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 The expansions to the sea of chapter 3, were still tied in some way to their arctic Norway origins. But when the expansions went far enough, such as into the Canadian arctic, or in some way as far as the Pacific, we are speaking of migrations great distances. As remarkable as it may seem to us, it was not really that remarkable. Whales migrate up and down the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific for many thousands of kilometers. Peoples who have become dedicated to whale hunting will rise to the challenge of traveling as far. They will settle approximately at the half-way point of the whale migrations, so that they will encounter them going south and then coming back north. In addition to following the voyages of whale hunters, I will also look at the Alqonquian languages, that I believe were offshoots of it, since arctic whaling and generally arctic sea peoples would have produced offshoots who were attracted towards the south, and found the flooded postglacial landscape also yet uninhabited. These people would be the Algonquian peoples, who developed an interesting skin boat that used birch bark as the skin.  They may be other examples to pursue under the heading of voyages through the oceans, but I will present the ones I discovered around the 1980's when I did research. Someone interested in the subject is welcome to continue the investigations of the expansions of boat peoples, including later expansions via seatrade.



    The most obvious expansion of boat peoples would be the continuation of the internal expansion within Asia. Once reaching the Ob River basin, boat-oriented peoples could move to other rivers, and end up travelliing the Lena, as proven by the image of a large dugout found on a rock wall beside the Lena River. But the most interesting and dramatic expansions occurred through the arctic seas and some distance down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.  But, arriving on the shores of North America, could then launch the boat peoples into water-filled environments towards the interior, such as the expansion of boat peoples into the east half of Canada into the post-glacial environment that arose there.
    Once there were boat capable of ocean waves - and the arctic skin boats fit that requirement - migrations throughout arctic waters was easy as land was close together. The notion that there were contacts by boat, between Europe and North America via the North Atlantic, or between east Asia and North America via the North Pacific, at the earliest times, is so obvious that one wonders why it has to be debated. If we show that there are certain words in common between Finnic languages and Inuit language, should we be surprised? And yet, scholars feel it is controversial and not obvious and needs to be debated.  In my view, this theory, as presented here, should not even need to be a large issue. It is so obvious.  All we need to do is to establish that there were seaworthy skin boats in arctic Norway some 6000 years ago - and this is clearly evidenced in rock carvings; that there were people who harvested the sea; and that there were sea currents that would have helped men in such boats to venture towards North America into the North American arctic and down the Labrador coast. Every requirement is present.
       It is true there may be a need to debate crossings through the centers of the oceans. Even oceanic boat peoples tried to remain on courses that brought them to the shore where they could find fresh water and food..
    Crossing the centers of oceans and not seeing land for weeks would required plenty of fresh water on board, as well as food.  Did Polynesians cross the middle of the Pacific? Did sea peoples from the Iberian coast cross the middle of the Atlantic to visit the Bahamas?  Were the latter "Atlantians"?.
    There is plenty to debate when we consider crossings through large spans of open water. But there is no reason to debate the prospect of seaworthy skin boats following the edge of sea ice, the coast of Greenland, and allowing ocean currents to carry them. It is obvious even without plenty of additional evidence.
      Following the northern coasrts, there was plenty of places to land, to fetch fresh water (or freshwater snow), and to procure food along the way. There was nothing to hinder circumpolar adventures if there were men with an adventurous spirit (or indeed, men who got lost, but were still able to survive off the land and sea.)  The idea that ALL original arctic peoples were basically the same people, from the same origin, should be an established obvious fact in our body of knowledge.  There is plenty of additional evidence in folklore and technology - where we see parallels for example between the Inuit and arctic Asians.


Fig 17

Figure 1
This map of the world ocean currents suggests the paths of oceanic migrations. The most applicable currents are those that follow coasts as then the seafarers can land to replenish supplies. Note that when the world is shown in a rectangular fashion the top and bottom of the map stretches the continents. In reality distances in the arctic are much smaller than they appear here.

    The above map shows in pink the POSSIBLE migrations of the arctic sea-going peoples. Note that the distances were much less than the map suggests since the map stretches the polar regions.
    The map shows migration west to east over top of Siberia. We do not know if that occurred. It is possible to explain the arctic entirely with n east-to-west migration. See our discussion of "Thule" culture origins below.
    We have already discussed in Chapter 3, the north Atlantic ocean currents and how the circuits of currents could have developed three divisions of seagoing cultures, all of which were oriented to the warmed waters of the Gulf Stream.
    More can be read from Figure 1. Looking now at the Pacific, we sea currents crossing the Pacific from south of Japan across to approximately the middle of the North America coast. around Vancouver  This is supported from the fact that trash from the Japanese tsunami some years ago were beginning to wash ashore around Vancouver, starting only some months later.
    Note how the current, reaching the Pacific coast near Vancouver turns in two directions, one branch going north and then circling back to Asia in a counter-clockwise direction, and the other turning south,  and turning west near the equator.
    Early seagoing people travelled with the currents, and did not want to be out of contact with land for long. The prevailing winds were not so important unless they raised sails. Even without sails there would be waves, and preferred routes would be ones where the currents and prevailing winds were in the same direction.
    Analysis of possible routes taken by the prehistoric seagoing boat peoples can lead to many useful conclusions.  Considerations of the timing and routes of whale migrations, and where archeology has actually found evidence of human presence, can make the prehistory of the seagoing boat peoples vivid.  This article does not proceed into detail. Our purpose is simply open the subject by looking for evidence of boat peoples far from their origins. Part of the evidence would be to find coincidences in languages between such peoples, and the Finnic languages at the "Kunda" culture origins location - so this investigation continues in the separate article investigating the linguistic dimensions.   

Devoted to Animals Hunted


    Over the centuries a patronising mythlogy has developed in civiizations that peoples living in harmony with nature were like wild animals, mindlessly searching for food. But this has never been true. Human survival in environments outside the natural 'Garden of Eden' environment in which humans evolved, required maximum organizing and planning  in their way of life. It is assumed that intelligence and organizating was manifested as material culture. If archeologists find remains of impressive palaces, or technological works, they assume the people were 'advanced', but people who left behind only campsites were verging on animal-like primitiveness.  The reality is that in general people in civilizations were more intelligent and healthy because of the greater challenges of living outside the artificial environments, than inside. Partly it is the increased demands on the mind and body to live in harmony with nature than in harmony with the posh artificial environments created in civilizations. More humans can survive in the short term, but in the long run the health of human populations declines. The eventual collapse of civilizations in history, may be caused by civilization creating a disconnect between its populations and nature, and eventually there has to be a return to nature. It could be compared to how farmers have to leave farm fields 'fallow', to reture their natural fertility. Civilizations may have to collapse.
     Therefore, we must look on peoples who lived in harmony with nature possibly being true humans, while humans living in civilizations being the weak and unhealthy. We are therefore dazzled by material culture because we are indoctrinated by civilization to feel that way.
    The closer one studies the prehistoric, ancient, and historic 'hunter-gatherer' peoples, the more amazed we can be about how complex their society was. They did not develop buildings and monuments for one simple reason - they were mobile. When farming was adopted in humankind, the people could no longer be nomadic. Because people stayed in one place, the infrastructure, the material culture, kept developing generation after generations. An emperor could have a monument to be developed by an army of slaved over several generations. Civilization builds material culture on the last. The original nomadic humankind could only develop small or non-material culture. For example, the most developed cultures of poetry and song was in the northern material cultures. Had there been writing, we would be celebrating northern authors, rather than those of ancient Greece. We can only celebrate that with which we can be aware.
    Being in harmony with nature meant to have a place within the plants and animals in the environment, similar to how, for example, have a place in the lives of deer. But humans too organized themselves into bands, packs, like for example, wolves, and claimed and defended territories.  Humans, competed not just with other humans, but animals too. They did not think so much about owning the animals as in terms of owning the rights to hunt at particular sites as defined by their annual rounds.
    Hunters of large herding animals might become dependent on them, especially if it was necessary to develop a sophisticated way of life designed for that specific animal. For example, living off reindeer herds required sophisticated practices for hunting, and then exploiting all the products provided by the animal that was available. (Every part of the animal was used in one way or another) Hunters specialized on a particular herd animal defined their territory in terms of a particular herd. Long before domestication, the hunters of the herds thought of themselves as 'owners' of those herds, and they both endeavoured to foster the herd's health as well as defend them against foreign hunters.
    In the late Ice Age, the reindeer hunter tribes of the North European Plain would have stayed with the same herd generation after generation.  Their sense of territory was that herd, not the land.  Each tribe respected the herd of the other tribe. There is no question that something similar occurred with tribes that hunted horse and bison herds.
    Archeology says that the "Kunda Culture" from which the expansion into the oceans came, originated around 12,000 years ago from the "Swiderian" reindeer culture located in a wide area comprising what is now Poland and surrounding region. These reindeer hunters would have had contact with the expanding "Maglemose" boat peoples, and when reindeer hunting or even pedestrian hunting in general became difficult, they borrowed from the "Maglemose" culture, and the "Kunda Culture" arose. The "Kunda" material culture inherited technology and pracrices from their former reindeer hunting culture. I think they inherited the highly nomadic nature of reindeer hunters, who, even on foot covered a wide region in their wanderings to keep in harmony with the great migrations of thousands of reindeer. The Baltic Sea was a new liquid form of tundra, and they were not afraid of treating the sea as a vast plain over which to move in accord with the behaviour of animals. The reindeer of the sea were probably seals, since seals congregated in herds. They found they could use technology inherited from former reindeer hunting.
    Thus, when the "Swiderian" culture moved into the flooded lands south of the melting glaciers they did not become pedestrian hunters pursuing individual animals,. but continued to seek out the large herds, but now the herds found in the new liquid tundra.
    When we get into the mind of men of the "Kunda" culture we can understand their mentality - large scale seasonally nomadic behaviour over the liquid tundra, and the pursuit of the sea mammal herds. Besides seals, there were the walrus herds, dolphins, and the whales.
    But it was the whales that travelled especially long distances and those descendants of the "Kunda" culture that became hooked on whales, would have made especially long voyages. We do not know, but it is possible whale hunters could have travelled as far south as whales migrate.  Archeologists and geneticists who find evidence suggesting northern sea peoples somehow reached southern regions along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, should consider whale hunters.
    In about the 1980's I pursued this question of whether whale hunters travelled very far down the coasts. In terms of migrating south along the European Atlantic coasts, such an investigation is thwarted by the amount of development. Aside from the Basques, there are no coastal peoples who have any connection to aboriginal origins. But the Basques are interesting because when Europe developed a great demand for whale products, Basques were quick to respond. Originally whale products were obtained from Greenland Inuit who hunted whales in a traditional way, but Basques quickly dominated the whaling industry. Was there something in their culture that had preserved an association with whaling? We will look at the evidence in the Basque language.
    It is of course possible that whalers also travelled south on the North American coast of the Atlantic. Later in this article, I will look at evidence of an origin in arctic skin boat peoples, in the Alqonquian peoples. I do not know if evidence of whaling peoples can be found further south.
    Investigations of the Pacific coasts are more fruitful.  On the Asian side, it is possible the Ainu peoples of Japan, originated from the same peoples who became the "Inuit".  On the North American side, my investigation of indigenous languages down the coast lead me to discover the "Wakashan" cultures of the Vancouver area had deep whaling roots. Furthermore archeology confirms that originally the coast was unihabited and became inhabited from about 5,000 years ago, which is consistent with the development and expansion of seagoing skin boats from arctic Scandinavia. Other peoples with whaling traditions on the coast apparently came to the coast from the interior at a later time and adopted the whaling practices.
    The Pacific coast of North America, particularly the British Columbia coast, also demonstrates how material culture develops when people stop being nomadic.  Because of the wealth provided by the rain forests and salmon, the British Columbia coastal peoples did not have to remain nomadic. As a result they were able to develop their material culture, which included  totem poles and cedar lodges. The salmon runs up the rivers provided plenty of food, so that whale hunting became more of a cultural tradition than a necessity,  Situated approximately half way in the coastal migrations of the whales, they could access the whales coming or going. Culture can be defined as an originally necessary activity, now not necessary, but preserved in rituals and ceremonies.
    Whaling was of course difficult, so more realistically, most of the year was probably spent harvesting the smaller creatures, whether it was plentiful fish or the smaller aquatic animals such as seals and walrus..

