831.02 km2 (1,479.17 sq mi)
 • Water 218.69 km2 (84.44 sq mi)
Area rank 5 in Norway
Population (2014)
 • Total 2,883 (Decrease from last year)
 • Rank 276 in Norway
 • Density 0.71/km2 (1.8/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -4.0 %
Demonym(s) Tanaværing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-2025
Official language form Northern Sami
and Bokmål
Website www.tana.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Deatnu (Northern Sami) or Tana (Norwegian) is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Tana Bru. Other villages in the municipality include Austertana, Bonakas, Polmak, Rustefjelbma, and Skiippagurra.[2]

General information[edit]

Map of Tana municipality
View of the local river boats

The municipality of Tana was established on 1 January 1864 when the eastern part of the large municipality of Lebesby was separated to become a new municipality with a population of 1,388. The original municipality included all the land on both sides surrounding the Tanafjorden and the Tana River.[3]

On 1 January 1914, the municipality of Tana was divided into three parts. The southern part (population: 1,426) remained as (a smaller) Tana Municipality. The northern part of the municipality was divided by the Tanafjorden with the western side becoming Gamvik Municipality (population: 1,374) and the eastern side becoming Berlevåg Municipality (population: 784). On 1 January 1964, the neighboring municipality of Polmak (population: 1,072), which had separated from Nesseby Municipality on 1 January 1903, was merged into Tana.[3]


Tana is a Norwegianized form of the Sami name Deatnu. The Sami name is identical with the Sami word deatnu which means "great river" or "main river", referring to the main river (Tana River) which runs through the municipality.

Prior to 1918, the name was written "Tanen". On 1 September 1992, the name was changed to "Deatnu-Tana" to symbolize the two official languages in the municipality.[3][4] Then in 2005, the name was again changed such that either Deatnu or Tana can be used.[5]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 11 May 1984. The arms show three typical low riverboats used for centuries in the area. The three boats symbolise the Sami, Finns, and Norwegians that live in this border municipality. The colours are the Norwegian colours.[6]


The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Tana. It is part of the Indre Finnmark deanery in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland.

Churches in Tana
Parish (sokn) Name Location Year built
Tana Austertana Chapel Austertana 1958
Tana Church Rustefjelbma 1964
Polmak Polmak Church Polmak 1853


View of the Tanafjorden from the highway Fv 98

Deatnu-Tana is situated along the lower river basin of the Tana River, which borders Finland along most of its course. People live in small settlements along the river, notably Sirma, Polmak, Rustefjelbma, Seida, Skiippagurra, Austertana, and Tana Bru. Most inhabitants of Tana are Sami people, and the Sami language and culture are today promoted by the municipality and the schools.

The river Tana has represented a mainstay in the economy, as it is one of Europe's main salmon rivers, and it empties into the Tanafjorden. River transportation is traditionally done by long, narrow river boats, that are still in use, albeit motorized. Lakes in this area include Geassájávri, Nissojávri, and Sundvatnet. At Tana Bru, the Tana Bridge (part of European route E6 and European route E75) crosses over the Tana River. The nearest airports are Vadsø Airport (about 70 kilometres or 43 miles away) and Kirkenes Airport (about 130 kilometres or 81 miles away). Kirkenes Airport (but not Vadsø) has direct flights to Oslo.


With the Tana River flowing through wild and spectacular habitat, the municipality of Tana has one of the most spectacular gatherings in Norway. As many as 25,000 goosanders can accumulate along the Tana waterway system. Add to this, thousands of common eider and long-tailed duck, then you have one of the largest concentrations of wildfowl in Norway.


Climate data for Rustefjelbma, Tana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −7.3
Daily mean °C (°F) −12.2
Average low °C (°F) −18.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 39
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 11.2 8.5 7.6 6.7 5.8 8.4 9.5 9.9 11.0 12.3 10.4 11.1 112.4
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[7]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  2. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Deatnu/Tana" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  3. ^ a b c Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  4. ^ "Ot.prp. nr. 111 (2001-2002)" (in Norwegian). 
  5. ^ "Endring av skrivemåten for tospråklige kommuner." (in Norwegian). 
  6. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  7. ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. 

External links[edit]