Friday, March 20, 2009

Finns: European Mongols?

Mongolia-Web.com has an interesting article by Dr. Edward Dutton in their opinion section titled "Are the Finns the Mongolians of Europe?". Snippets below:
 Until very recently, Finns were encouraged to see themselves either as ‘eastern’ or at least ‘between east and west.’ It was in the 1790, when Sweden ruled Finland, that German anthropologist J. F. Blumenbach compared Finnish, Sami (the Arctic reindeer herders) and Mongolian skulls and concluded that the Finns were ‘mongoloid’ and not ‘white’ like the Swedes or Finland’s Swedish-speaking aristocracy...

Finland-Swede linguist M. A. Castren added to this in 1840s when he investigated the Finnish language and tried to understand which languages were related to the seemingly isolated tongue. He found that Sami, Estonian and Hungarian were from the same family but so were a series of languages across Siberia such as Komi and Mari. And even languages like Mongolian and Greenlandic seemed to have a similar grammatical structure. This led to the ‘Migration Theory,’ arguing the Finns arrived in Europe from Mongolia around three thousand years ago and finally got to Finland 2000 years ago. The more recent discovery of genetics has added further evidence to the ‘Mongol’ claim. Geneticist Richard Kittles found in 1998 that Finns have ‘Dual Origins’ between Germanic and Mongoloid as measured by their ‘Y Chromosome Haplotype Variation.’
In Finland, this is an increasingly controversial and much disputed theory in the academia, as the current view is shifting towards a Western origin for the Finns. The article also mentions that "there is even an Estonian anthropologist who argues that the Migration occurred from West to East, making the Mongolians descendants of the Finns." Interesting to some, ridiculous to some, I'm sure.

Read the full article