The Arctic Sea-People of  North America and Greenland - the "Thule" and "Dorset" Archeological Cultures


    Archeologists say that the Inuit of northern North America and Greenland, originated from the archeological "Thule" culture, which expanded rapidly west-to-east (in 500 years!) from northern Alaska. The name "Thule" has no relationship to the historic Thule of Pytheas which is believed to refer to Iceland, and which coincidentally matched the Finnic word for 'of fire' ("tule" (DUH-LEH) in Estonian). The new culture, the new technology, seemed to displace a former "Dorset" culture in the north. The "Dorset" culture had arrived much earlier from the Greenland side, beginning as early as 3000BC (5000 BP) about the time of the making of the rock carvings of seagoing skin boats.
    Note that archeology defines culture by artifacts. The replacement of "Dorest" with "Thule", only means that a new set of tools and practices travelled east from Alaska. It does not necessarily mean a massive migration of "Thule" people. The new ways could have spread through contact, intermarriage with minimal genetic replacement.  Realistically it was both. Archeologists tend to want to invent drama - wars and conquests. But it is now accepted that MOST spread of material culture innovations rise from simpy copying of the more attractive culture. This is clear today from the speed at which the whole world has adopted the internet and cellphone. If a people with new superior hunting tools came on the scene, it would be adopted and spread much more quickly than the very laborious process of immigrants actually conquering and killing off the natives. Only genetics can determine if there was genetic replacement - but even that is not easy to determine because of intermarriage.
    I have, thoughout my investigations of the prehistory of the Canadian arctic, not found any reason to believe that a "Thule" people actually conquered a "Dorset" peoples, as opposed to being the source of new cultural innovations that came to be widely adopted. Humans fight over territory, and there may have been battles at walrus congregating sites, but those battles could have been between people with the same culture. The myth of "Thule" culture peoples exterminating "Dorset" culture peoples is simply naive and absurd, even if claimed by highly respected scholars. One culture simply changed another, in much the same way that in modern history, an internet based culture has replaced the print and letter based culture of a century ago. Today we do not see any army spreading all over the world from Google and Apple corporations, and killing off all people who do not have Google or Apple products. Even in ancient times, nobody exterminated existing peoples - only opposition. Conflicts are always territorial -  one group of men trying to 'win' in a competition with another group of men. If other people than the warriors are affected it is only collateral damage. But history has always celebrated wars and victories, just as today men celebrate the victory of their favourite football team over the 'enemy' team. History is not about real events, but about wars - who won over who in the course of time.  Winning a war did not mean the entire population of the defeated was destroyed - only the actual participants in the war or competition.
    If the "Thule" culture was merely the movement of an innovative culture from the west to the east, then how did the "Thule" culture originally arrive at the Alaska region?
    If we assume the skin boat was developed in arctic Russia and Scandinavia, then it could have travelled not just west across the North Atlatnic, but also east along the arctic coast of Siberia.  While it is generally accepted that the "Dorset" material culture arrived in northeast North America from the east over the North Atlantic, how did the "Thule" skin boat peoples arrive in the northwest North America, at Alaska.
    There are two possibilities: 1. that some of the peoples who reached the Russian arctic migrated east along the coast of Siberia and reached the Bering Strait and Alaska that way. 2. That it originated across the north Atlantic like the Dorset at a time when it was possible to travel by boat to the northwest.  
    The latter needs explaining: We know that about the time of the Norse landings on North Americam shores there was a climatic warming that led to Norse establishing farms on the Greenland coast. Within a few centuries the climate cooled again and those farming settlements were abandoned. During this warming spell, passages between the arctic islands, normally blocked by ice could have been free of ice, offering easy passage to seagoing tribes (ie carrying the "Thule" culture) on the west side. To be specific, McClure Strait-Viscount Melville Sound, Barrow Strait, could have had  ice-free passages easy to follow in skin boats. It is believed there was a similar climatic warming at the start of the modern era ( ie after 0 AD). The "Thule" culture could have originated from the earlier "Dorset" culture at an earlier time moving in the other direction (east to west) when water passage was easy. and then movement across the arctic was blocked off so that cultures on either side would have developed independently.
    Therefore it is not necessary to find the "Thule" culture emerging from a different ultimate source than the "Dorset".  They could both have come across the North Atlantic, and then the originally single people become separated by a climate cooling - until the next warming opened the passage again.
    Which explanation works best? The problem with the migration along the Siberian coast as a few shortcomings. First of all, the Gulf Stream wamed waters was in the Norwegian arctic, and the northeast Atlantic, and it would have drawn more seagoing hunters there, thus increasing the probability of some groups continuing west.  Secondly the Tamir Peninsula extends so far north, that the sea would have been frozen and blocked continuation eastward along the coast.  Thirdly, I have not learned of any seagoing skin boat traditions along the Siberian arctic coast.  All things considered, it seems to have come from the east over top of North America. The theory that passage was blocked and the east and west populations developed independently for a time, makes much sense, especially since Greenland Inuit speak of origins towards the east, and yet their language is a dialect of Inuit. This also supports the idea that the "Thule" and "Dorset" cultures were basically the same people, and that all that migrated was material culture

     Archeology only studies the hard material remains left by people. Their definition of "cultures" according to artifacts can be highly misleading. For example we mentioned above the "Kunda" culture; but were the "Kunda" culture really very different in linguistic and cultural terms than the "Maglemose" culture? Similarly were other "cultures" to the north and east really very different from the "Kunda"? We have to recognize that people of the very same ethnicity and language -- with only dialectic variation -- can follow different ways of life! The differences are determined  by the forces in the environment in which they lived, and not by internal changes. Indeed internally they could all remain the same, changing only the technology and behaviour that they needed to deal with each their own environment. Seagoing people developed material culture suited to seahunting, river people developed material culture suited to river life, marsh and bog people had yet other technologies and behaviour.  Humans can change their material culture very very quickly and still remain the same, ethnically. For example, Chinese can adopt American business-suits and cars and electronics, and still speak Chinese, still eat their own traditional food, and still carry on their own folk traditions. Another good example are Estonians and Finns. They borrowed farming practices and from an archeological perspective they ought to be Germanic speaking, but they are not.
    Thus we have to be careful about assuming that the "Thule" and "Dorset" archeological cultures were different ethnically. They could have been ethnically only as different as, say, an American and British person today.
    The Inuit language will be described in detail separately, but we can make some comments.  In my investigation of the Inuit language, I found the similarities that have been noted by linguists in terms of grammar and phonology.  In terms of words, my pursuit of resonances with Finnic, generally failed for most of the words, but was noticably successful with words that are not likely to be changed over time - such as words pertaining to family relationships. I will make comments below regarding the name "Inuit" which means 'the people', and how it resonates with Algonquian language, and even with Estonian inimesed (plural of inimene 'person'). For some reason one of the closest parallels between an Inuit language word, and Finnic is the word for 'feather' . (Inuit suluk, Finnish sulka, Estonian sulg)

North American Algonquians - the Birch Bark Skin Boat and Rock Art


  The Inuit (Eskimo) of arctic Canada. Their boats were made of skins and included a one-person craft called a kayak and the other a large vessel that would carry an entire clan, called an umiak. To their south in the subarctic forests there were the Algonquian boat-using hunter-fisher-gatherers who travelled up and down the rivers. They included Cree, Ojibwa, Algonquin, Montagnais, Innu, etc. Their boats were made by covering a frame with birch bark. The birch bark canoe can be viewed as a form of skin boat. Algonquian peoples towards the south along the Atlantic coast also demonstrated dugout canoes and skin boats using moose-hide. Were these boats independently developed or did the prototypes come across the North Atlantic? There are many similarities between the culture of the Algonquians and what is found in Finno-Ugrians.
    Algonquians further south, in what is now the States, made dugouts, since birch trees were less available. The fact that Alqonquian cultures knew both the skin boat concept and the dugout concept, reminds us of the rock carving in arctic Norway that showed both the skin boat and the dugout. This suggests the Algonquian cultures most probably developed in the arctic, such as the "Dorset" culture, and migrated south.
Figure 2

NA glacier maps
The above map shows the way the North American glaciers retreated. Note that the regions that became flooded with glacial meltwater was basically what is today the Hudson Bay basin.  Some groups of an arctic skin boat people, who had arrived from the east, would have been able to descend either along the Labrador coast, or the swollen Hudson Bay, and maybe both. It could be that ultimately the Algonquian birch-bark canoes people may have been the ancestors of Cree and that it expanded south, into the Great Lakes, and then eastward, On the other hand, Atlantic skin boat peoples could have easily descended the Labrador coast  Do the Algonquians have two origins paths?
 We pointed out earlier that material culture change does not mean there is a change in language. And yet archeology likes to divide up humankind according to material culture.  But thinking in terms the nature of the people, it is likely that the Algonquian cultures developed from some of the peoples of the "Dorset" culture, or predecessor culture, ventured south, either along the Labrador coast or down the Hudson Bay coast. If the pressures of the flooding of the lands south of the glaciers did not promote an independent development of boats, then those skin boat peoples would have found a vast environment of post-glacial lands unoccupied and ready to accept a people who had boats.
    As we saw in an earlier chapter, the original boats - "Maglemose Culture"- were dugout canoes, and that skin boats developed in the arctic, originally from moose skins, because in the arctic it was not possible to find large trees.
    If the Algonquian peoples descended from the north, then the evolution of a skin boat from a dugout did not happen. The Algonquians arrived with the skin boat concept already established. Descending south of Hudson Bay or Labrador, they no longer had access to the arctic animals they used for their skin boats. There may have been memories of dugouts, but if they descended from the arctic, they would not find the large enough trees initially.  When their original skin boats wore out, they had a problem of what to use for the skin. Someone thinks "Why do we not stitch the bark of the birch together to obtain the skin".
    Continuing to spread southward into lands not yet inhabited eventually came to an end as they encountered native peoples in less flooded lands. They would have been pedestrian hunter-gatherers, a woodland culture. Some cultural mixing may have occurred. Once again, we should not think of one people dominating another, but rather of new ideas being easily copied. The original pedestrian hunter-gatherers would quickly copy the making and using birch-bark canoes, and to some extent the way of life could spread, even if the originators of the culture became a minority. (To illustrate the idea of cultural change not needing ethhic change: In recent history the Plains Natives of North America, copied Spanish horseback riding, found some Spanish horses gone wild, and within a few generations had completely changed their culture, but we would not claim they were conquered by the Spanish! )
     When we consider boats, archeology fails to find evidence of boats in North America predating about 5000 years ago. It seems that boats did not develop independently in North America - the same environmental pressures never materialized.  While northern Europe has rock carvings dated to as much as 8000 years ago, showing both dugouts and skin boats, all images in North America that show boats are relatively recent.


    Finland has red ochre images on rock walls that were originally beside water, and made from boats, but all the images are so degenerated it is difficult to make them out. On the other hand similar red ochre paintings on cliffs beside water in the Great Lakes of Canada are fresh enough that you can tell what the images represent. They suggest visits from the arctic coast of Norway by aboriginal people of Finnic origins (since they carried out exactly the same practice as found in Finland) relatively recently. The North American rock paintings are dated to only about a millenium old. But that is not certain. Minerals covering the red paint can preserve the paintings for quite a while.
    On the other hand rock carvings last longer, depending on the durability of the rock. The Alta, Norway rock carvings are made into granite. Granite is very hard, and some of those carvings can be believably dated to be 6,000 years old.
     Anyone who is aware of the rock paintings on the walls of cliffs in Finland, which were painted from boats, and also those in North America around the Great Lakes, cannot help but notice their similarlities. In both regions, separated by the Atlantic, people in canoes found it necessary to stop beside sheer walls descending to the water, and make paintings using red ochre. Did these people first come from  Finnic sources in northern Scandinavia, via the Alta gateway, first crossing the North Atlantic in skin boats, and then travelling inland in shallower vessels?

Figure 3

This image, by Dewdney reproduced from Indian Rock Paintings of the Great Lakes  (S. Dewdney & K.E. Kidd) represents a section of the rock paintings found on the rock face beside the water at Bon Echo Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. In the center we see a boat with a prow with an animal head. Does this depict a skin boat of Scandinavian origin?


A very important concept regarding aboriginal peoples, was that, like all humans, they were very territorial. Supposing the arctic waters west of Greenland were already inhabited by seagoing peoples, an early "Dorset" culture, already established early. Then later, when the Alta area became a new staging location for boats heading west into the ocean, new migrations would have run into the "Dorset", and been forced southward along the Labrador coast. The Algonquians need not be seen as a single early arrival, but as several arrivals at different times.
   The Algonquians could have also included a second wave of migrations, from the second staging area, Alta. We have nothing to prove it, other than the concidences of making rock paintings on     How similar are the Canadian rock paintings to those in Finland,  when comparing the two locations?
    The rock paintings at Lake Mackinaw, Ontario, are interesting because they are towards the east, hence closer to the direction from which visitors would have come.

Figure 4,5

    The image above shows an impressive location that canoes would have passed on a route northward from eastern Lake Ontario. One should not imagine that men made intentional journeys to such cliffs, but rather that it was on their normal long-distance canoe routes, and that the voyagers were impressed by the vertical rock walls and were moved to make drawings. (Possibly feeling the same way as a tourist with a camera). Obviously where there were no cliffs descending to the water, there were no drawings. We should not assume that because a region has no drawings the people did not pass through there. There simply were no places to put drawings. Southern Ontario does not have very many locations suitable for rock art, such as the one at Lake Mackinaw in southeast Ontario. The greatest concentration of rock paintings done on cliffs beside the water are found alongside Lake Superior and lakes towards its northwest. A detailed study of the Great Lakes rock paintings is found in Indian Rock Paintings of the Great Lakes  (S. Dewdney & K.E. Kidd)

Figure 6,7

    Most of the Canadian rock art consists of rock paintings made onto rock walls northwest of Lake Superior. But they are not very old. But they certainly preceded by many centuries, the arrival of Europeans, including the Norse. Their presence, at least demonstrates that such an immigration was possible.
    Further investigations would reveal rock art that can be dated to considerably earlier such as 6,000 years ago. Such rock art, which can be attributed to boat peoples (such as if it is found alongside prehistoric waterways) may already have been found. It is not my purpose to do an exhaustive search into what archeology has found. My purpose is to open the discussion.
    In the separate article on language, we will also open the discussion about language, since there are some remarkable coincidences between the Finnic languages of today (Estonian and FInnish) and Algonquian languages.  In general, the Algonquian languages are less similar to Finnic than Inuit, but there are significant parallels not just with  Finnic but also Inuit. If I were to try to explain the language, I would be inclined to suggest that there re two layers of immigration from over the north Atlantic,one occurring very early, and one perhaps only a couple millenia ago, with added interractions with indigenous woodland peoples. You can be the judge when we study the Algonquian languages in the separate discussions of language.

Atlantic Ocean:

The Basques as Descendants of Early Whaling Peoples

  The Basques, located today in northern Spain, belongs to intrepid seafaring peoples along the Atlantic coast which include the Portuguese. It would not be a surprise if it turns out that the Portuguese are Basques who assimilated into Latin introduced by the Romans, and became Spanish. I believe that all the Atlantic oceanic people originated from the same northern origins - the skin boat peoples who harvested the seas off the coast of arctic Norway.  That was their training ground. Once they had mastered their way of life and their populations grew, some wandered south, discovered the British Isles, and then with continued success, some continued further south.
   That brings us to the question of the Basques, who have managed to preserve their language. The Basques in recent centuries have been well known as harvesters of the Atlantic, including whaling in the waters off the North American coast from as early as the 16th century. It is easy to believe that they are descended from the same world of oceanic seafarers as the Picts, Norwegian "Finns", and the Inuit. One does not learn to be at home on the waters of the Atlantic overnight.
      The Basque language, is acknowledged to be pre-Indo-European. Some scholars assume that the Basques are descended from the original peoples of nearby regions dating back to the cave people who left art on cave walls. However, we have to recognize that there were two types of people during the pre-Indo-European civilization in Western Europe - the seagoing people and the interior people. The Basques display strong seafaring traditions, and therefore it is reasonable to propose that they are descended from the Atlantic seagoing peoples and not interior peoples. This connection to seafaring in turn implies that they are distantly related to Finnic and Inuit cultures, to the peoples of the expansion of boat-peoples. While it is possible the Basques learned whaling in the modern era, it is equally possible that the Basques have always known whaling, and have had an ancient connection with peoples like the Greenland Inuit whalers. We don't know very much about what the Basques did in ancient times.
   If Basque is descended from the Finnic whaling people appearing in the White Sea rock carvings, then it follows that we should find FInnic in the Basque language.  Scholars have not found it, but that may be because the meanings are not direct parallels and it needs someone familiar with Estonian to see the parallels.
    It happens that Basque indeed presents some words that can be interpreted with Estonian.  If the Basques emerged from oceanic hunters, then the linguistic distance between Estonian and Basque would be less than 6000 years, dating back through arctic Norway and Lake Onega to the "Kunda" culture.   It follows that we SHOULD find the same nature of similarities between Estonian and Basque
   It is not our intent to perform a comprehensive lingustic study but only to give some evidence that shows that three is something real in the hypothesis.  A short comparison of Basque and Estonian words is given in the separate article/chapter 4A dealing with languages


The Pacific Ocean

    In the late 1970's  I first had the idea that seagoing boat peoples had nothing to prevent them from travelling long distances. It is human nature to explore especially with population growth exerting pressures to find new hunting territories. Success produces expansion.
    Having found that the Inuit of arctic Canada has some words that resonated with Estonian Finnic words  (for example Inuit suluk 'feather', being paralleled by Estonian sulg, Finnish sulka for 'feather'), it occurred to me that seagoing  peoples descended from northern Scandinavia would have developed traditions of whaliing.
    Being a student at the University of Toronto, albeit in Applied Science, I had access to the "stacks" (where the books were shelved) in the central library, and I went to several corridors of bookshelves pertaining to the North American Native peoples.  I located the section which covered the Native peoples of the west coast, and pulled out book after book, and scanned it first for seagoing traditiona, and then for some words in their language. Having been raised with Estonian, I could resonate with anything that seemed Finnic. I put each book back immediately, otherwise I would have a hundred books out, that staff would have to re-shelve. If I got positive results, I looked more carefully at the language, culture, and what archeology had found.
    Once again, this was not an exhaustive project. I used what the university had. There may exist considerably more information, and more discoveries may be possible, should someone wish to pursue it further.
    The objective was simply to find enough evidence to support the hypothesis, that a boat peoples tradition ultimately originating in the Baltic postglacial landscape expanded into the arctic ocean, spread around the arctic, and from there spread southward too, into northern lake-lands, or coasts that, before about 5,000 years ago, were not previously occupied. (No inhabitants were there to claim territory and repel newcomers.)
    I will focus on whaling peoples to begin with, because whaling traditions were easy to identify and investigate. They are also more likely to have retained the original culture and language, since whalng is so specialized, people following it would not mix well with other ways of life.   
    In the academic world, there has been a long tradition of ignoring aboriginal peoples, of treating them like background to the discoveries and developments of 'civilization'.  For that reason, most textbooks refer to northern aboriginal peoples dismissively as "hunters-gatherers" as if they did nothing but exist, like the wild animals.
    When speaking about the arctic ocean, textbooks will speak of the spread of arctic culture around the arctic ocean, as if speaking of some kind of wild animal. And then the text started speaking of the exploits of the Norse, Christopher Columbus, and other 'discoverers' - as if the aboriginal people were irrelevant. If our interest is in the history of humankind, we cannot exclude any humans. Archeology, on the other hand, does take interest in ALL humankind of the past. As a result there exists a disconnect between archeology's humankind,.and the political humankind.


    The Inuit of Alaska  clearly originated from the migrations of whale hunting peoples to that location.  I expressed above that they most likely reached Alaska from the east, from the same peoples from which the "Dorset" culture developed, who ultimately came from arctic Scandinavia. In my view, already expressed above, during an early temporary climate warming the original sea-hunting peoples were able to travel through the channels of the central arctic of North America, and then the cooling that followed blocked it again, and separated the two cousin peoples to diverge to some degree. Finally there was a warming again that brought them in contact again which resulted in the "Dorset" culture adopting the innovations that characterized the "Thule" culture.  But, they were basically the same people. Aside from evidence of territorial conflicts, there is nothing to suggest one people exterminted the other - beyond the men involved in the various territorial skirmishes.
    One piece of evidence suggesting there was basically one culture, is the fact that the word "Inuit" (meaning 'the people' in their language) for the people supposedly of the "Thule" culture, is close to the name of the Algonquians along the Labrador coast and north coast of the Saint Lawrence, which is "INNU". The "INNI" stem is used in many ofher Algonquian peoples, in the singular meaning 'person'. Furthermore when we get to the Pacific, we find the seagoing aboriginal peoples of Japan called "Ainu".  What is interesting about the "INNI" stem, is that the Estonian word for 'person' is "INIMENE". This suggests a spread of a people whose word for 'person' was based on "INI", "INNI".
    This coincidence seems to support  that the peoples of the "Thule" and "Dorset" culture were basically the same in non-material culture, and the differentiation is purely an arbitrary archeological distinction based on material culture.  In addition the fact that Algonquian languages use the "INI" stem for 'person', seems to confirm my theory, presented earlier, that the Algonquian peoples came down from the north in skin boats and their birch-bark canoe was developed from the skin boat principle of a skin on a frame.

     We saw earlier in the 17th century illustration that the Greenland Inuit were whaling people, using the same whaling methods that we see in a White Sea rock carving. But ALL the Inuit peoples were whalers. Whales were being hunted from boats across the Canadian arctic to Alaska and then south through the Aleutian Islands.


    It is common sense the these whaling peoples would have ventured southward as well. On the Asian side, we have the Ainu at Japan, already mentioned. What else do the Ainu offer that links them to the boat peoples? The most obvious cultural practice they have is the "dragon boat", which refers to a dragon-like head at the prow of a seagoing boat. This custom of an animal head on the prow dates back to the original custom of depicting the head of the animal from which the boat skin came, on the prow. See Chapter 3, for the discussion of its origin in the moose skin boat with the moosehead on the prow. The rock carving from the White Sea that depicts whaling, also show moose-heads on the prows. Alta Rock carvings show more with the moose head, and some with reindeer heads.   Both the "dragon boat" of the Ainu, and the "dragon boat" of the Norse had the same origin. When sizable tree were available there was a reverting to the dugout, but the tradition of the head on the prow continued. Since boat was now made of wood, the animal head on the prow could be a fantastic one.  (Note Germanic cultures originated in interior settled farming peoples, so obviously the people who actually made the Norse dragon boats were not ethnically Germanic, but derived from Norwegian natives who already had thousands of years of experience making and using boats along the Norwegian coast.
    What can we say about the Ainu at the islands of Japan? Ainu can also be found on the Russian coast today..
    Going back to before recent historic events, the Ainu have been recognized as aboriginal peoples - they were hunter-gatherers-fishers who had the same spirituality as all aboriginal peoples, based on natural phenomena and the presence of spirits in everything that could be viewed as living. As aboriginal peoples they suffered the same persecution from Japanese governments as aboriginal peoples elsewhere in the world at the hands of immigrant colonial governments.
    Boats among the Ainu, were dugouts. This opens the question of whether the Ainu arrived via dugouts through the interior of Asia.. The Ainu  are members of the indigenous peoples who practice bear worship. The deification of the bear is also found in the original pre-Christian  Finnic cultures. Towards the east, the Finno-Ugric Ob-Ugric Khanty had a tradition of giving a bear that has been killed a wake of many days, in which performances are carried on to honour the bear, whose head and skin is propped up as if viewing the performances.
    We might have already wondered if the word "Ainu" had a meaning similar to how "Inuit" means 'the people'. The meaning of "Ainu: today is 'human' which in fact also means 'person'.
    According to accumulated entries about the Ainu in Wikipedia, scholarly descriptions of the Ainu, come to many opinions about their origins. We can ignore them, because obviously, as seafaring peoples, their ancestry is broadly distributed . Many observers see Europe-type eyes, and wavy abundant hair. Others see Mongoloid eyes and straight black hair. The AInu have been mixed up with many peoples of the Asian coasts and any conclusions from genetics or appearance is impossible. They could represent a genetic replacement, where so many peoples have become part of them from other cultures, that the original genetics has been diluted.
    The Ainu language cannot be connected to any other language, and is therefore called a "language isolate". But it has some features in common with Finnic languages. Terms which are prepositions in English - to, from, by, in, at - are postpositions in Ainu.  In Finnic languages, postpositions are added to stems and viewed as case endings. Furthermore, the language is agglutinative, as are Finnic languages.
    Linguistic resonances? Various words have noticable parallels in Finnic. I have already mentioned the word "Ainu". Another is that a village is called "kotan". In Finnic kota, kodu, means 'home' and it could refer to a village. A storehouse was called "pu" which compares with Estonian pood 'store'.  The left side of a fireplace of a traditional house, where the husband and wife sat was called "shiso" which compares with Estonian sisu 'the inside'.  The Ainu also prayed to the god of fire. The reason for doing so has to be connected to past experience with volcanoes. A scan of words is not very fruitful, but here and there one sees remarkable coincidences among words that have a good probability of being preserved, such as "ka" for 'also' (also in Estonian), or "kat" for 'build' (Estonian  katus 'roof'), or "mak" for 'mountain side' (Estonian m�gi 'mountain'). But for the most part, the Ainu language does not resonate with Finnic as much as we will see on the east side of the Pacific. It is always possible that the Ainu represent a more local coastal people adopting the boat-oriented culture from the originals, and who kept some of the original culture. This would not be surprising because on the Pacific coast there are whale hunting peoples who borrowed whaling activities but who actually moved out to the coast from the interior, and who therefore offer no insights towards the deep mystery of the original spread of oceanic boat peoples.
     The Ainu, in conclusion, have had so many twists and turns in their experiences   in recent centuries, that there is no clarity in regards to their history and prehistory, other than what is obvious from their being an aboriginal hunter-gatherer-fisher peoples with a spirituality that is shared by indigenous peoples. which includes a spirituality including a reverence to the bear, and to thunder too.
    Put let us not forget our purpose here - to find evidence of the expansion of whaling peoples down the Pacific coasts.  A Wikipedia entry states that "Surviving Ainu folklore reveals a long history of whaling and a spiritual association with whales" ( Etter, Carl (1949) Ainu Folklore: Traditions and Culture of the Vanishing Aborignes of Japan, Kessinger Publishing, pp. 164-171) But what does "long" mean? Was this a recent development? Archeological evidence in the form of whale remains discovered in murial mounds suggests that whales have been consumed in Japan from early prehistoric times. It has been assumed that consumption of whales originally  stemmed from stranded whales. But if it can be determined when seagoing boats arrived in Japan, we can assume that whaling was part of the culture of these seagoing peoples, and that it would have been part of the expansions of whaling peoples.
    In general our pursuit of evidence of original whaling peoples originating some 5000-6000 years ago in northern Scandinavia, is not benefitted from further investigation of the Asian coast of the Pacific Ocean. Its history is too complex and confusing to discover hard convincing  evidence..

The North American Pacific Coast - The Wakashan Whale Hunters


      It is well known that there are whale migrations going up and down the Pacific coast of North America and some Native cultures with whaling in their heritage. What is the nature of these whaling cultures? DId they come south from Alaska and Aleutian Islands at some distant time in the past?
     During the 1970's when a student at the University of Toronto, I went into the stacks (shelves) of the university library where books were kept and pulled books off the shelves in the section covering the North American Native (Indian) languages. Flipping through the word lists, I scanned for words that resembled Estonian words . At that time I had only done my study on the Inuit language (summarized above)and had wondered if any of the numerous other Native languages of North America would produce similar results. Would I find more coincidences? What would it mean if I did?
    At that time I had not formed any theory about circumpolar migrations of boat people, and I looked at every language for which there was a book (there were almost 500 languages in North America in the 17th century, so I must have looked at least a hundred). I hoped to find words that would have resisted change such as words for 'mother', 'father', 'earth', 'sky', 'water', 'fish', 'sun', 'day' and so on. If I failed to find any parallel within a few minutes, I moved on. If I did find interesting coincidences I lingered longer to find more and to evaluate whether I was looking at pure coincdences of whether there seemed to be real parallels indicating a distant genetic commonality with Estonian.
    What I discovered was that I was seeing Estonian-like words in languages along the  Pacific coast, known more commonly as the Northwest Coast (of North America). I only discovered later that the speakers of these languages were either whale hunters, or salmon-catchers. The next section looks at the language and culture of the whale hunters around Vancouver Island, that linguists have grouped under the name "Wakashan". Everything about them suggested the arrival of whalers from the north, perhaps about 5000 years ago.


    Archeology reveals that the seacoast culture on the Northwest Coast before about 3000 BC was very similar to the culture of the Eskimo (Inuit). Thus Charles E. Borden, an archeologist who  studied and wrote about this early culture since the 1950's, often referred to the early culture as "Eskimoid"  (Eskimo-like). Thus there are archeologists who acknowledge some degree of connection between the maritime culture of the Northwest Coast and that of the "Eskimo" (a term that refers mostly to Inuit and Aleutians). 
     The Northwest Coast also had an abundance of salmon, and other sea life, thus the seagoing hunting peoples were not entirely specialized towards whales.  Archeology shows there was a dramatic growth in cultures around 3,000 BC, (5,000 years ago) and speculate it was the result of climatic change that promoted a surge in the population of salmon.
      By the 1980's the North American Indian languages had been classified into seven large language families - American Arctic-Paleosiberian, Na-Dene, Macro-Algonquian, Macro-Siouan, Hokan, Penutian, and Aztec-Tanoan. Each of these large language families contained smaller language families.
    But we are here interested in the original arrivals, the whale hunters, and our attention is turned to indigenous peoples on the Pacific coast of North America that have a heritage of whale hunting. Of special interest in this regard is the "Wakashan" family of language    The "Wakashan" family of languages found in Northwest Washington and along the west coast of British Columbia is one of the smaller language families that cannot be tied to other language families, This by itself suggests a newer arrival compared to the languages that have North American roots going back up to 10,000 years.        
     Because of the peculiar features of the Northwest Coast native people, features which include totem poles, colourful masks and other traits of advanced culture and technology, scholars have tended to separate the development of the Northwest Coast culture from the general average progression of culture among the more inland native people. Origins in Polynesia and Asia have been proposed owing to various similarities in art and artifacts. However, recent archeological findings and scholarly studies do not support such a simplistic idea as a wholesale settlement of the coast by immigrants from elsewhere. It is much more complex than that. Any visitor to the Northwest Coast in at least the last 5,000 years would have found the coast already occupied by a strong and healthy maritime people. Thus a migration coming from the sea would either have been chased away by established peoples, or if they managed to find a place to settle and be at peace with their neighbours, they would have been assimilated into the dominant surrounding culture after a few generations.
      However, in the case of intrusion by land from the Interior, the displacement of the coastal people already there would not have been as difficult, because the displacement would not have to occur suddenly, but it could occur slowly as natives of the Interior slowly learnt the ways of the coastal people and bit-by-bit intruded into their economic niche.
      After the initial arrival of boat peoples to the vacant coastal areas around 3000BC, 5000 years ago,  the coast developed mainly on its own (in situ), accepting influences from the interior natives.  Apparently the culture and population blossomed from about then, and as Knut R. Fladmark determines from his paleoecological study (A Paleoecological Model For Northwest Coast Prehistory. Knut R, Fladmark, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa,1975), this occurred as a result of the sudden flourishing of the salmon owing to a stabilization of a previously fluctuating ecological environment which greatly affected the fish. The number of archeological finds from that period onward suggests that  the coastal people acquired free time to develop higher culture and energy-expensive technology, and the population grew.
     Another explanation for the sudden flourishing of the coast from around 5000 years ago, could be that previous populations were not inclined towards boats and fishing, and the sudden flourishing resulted from newcomers introducing this new maritime way of life that made greatest use of the abundant salmon. It is possible that original Americans, derived from land-based people, may have looked upon fish like today modern people look upon snakes or insects. It took newcomers in boats to introduce the highly beneficial notion of catching and eating the plentiful salmon. Interior peoples, then, came out to the coast to exploit this new way of life.
        The main groups of native people on the Northwest Coast were the following. There was the northern group which included the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and Haisia, South of them, centred around Vancouver Island were the people of-the Wakasham group which included Kwakiutl (Kwakwala), Nootka, Bella Coola,etc. Further south there were primarily the people known as Salish. All of the Wakashan language groups have deep traditions in whale hunting. We will therefore look more closely at the Wakashan language cultures. I found most information about the Kwakwala.

Figure 8

wakashan languages

Map showing the traditional location of the Wakashan Languages which appear to have deep roots and whaling traditions. Kwakwala language, described next, belongs to the North Wakashan group and occupies the largest area (hatched area).  All of the Wakashan groups have whaling in their traditions, some more strongly than others.


     Archeology seems to tell the story of the Wakashan cultures arriving in the regions generally around Vancouver Island, when originally the coast was uninhabited (ie sea hunting was unknown). That makes the Wakashan cultures of special interest in our search for descendants of the whale hunter people migrations of around 5000 years ago.
    It is believed that the Wakasham cultures most closely represent the original cultures of the Northwest Coast The first to present this theme was Franz Boas who in 1902 and 1910 papers, according to Fladmark (p268) "saw an early basic unity of culture around the North Pacific, from Siberia to the Columbia River. This continuum was later disrupted by a coastal Eskimo migration, separating Siberian and Northwest Coast cultures and by the intrusion of the Tsimshian and Coast Salish, Boas based the Tgimshian migration on traditional histories of certain clans who claimed an interior origin. The theory of a coastward Salish movement was initiated by the pioneering archeological research of Harlan I, Smith, who interpreted a number of traits found at Marpole and Port Hammond shell- middens as being of Interior derivation..."
   Linguistically, the northern and Salish languages are different from the Wakasham languages, also suggesting that people with different languages have arrived from the interior  and taken up the maritime culture introduced by the boat peoples, and presumably occupying places by then not yet occupied.
     Since 1950, publications by C.E. Borden have pursued the concepts of an early Eskimo substratum and later migrations from the Interior. Fladmark quotes Borden with the following passage, written after Bordens first season of field work at Whalen Farm site (my underlining): " While the evidence which was gathered last summer... cannot be as yet regarded as conclusive, the data that were obtained strongly suggest that an earlier group of Indians who lived at this site for a considerable time, and whose entire organization was evidently coastal by long tradition, was eventually overwhelmed by intrusive Indians whose culture exhibits strong ties with the interior... It appears that an early period of extensive dislocations among the Indian groups of the Northwest were caused by repeated waves of migration of Athapaskan speaking peoples sweeping from Northern regions southward along the coast and through the interior.. Great unrest was caused among the Salish, It appears that Salish-speaking groups were jostled out of positions in the interior of Washington and migrated towards the coast, where they adapted themselves to a new life. They did not necessarily settle for long periods in one place but often may have been hustled along to more distant places by newer groups coming from the interior" (Borden,1950, p245)
   Regarding other linguistic groups on the Northwest Coast, besides the Wakashan and Salish considered above, Borden had these notes in a second paper of 1954:(pl94, quoted by Fladmark p 271) " Again, if as it seems, the Haida and Tlingit languages are related to Athapascan we may assume that when the late-arriving Athapascan peoples were expanding, some of them either crowded or followed the early Salish southward into the interior of British Columbia, while a few groups, especially the ancestors of the Haida and Tlingit, filtered through river valleys...to the coast where they either displaced, or more likely, mingled with the (Wakashan?) maritime population already present, at the same time adopting much of their coastal culture The origin of the Tsimshian is obscure. They may be late arrivals from Asia (cf. Barbeau), but it is also possible that they migrated northward from an early southern habitat... It is probable that the Tsimshian came to their present location from the interior."
    According to Borden, the prehistory of the Northwest Coast as archeology  shows it in investigations done the following stages of evolution 1)An early maritime or "Eskimoid" culture with northern origins; 2)coastal migrations of interior groups, 3)a final repatterning and intergration of elements derived from early Interior and Coastal cultures.
      To put it simply: First came the whalers from their circumpolar migrations who established maritime culture where none had existed before. These would be the peoples we are interested in, that ultimately originated in arctic Scandinavia. Next interior people seeing new opportunities in unoccupied coastal locations, migrated to the coast, and finally there were various degress of merging of cultures as the two cultural and linguistic groups interracted. Two of the coastal peoples with interior origins,  but now with significant maritime ways of life, for example, are the Haida and Tlingit.
    By 1962, after excavations in the Fraser Canyon, Borden still believed the ancestral Wakashans were responsible for the original maritime culture on the Northwest Coast, but now was wondering if their culture was transferred back north and caused the success in the Eskimo there to cause their west-to-east expansion (the "Thule" cultural expansion) In other words he wondered if the migrations had gone the other way. Without having any theory like the one proposed in these pages, of the circumpolar expansion occurring first, and originating at the White Sea, Borden was looking an explanation for the origins of the Ekimoan cultures. Borden avoided proposing a common ancestry for Northwest Coast and Eskimo culture by using the term "Eskimoid" (Eskimo-like). However, other scholars went on to propose such a common ancestry.
    Our theory proposes that the expansion of arctic boat peoples across the arctic seas came first, and then expansions southward, both  along the Atlantic coasts and Pacific coasts, came next. The entire theory of the expansion of boat peoples from the "Kunda" culture of the Baltic, rests on the development of skin boats in the arctic, and the expansion of skin boat peoples around the artic being the first expansions by sea. It is easy to see why. Not just was there the Gulf Stream washing the seas and coasts of the northeast Atlantic, but also, if viewed on an actual globe, the arctic coasts were relatively short, and boats could have coasts where they could land most of the time.

Figure 9
looking down at north pole
Viewed down at the north pole, the spread of arctic skin boat seafaring culture was not as difficult as crossing the full width of the oceans closer to the equaor. This map shows that the major challeng was from arctic Norway to Greenland, but that areas had an incentive - the warm waters arriving there from the Gulf Stream. Elsewhere in the arctic boats could have landed every evening along the coasts. The only obstacle was the passage around the arctic being blocked by frozen ocean - such as ice free channels across arctic North American islands, and the north tip of the Tamyr Peninsula, where ice tended never to open a passage.

     Fladmark does not place much faith in theories pertaining-to an Asian or Eurasian connection, but acknowledges the possibility in the following passage: "..it is always tempting when dealing with microblade assemblages to draw comparisons and ultimate origins from Eurasian Upper-Paleolithic cultures. Certainly it is possible to find Eurasian parallels for any of the traits of the Early Microblade Complex - for example thick-nosed scrapers of the early Moresby Tradition of the Queen Charlotte Islands are remarkably similar to Aurignacian carinate scrapers. However, the marked absence of important Upper Paleolithic traits, such as true burins and backed blades on the Northwest Coast, indicates that correspondences are generalized, and any attempt at directly deriving the Early Coast Microblade Complex from Old World ancestors would be speculative at least." (p286) Fladmark himself relates the archeological evidence to paleoecological events on the Northwest Coast, and concludes with the following theory: "Before about 5000 years before present there were oscillating sea-levels varying river gradients, and climatic fluctuations along the entire coast which maintained regional salmon . and other anadromous fish productivity far below present levels. Thus, during the period from about 10,000 years before present to 5,000 years before present, the coastal people did not depend on fish as much as they did after. Archaeological data pertaining to before 5,000 B.P. (before present) show that the early cultures on the coast belonged to two groups: a northern group who were probably marine oriented (who probably hunted sea animals and were generally "Eskimoid"), and a southern group who were probably land-oriented. The former is called the Early Coast Microblade Complex, and the latter the Lithic Culture type. Kitchen middens (accumlations of refuse) from this early period lack shells (indicating the people did not eat shell-fish) and art work or articles of ground stone, After 5,000 B.P. archeological sites along the entire Northwest Coast show large midden accumulations of shells, ground stone ornaments and art-work. This sudden surge in culture Fladzuark attributes to the ecosystems stabilizing and the regional salmon species suddenly becoming very productive. According to Fladmark: 'When salmon achieved full productivity, man probably required little or no adjustment in his exploitive technology' The maritime technology for catching fish was already in place, so that 'adaptive developments took the form of specializing towards this resource more than any other, and making requisite adjustments in settlement and energy dissipating mechanisms in response to the pronounced seasonality, locational concentration, and high magnitude of this single energy source."(p296) 
    As I said earlier, another approach is that the indigenous peoples did not exploit salmon because to them it was a strange creature, and then the arriving maritime culture promoted it within themselves and to all with whom they came in contact. Salmon were plentiful and life began to revolve around the salmon. Theories about fluxuations in fish populations are not significant in this matter.
     Before life began to revolve around the salmon, the coastal people were mobile and scattered. Afterward, the people became more focussed on this resource which produced massive amounts of food ('energy') on a seasonal basis. The result was the availability of energy to devote to the manufacture of technological and cultural items.  Based on numbers of radiocarbon-dated artifacts, a surge in-population occurred between 4000 B.P and 3000 B.P.  (2000BC to 1000BC). As I say, I believe the major cause of this was simply the arrived boat peoples educating the interior peoples of the degree to which salmon were edible, and causing a rush out to the coast to exploit this resource. Of course it is always possible that interior peoples were already familiar with eating fish. But if so, archeologists will have to find remains of fish bones in kitchen middens dating to before 5000 BP. If they only find land animal bones then I would conclude that to them eating fish was as "yucky" as modern culture feels about eating snakes or insects, in spite of their being edible.
     Thus, to conclude the archeological reconstruction confirms that  the Wakashan language speaking cultures arrivied at a time consistent with the timing of the expansion of sea-hunting peoples from arctic Norway. The information that suggests it was the first people to inhabit coastal areas, also helps confirm that in general coasts of North America were uninhabited - perhaps because North America had not developed any fondness for fish as opposed o land animals, and of course no boat-oriented culture. Humans are land-creatures and adoption of boats is resisted, unless there is continuous pressure such as a flooded land, or continuous desirability, such as in this case, the enormous benefits that came from being able to harvest the great flows of salmon into the major rivers. The migration of interior peoples to the coasts, and adoption of salmon harvesting, can only be explained by the enormous attraction of the salmon-harvesting way of life.

A Theme in Whale Hunter Mythology? Descended from Thunder-deity - KALEVA, KALLU, etc


    I have already mentioned that already scholars have noted some cultural similarities across the arctic world. If we include the Wakashan cultures into our scenario of expansion of seagoing aboriginals some 5000 years ago, then we might be wise to see what we can find in their culture.
       In the case of the Inuit culture, there was shamanism and associated beliefs and mythology. We have noted that the Ainu culture too has all the characteristics of aboriginal culture. The belief that all the active environment contains spirits, or nature gods. As we mentioned above the Algonquian worldview in this respect was found in their language itself - from the languge distinguishing between living (infused with spirit) and non-living (spirit absent).  If we are to compare Finnic cultures of the location of the origins of the boat peoples, then today we will not find such animlism any longer. Finnic world view  has modernized in keeping with the growth of Indo-European civilization for over a millenium - but shamanism remains alive in the descendants cultures of the other branching from the "Kunda" culture that endures today in the so-called "Finno-Ugric" cultures.
    Thus, even if we include remnants of worldview before the institutions of colonial governments, we are speaking of a complete spectrum of shamanistic, animistics, boriginal cultures that have become strongly associated with watery environments and boats.
    If we  consider a few words from these cultures, as they have survived to the modern day, in the Inuit culture the shaman was called angakkuq, a word obviously related to anguti ('man') and anguvaa ('he catches it'). While Estonian and Finnish have similar sounding words like the Finnish onkia ('he catches fish') or hankkia ('he procures'), there is no clear linking them to shamanism, unless it is the Estonian word kangelane based on kange 'strong' , which means 'hero, strongman'.  The Kwakwala word NOGAD 'wise man' or 'maker of songs' however is close to Estonian/Finnish  n�id or noita  'shaman'. or later simply as 'wizard, witch'
     Also tying in with mythology, we find the belief in storm deities. Inuit presents the word aqqunaq for 'storm', which was close to akka 'father's brother'. Finnic mythology saw a god in the storms called Ukko    In addition Inuit presents kallu for 'thunder' which reflects Wakashan Kwakwala QwAL�h  'flood tide hitting rocks'. Finnic mythology pictures an ancestor called Kalevawhich can be possibly seen as a present participle of KALE-  where all Finnic peoples are seen as 'sons of Kaleva'., and if KALE derives from K�LA 'sound, echo' we might conclude that its origin is in the meaning 'thunder' and KALEVA originates from something that  meant 'thundering one'. Are Finnic peoples descendant of the Thunder God.  There is no question that ancient peoples would view the agency causing thunder to be a high deity. Although the Ainu fo not appear to identify the thunder diety with a KALLU type of word, but trather a different word, they worshipped a thunder deity.
    In the language article we look at the Kwakwala (Kwakiutl) language among the Wakashan languages.  Kwakwala mythology held that the common ancestor of humanity was the Thunderbird, and that that everyone was a Thunderbird before becoming a human. (ie everyone was a descendant of the thunder-deity - a 'son of Kaleva' in Finnic mythology.)
    Thus it would be interesting if the Kwakwala word for Thunderbird too was similar to Kalev. But this is not the case. However there was a second deity amonf the Wakashan cultures. A storm had both lightning and thunder, hence there ought to be two deities, brothers to one another. Indeed, in Kwalwala mythology the Thunderbird was always accompanied by an equally awesome bird (which is also represented in totem poles) whose name was KOLI, who was the brother of Thunderbird.  Since KOLI is close to the Kwakwala words for sound, the original concept was probably that there were two birds, a bird that caused lightning (ie the Thunderbird is improperly translated and should be Lightningbird) , and another brother bird who created sound the sound - the actual 'Thunderbird'..
    So KOLI is really a thunder bird, while the so-called Thunderbird is really a lightning bird.  Could this duality of deity reflect a mixing of cultures? Did the arriving whale hunters have the Finnic-Inuit KALLU or KALEV, which they knew as KOLI,   referring to thunder diety, and that when there was the mixing with cultures coming to the coast from the interior, they found the interior people had a concept of a giant bird, which was responsible for both lightning and thunder. Therefore the whale hunters needed to add KOLI to the prevailing collective mythol;ogy.
      If we were to see humans being descended from something, it would probably be thunder, since it is the thunder roll that has the effect, not the flash of lightning.  The Inuit culture, with its kallu for 'thunder' did not preserve this mythology probably because in the high arctic thunder storms are rare, and any early mythologies connected with thunder storms would have been forgotten more quickly over time..
       To summarize: before the boat people moved into the arctic where there was no lightning and thunder, there was a deity in ligntning and mostly in thunder. Humans were seen as descendants from the Thunder God,  KALLU (to use the Inuit word for 'thunder'). This mythology developed in the Finnish-Estonian region into the myths of people being 'sons of Kaleva' where the meaning of "Kaleva" was lost in the haze of time.


    But what about the deity that caused lightning? He was there too from the beginning, and reflected originally perhaps in words analogous to Finnic ikke for 'lightning'. I failed to determine from my source material a word for 'lightning' in Kwakwala, but I think the following listed above, applies: IKh�Lh�  'high above'   which I compared with  IGI-/IKI- 'eternal' but which can also compare with the word for lightning. 
    In Finnic mythology, there is a god called UKKO. This was the Lightning God, because Finnish still uses ukkonen to mean 'lightning'. In Estonian variations on this word pattern for 'lightning' are �ike and pikne.  The Inuit word for  'storm', aqqunaq, is similar. Perhaps a storm was seen as the events involving lightning. Since we saw above that Inuit also saw akka as 'paternal uncle' all things considered, the maker of thunder  and  father or humanity, was  KALLU, KOLI, etc  and therefore his brother UKKO, IKKO, etc accompanied him to produce the flashes of lightning. It makes sense that the maker of thunder is the more significant as it is the thunder that terrifies and not the flash of lightning.
     Obviously there has been confusion in history as to what names what, with respect to everything that occurs in a storm. However, the coincidences in mythology are not the kind of thing that would arise from random chance. There is a connection through time. If all that I have presented above is correct, then we could say that the Kwakwala people are also 'sons of Kalev' and extremely distant cousins of the "Kunda" origins of Estonians and Finns.
    We can thus say that the archeological "Kunda" culture are the first 'sons of Kalev' as they were the first to hunt large sea mammals in the open sea. That would explain the special significance of the Kalevala and Son of Kaleva mythology found today precisely in the lands that originally contained the "Kunda" culture.
    With this theory in mind, I sought to see if the Pacific coast had a word for the lightning-bird that has been misinterpreted as a thunder-bird. Can I find a word that resembles Finnic words for lightning. In the next section, wherein we look further south on the Pacific coast,  I explore the Karok language further south and find IKXIV for  'thunderhead' .
    There is no evidence that the original North Americans distinguished between the maker of lightning and maker of thunder in their spiritual worldview. The Thunderbird covered both the light and sound.. I think the standard North American mythology was that the thunderbird made lightning and then the sound of the thunder came from its wings. We also note that Finnic mythology does not picture the deities as birds. Thus the concept of the bird too may be original North American, and the Wakashan peoples were influenced to adopt some of the indigenous concepts such as the deity of storms being a bird. Except that the Wakashan culture needed to picture two birds, two brothers. If the Thunderbird was modelled after the bald eagle common to the Pacific coast, the bird that could symbolize thunder could be the other common, large bird, the raven.
      Moving on to other aspects of culture, of interest is the cultivation of a strong spirit - a strongly expressive and positive outlook towards everything, and a cultivation of personal cleanliness (in body and spirit) and charisma. The Wakashan peoples believed that evil spirits could not strike someone who was , through self-purifying customs and rituals, very pure. It was a source of protection to pursue cleaniness and purity, as well as a source of charisma.  When the Nootka (another Wakashan culture) hunted a whale, it was believed that through self-purification rituals (see the archival photo) , the whale could be charmed to let itself be captured, that the whale actually wanted to be killed by its hunters in order to recieve the honour of giving these very pure beings its blubber for oil and food. This spiritual seduction of prey was played out across the whaling peoples and can be seen in the ancient White Sea rock carving, by the custom of a man getting into the water beside the eye of the whale and speaking to it, before it died,  to ensure after death, its spirit would not haunt the tribe, not bring it bad luck

Figure 10   Nootka Whaler

Archival photo, depicts spiritual preparations done by the whalers before they headed out into the sea to hunt. The Nootka nation belongs linguistically to the  South Wakashan grouping.

reproduced from Indian Primitive, R.W. Andrews, Superior Publ., Seattle 1960

     The pursuit of cleanliness and purity and the belief in the armour of such cleanliness lies in the Finnic sauna tradition, as seen through traditional beliefs and rituals (which have been lost in modern popularization of the custom). I therefore wondered if the sweathouse could be found among the Kwakwala.
    The sweathouse was found throughout North America, but usually it was more makeshift and primitive (redhot stones carried into a temporary tent) than the recent Finnic sauna.  However  approximately at the present northern border of California there were several tribes linguistically identified as Yurok, Karok, and Hupa, who created semi-buried huts and practices that seem very much like the recent Finnic practices, below. For more about the world view of these people, see the article on languages.

The North American Pacific Coast - Other Coastal Cultures No Longer Whale Hunters.

  As I mentioned earlier, during the 1970's when a student at the University of Toronto, I went into the stacks where books are kept and pulled books off the shelf covering the North American Native (Indian) languages, flipping through the word lists, to see if words that resembled Estonian words jumped out, focusing on basic words such as those for 'mother', 'father', 'earth', 'sky', 'water', 'fish', 'sun', 'day' and so on.  What I discovered was that I was seeing Estonian-like words in several languages along the middle Pacific coast, known more commonly as the Northwest Coast (of North America). We have above looked at the Inuit and Wakashan cultures which can be easily connected to whaling aboriginal peoples. But I also looked further south along the Pacific coast, to see what more I could find that resonated with Finnic languages, in order to study whether there was something to be discovered.
       We cannot look at all coastal peoples, because as we saw above, since 5,000 years ago, there have been migrations to the coast from the interior or additional arrivals from the sea accidentally or on purpose. We already described above coastal peoples who moved out from the interior, as well as the evidence of Polynesians arriving on the coasts.
    The following map (source shown in the text at the bottom of the map) shows the various acknowledged tribes down the cost. The Wakashan languages are some of those surrounding Vancouver Island (We have notes the Kwakiutl and Nootka in the above text). We also quoted scholars who consider culture to the north of Wakashan to have been newer arrivals ultimately comning from the interior..
    As we go south from the Wakashan area, again many will be more recent coastal peoples who learned the coastal way of life from peoples already at the caost.
Figure 11

The above map from "The Cultures of the Northwest Coast" by Philip Drucker (1965) shows the various Native nations and languages of that coast. The variation in the language groups are often so extremely different from their neighbours, that much speculation has been fuelled as to how the diversity of peoples arrived there - which came by boat and which came from the interior and borrowed maritime habits already found there. The scheme is not exactly the same as some other interpretations. For the Vancouver Island area, the Wakashan group of languages, see also the map in figure 8. I have added "Kalapuya" because I will look at some of its words, later..

    If we refer to the map above, we find the Karok, Yurok and Hupa south of the Wakashan languages area,  in northern California.
     While the story towards the north seems to speak of early arrival of the Wakashan groups from the north as "Eskimoid" whalers, and later migrations towards the coast of  interior peoples, plus some mixing, the story towards the south is less clear. However we will look at it because of similarities with Finnic culture.
     The Karok, Yurok and Hupa formed the southern focus of the so-called North Pacific Coast Culture While most of the information of this culture comes from studies of the Yuroks, there was a high degree of cultural uniformity among the three groups: Neighbours on the same river highway, they visited each other's performances of the same festivals, intermarried and feuded over the same issues. (Drucker p 176) But their languages were very different from each other.
     Surrounding this pronounced culture, further south and further inland were simple patterns of  Central Californian genre (Drucker p 177)  North of this area where the Pacific coast cultures of diminishing intensity until one reached the Columbia River and the Chinook tribes. In this area too, in the interior was the Kalapuyan tribe, which we will look at also, later.
      As concerns the Karok, Yurok and Hupa cultures, in spite of the sameness of culture,  the languages are not. The Karok language is not closely or obviously related to any other language.
       In my investigation of Pacific coast languages for words that to my impressions, resembled Estonian or Finnish, I looked at all three, and the Karok language had most examples by far that could be compared to Estonian/Finnish. Since Karok  bears no resemblance to Yurok or Hupa, we can presume that  this association between the languages is a relatively recent development -  one or two of them being original, and the remaining/remainder arriving in the area by migration from the interior or by sea. Before I advance a theory about Karok origins, we will look at the Karok culture  - as much as I could find using the limited word list in the source material. We will look at the language in more detail in the separate article/chapter on languages.

    The Karok , Yurok and Hupa tribes are a group that - in spite of their different language - practiced a similar culture. All of them occupying the Klamath River valley in northwestern California, wherever their culture came from, the river valley tied them all together culturally.
    This distinctive northwestern California culture, which may be considered a variety of the North Pacific culture centering in British Columbia, reaches its most intense form among these three tribes
    The Karok-Yurok-Hupa culture lacked many of the features of the culture to their north, but to compensate there was an elaboration of certain features well beyond what was practiced in the north, such as the development of the use of dentalia shells like modern money.


     The Nootka who 'fished' the shells, like other northerners, sorted them into large medium and small sizes, and strung them by an imprecise fathom.
    Yurok on the other hand, graded their shell treasures like jewelers sorting fine gems, and devised a standard of measurement. Yurok strings were all the same length. The unit of highest denomination was a string filled from end to end by ten shells of nearly equal length.  (Drucker p 177-178)
   The Yurok and presumable Hupa and Karok, thus used dentalia nearly like modern currency. Indeed every adult male has a mark tatooed on his upper arm by which he could check the accuracy of the length of a string of dentalia held between thumb and forefinger.
     Naturally societies that have established a monetary standard are interested in "monetary wealth" and so there was an overwhelming interest in weath, and indeed the society idealized the notion of men spending as much time possible in the routine of sweat bathing and cold water bathing, partial feasting, observing strict continence, gathering sweathouse wood all for the ultimate purpose of achieving wealth. (Drucker 183)
     While the Nootkan and Kwakwala people in British Columbia put themselves through various purification rituals just as rigorously, they did not identify as precisely as the Karok, Yurok and Hupa, what the outcome of these rituals would be  To the tribes in British Columbia, the purpose of purification rituals was to become charming  and charismatic so that the spirits of the environment would act favourably towards them, but what constituted favourable behaviour was left open to the circumstances and needs of the time.
    As in modern monetary society, the Karok, Yurok, and Hupa even assigned value to rare items that had little instrinsic value like the dentalia shells, large obsidian blades, scalps of giant pileated woodpeckers, and skins of albino deer. The pursuit of rare goods to which were assigned a high value is an obvious raison d'etre for a trading people, and I wonder if a trading people arrived at the mouth of the Klamath perhaps  2000 years ago (about the time of the Romans when there were several seatrading peoples like Phoenicians and Veneti) and settled there on the river, and by doing so transferred their trader material culture to the natives.  We note that in the northeast parts of North America too, the native peoples had little concept of material wealth until the concept was brought by European traders seeking furs and suddenly transforming an animal's coat into a monetary unit. So the question that endures in regards to the Kurok, is whether they began as a colony of traders who spoke a Finnic language, who had come to visit the Yurok and Hupa  to trade, and that those rare items of little practical value had been what they had been after. If this theory is correct, then the Karok do not represent original arrivals of whaling peoples, but later arrivals of traders.  In the original Europe, the "Kunda" seagoing peoples developed into intrepid seafarers who assumed roles as large scale, long distant, traders. Already at the times of ancient Greece, the Phoenicians had circumnavigated Africa - but they spoke a Semitic language. (Someone who knows Phoenician might investigate if the Yurok or Hupa language shows similarities to Phoenician. It is beyond my knowledge.)


      Other aspects of the society also indicated sophistication of the kind we associate with Europe. The principle of wergild was used as a device for resolving conflicts (conflicts resolved by suitable payments) based on the value of a man's life being equal to the bride price paid for his mother. In terms of how much penalty there should be, "With the same kind of precision shown in their refinement of the dentalia-grading system, they worked out an elaborate scale of seriousness of offences against the person, from murder to an insult....This systematic approach gave an orderliness to Yurok law that was lacking in the wergild settlements of groups far to the north, where grandiose demands for blood money were just as grandiosely rejected." (Drucker, p 184)
     Yurok (and presumably Karok and Hupa) society was made up of small groups of patrilineally related males, clustered around the genealogical senior of the unit, the 'rich man'. Nominal owner of the sweathouse and the group's  wealth, he directed activities of the group-owned economic tracts, such as a section of the salmon weir or acorn grounds. However, as among other Coast Indians, wealth was really a group, not individual property....(true also in Europe in the non-Indo-European regions like across northern Europe in the Finnic regions in Roman times) This tends to support Finnic origins.


     Although sweat bathing was found throughout North America in more improvised forms using rocks heated in a fire outside, among the Karok, Yurok and Hupa, it was refined into an institution with its own special building and rituals - much like Finnic practices going back over 2000 years.  The sweat bath was an important part of the ritual purification for good fortune. The men usually assembled in late afternoon for the sweat bath; when they left the sweathouse by the flue exit, they plunged into the chill river water, then spent several hours alternatively immersing and scrubbing with aromatic herbs, while reciting formulaic prayers for good fortune." (Drucker p 180)  Primitive sweathouses were found among other Indian people throughout North America notably the Algonquians who we believe are also from boat-people.
    (Ultimately the overheating of an enclosure probably originated in the Ice Age, as a way to fight hypothermia; but as with all practices that were originally of serious practical purpose, over time it endures as a cultural practice, even though no longer entirely necessary.)
    While the sweat lodge was found everywhere in North America, these sweat lodges, as the description suggests, was very much like the sauna of the past 2000 years in that the fire was built inside, whereas the sweat lodges brought hot rocks inside from an outside fire. That may support the theory of a more recent arrival tha the original expansions of the boat peoples. . Drucker contrinues to described it as follows: They Yurok sweathouse was a rectangular structure of planks....The walls lined the sides of a deep pit ....A large fire pit in the floor provided direct heat, not steam, for sweating. Men entered through the usual round doorway......Ethnographers and others who observed the Indians still using their typical structures were impressed by the neatness of the sweathouses....Sweathouses rarely contained more than neat wooden stools and well-polished wooden headrests, which were individual property of each occupant, and perhaps a load of wood stacked beside the fireplace....etc. (p 180)

Early Finnic saunas too were semi-buried like the above. The Finnic versions might be covered with sod to seal cracks better.

These two men, in the
adjacent illustration from archives (see text on the illustrations for the sources) in this case from the Hupa culture, look like they could be mistakened for a couple of old Finns of the past century, emerging from their sauna.

    Was the similarity of the Karok-Yurok-Hupa  sweat house with Finnic sauna of the last millenia a coincidence or more evidence of a trading people establishing a colony a couple millenia ago? Does it suggest, as with other cultural behaviour the arrival of traders into the Klamath, from Finnic sea trade peoples of Roman times or earlier? 
    Perhaps the Klamath River peoples, already shaped by early whale hunters, received a new wave of visitors, now more advanced, who were able to enhance what already existed (based on the principle that it is easier to evolve from something that already exists than to invent something entirely new and therefore mysterious to the general public.)
     Perhaps first came one group of peoples, who established the Yurok and Hupa, on the coast, and then a third who spoke Finnic. (The possibility is high that early traders were Finnic, given that there were Finnic boat peoples descending rivers like the Volga and Dneiper, and  trading amber down into Babylon already 5000 years ago (as proven by amber being found in Babylonian tombs).
    We will compare the Karok language with Finnic in the separate article/chapter regarding the languages of these peoples we look at,


       As a result of the pursuit of wealth the Karok-Yurok-Hupa culture was more secular than the coastal Indians of British Columbia. Here, instead of working to please ambiguous imagined spirits, men worked to gain the liking of the dentalia shells (to attract money), or quite real things such as charming a real deer he could see rather than an imagined spirit before seeing a real deer.
       Still, there WAS  religion, just as there is religion in out modern secular world. Humans need to address an unknown even if in most of their regular lives they deal with hard reality not superstition.  There was among these people the World Renewal Cycle. Because their life was based on harvesting salmon, and collecting acorns, the ritual involved the concept of ancestral people and the  First Salmon and the First Acorn. This ritual ensured continued success in harvesting salmon and acorns. 
    Peculiar to the Karok-Yurok-Hupa societies was that they generated major festivals around these rituals, whereas towards the north the ritual towards the first salmon was a solemn act, which was not spun into celebrations, socializing, etc. In this respect once again, their culture resembles what was found in northern Europe among the indigenous aboriginals, when they gathered at  places accessible to several adjacent tribes.  


      As I already mentioned,. although the Karok, Yurok, and Hupa peoples shared the same river, and Yurok and Hupa were somewhat similar, the Karok language was completely different, hence suggesting a separate arrival.
   The Karok language is not even closely or obviously related to any other (in the area), but has been classified as a member of the northern group of Hokan languages, in a subgroup which includes Chimariko and the Shasta languages, spoken in the same general part of California as Karok itself  (William Bright pg 1)
     This suggests to me that the Karok may have arrived by sea. Arriving at the mouth of the river, and finding it inhabited, they would have settled for the upper reaches of the river that had not yet been inhabited at the time.. Perhaps the Chimariko and Shasta are descendants of the original arrival? I did not investigate these languages - IF there even exists literature on them.
      Discussion of the Karok language is left for the separate article/chapter. But we can present some general observations here. (In general, I express the words with an orthography that is intuitively understood by anyone who reads the common Roman alphabet. Long vowels are expressed by doubling the vowel. Bolding adds emphasis. An appostrophe signifies a silent stop.  My intent is to identify remarkable coincidences.
    Here are some remarkable coincidences:
 'AHI  (to burn)  versus Estonian, Finnish AHI , AHJO  (fireplace, forge).
 'PAAH  vs.  Est. PAAT for 'boat',
YUMAA (pertaining to the dead), vs Est,Finn  JUMAL, JUMALA  (god);
 ' AXAK  (two)   versus  Est.,Finn.  KAKS, KAKSI
SIIRIH  (to shine)  versus Est. S�RA (sparkle, shine)
    There are a remarkable number of words with parallels of this closeness. I have only selected a few that were particularly noticable. Of special interest to me was
IKXIV  'thunderhead' , versus Est., Finn. �IKE , IKKE / UKKONEN  'lightening'  which relates to the Thunderbird.
    A more detailed inspection is found in the separate article/chapter on langages, but I can offer the conclusions here. In general the Karok word list consists of a large number of words that seem to have been borrowed from Yurok and Hupi, but those words that resonate with Finnic word forms and meanings, are sometimes eye-brow raising, as they are unexpected. I tend towards a theory that Finnic-speaking traders estabished trading activity with the Hupa and/or Yuroks, and in the progress of history, the traders involved became compromised, and that left the trade colonies stranded.  The Roman Empire for example broke up the Greek, Phoenician, and Venetic trade systems in Europe, and their colonies became isolated and assimilated into the regional people. Phoenicians became Spaniards, Brittany Veneti became Celtic,  Eastern Europe Veneti becameSlavic.  Remains of other Phoenician colonies have also been identified.    
   These people lived on salmon and acorns.  Whaling was a difficult activity, and unnecessary along a coast awash with salmon runs. Therefore we may not expect whaling activities to be still active along the coast. But if whaling had been originally a strong part of the culture, it would have been preserved in myths and rituals. So far we have only found such myths and rituals among Wakashan tribes. Perhaps we will not find anymore. Indeed the ideal location for whale hunting peoples is about the midpoint of their migrations, because they would appear  twice a year, with an approximately equal amount of time between appearances.  If one is located further north or further south, the convenience of two periods in a year would have been missing. By that argument, we would not expect whale hunting peoples to be stationed in the further north or the further south, relative to the Vancouver Island location. But that does not mean, that peoples who may have arrived following whales, may not have arrived as whale hunters and then converted entirely to salmon fishing.
    As we will see in the separate article on languages, conclusions may be found within the languages, since languages tend to reflect the nature of the culture

    Immediately to the north of the original home of the Karok Indians lay the homelands of the Indian tribes that belonged to several linguistically defined groups including the Shasta, Takelma, and Kalapuyan. Although Kalapuyan tribes are not often discussed in connection with the North Pacific Coast culture, as they lived slightly inland (see map above), they occupied the banks of a major branch of the Columbia River, a river that flowed into the Columbia from the south, and no doubt they lived by fishing salmon as intensely as the Columbia River Chinook Indians closer to the coast. Is this another instance of visitors who came to trade, being forced to find their home in an uninhabited region upriver.
     Kalapuyan defines a family of languages or dialects. By discovering similar words among several languages of the Kalapuyan family, linguists hope to discover words that belonged to the original language, which might be called "Proto-Kalapuyan". Such a study was done by William Shipley involving a comparison of three Kalapuyan languages: Tfalati, Santiam, and Yoncalla. This work (Proto-Kalapuyan, in Languages and Cultures of Western North America, 1970 - see references at bottom) was used as one of my sources of Kalapuyan words for comparison with Finnic.
        In the separate article/chapter on languages, our short study there, looked at Kalapuyan words which strongly resembled Estonian and Finnish words,
    Like the Karoks, it is difficult to link Kalapuyans to the whale hunter migrations, since they too had moved into the interior and lived off harvesting salmon. What is needed is to determine if there are connections between them and Wakashan culture.
    To begin with, the name "Kalapujans" is so close to Estonian kala p��djad  'fish catchers' that I hoped to find a parallel; however I failed to find the data I sought.. I did however find a word for 'fish' from Swadesh's material. It was given as K'AWAN (I use ' for the glottal stop or throat catch) which came from the Yonkalla dialect. It is possible therefore that there could have been a replacement of L with W.  It is possible that thousands of years ago they were originally called by KALA-P��DJAN and then over time the whole language drifted linguistically, influenced by neighbouring languages. The whole name degenerating to Kalapuyan while the word for fish degenerates independently from KALAN to KAWAN. We can therefore look for other evidence of a L > W shift.
    Although the Kalapuyan word list was very small, I found some words that also appear in Karok. Could Kalapuyan have originated from the same source as Karok, or directly from Karok -  breakaway group who migrated north to settle another salmon river?

Conclusions About the More Distant Voyages  of the Whaling Peoples

     The methodology for analysis of deep history is to be as multidisciplinary as possible. Our investigation, starting from the evidence of a "Kunda" culture branch entering the arctic ocean, and then spreading around the arctic and south along the ocean coasts, has enough substance and coincidences that appear to tell a believable story. But we are dealing with events that occurred some 5,000 years ago, and much change has occurred since then.
    In the above article/chapter, we have primarily used archeological information to reconstruct the history of Pacific and arctic North American seagoing peoples in order to detect a hidden story that tends to support a hypothesis that the boat peoples who emerged in arctic Russia and Norway did not stop migrating, but as common sense suggests, continued to exercise their newfound abiity to travel the seas out of necessity to find the oceanic resources, or simply out of curiosity.
    I believe that the evidence is significantly strong.  It remains to investigate the languages as well, to see if we can find additional support in the language information, that there was an expansion into the world's oceans from the oceanic branch of the archeologically defined "Kunda" culture. If there evidence is here, then that has an impact on Finnic linguistics, since it means the Finnic languages were at the Baltic area already about 5,000-6,000 years ago.


(Other references are cited within the text or illustrations)

  Boaz, Frank
Some problems in North American archaeology 1902, American Journal of Archaeology (2nd series)     
Ethnological problems in Canada.  1910, Journal Royal Anthropological Institute 40:529-39
Borden, Charles
Notes on the prehistory of the southern Northwest Coast. 1951, British Columbia Historical Quarterly 14:241-46
Facts and problems of Northwest Coast prehistory, 1950, Anthropology in British Columbia 4:35-49  Some aspects of prehistoric Coastal- Interior relations in the Pacific Northwest  1954a, Anthropology in British Columbia 4:26-32
Bright, William
  The Karok Language, 1957, University of California Press, Berkeley&Los Angeles
Drucker, Philip
Cultures of the North Pacific Coast, 1965, Chandler, San Francisco
Shipley, William
Proto-Kalapuyan, 1970, Languages and Cultures of Western North America, ed. E.H.Swanson Jr., Ohio State Univ Press, Pocatello, Idaho, 1970
Swadesh, Morris
Kalapuya and Takelma, July 1965, International Journal of American Linguistics, vol 31, No. 3


Since this webpage has been constantly updated - edited and changed - sources and references are acknowledged where possible in the text or beside the picture. If a statement is made or picture shown, without a source, that means the image is either fully original by the author (A.Paabo)or significantly modified artistically. One book that has special  signifiance to this project is: Eesti Esiajalugu, Jaanits et al, 1982, Tallinn. 

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author: A.Paabo, Box 478, Apsley, Ont., Canada


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