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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 North Amercan  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 twice a year 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 included groups 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.  There may be other examples of seagoing bat peoples impacting North America, 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. Traditionally, the academic world has taken the evolution of boats and seatrade for granted, and failed to recognize its revolutionary impact on transportation including furthering the evolution of long-distance-trade-based civilizations..



    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 Atlantic, 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. While scholars have painted pictures of "Thule" people travelling east from the Alaska region, and killing off all "Dorset" culture they met, to be realistic, people living in the arctic would not have waged any war except if either the invaders were often seen 'stealing' their resources, or the invaders were stealing "Dorset" culture sites (sites where arctic animals congregated in quantities, for example) and needed to displace the indigenous rivals to survive. Otherwise the changes occurred through positive influences. It is clear from archeology that the "Thule" material culture was superior, and so the most logical explanation, as already described above,  is that the original "Dorset" culture people became aware of the "Thule" innovations and adopted them - a very common process. It is not necessary for the originators of a new advantageous cultural development to be physically carried by migration, for the innovation to spread. 
    A single "Inuit" language is found across the entire North American arctic from the Bering Strait to Greenland. There is no evidence of another language. The explanation that the "Thule" culture killed off every "Dorset" culture follower does not make sense. If my interpretation above is correct, then the "Thule" and "Dorset" culture practitioners spoke the same language, with only dialectic variation, and all that happened was that through contact and intermarriage the strong aspects of the both cultures survived. For example, the skin boat of the Greenland Inuit, based on wrapping a large skin with poles on either end, around a frame, was not like the skin boat in Alaska where the skin was not easily removed. Here is a case where the "Dorset" version of the large umiak was superior to the "Thule" version near Alaska - resulting in the Greenland Inuit continuing to use it until the 18th century, as revealed in an illustration printed in a book at that time.
   Material culture, and soft culture like language and genetics are independent of one another. While they can move in parallel, often they evolve independently. Unfortunately archeologists do not recognize enough that a material culture can spread without any respect for language or genetics. Similarly language too can spread independent of genetics - although in this case I think there was a single language across the North American arctic and other than dialectic peculiarities, this aspect does not apply. The only true insight into whether there was actual migration and warring, lies in genetic research. Was there any clear indication of genetic replacement in the northeast arctic by genes from the northwest arctic.


    It is well known in linguistics that languages change according to useage.  Words that have to be used daily will continue to be used generation after generation. Language changes when words are used infrequently so that now and then a speaker does not remember the word, and selects another word. We do it all the time if we cannot recall the name of something. In a society with writing, the various words can be remembered, and so there are many synonyms, but without writing, words develop and endure according to how used they are.
       Therefore we would expect that if there was a common arctic circumpolar boat people language many thousands of years ago, that to the degree the seagoing tribes became established in various regions and reduced contact with more distant neighbours, dialects would have developed. But throughout the region words used all the time throughout all these peoples would endure for a hundred generations.
    Historical linguistics compares similar words in different languages  to observe the ways in which the words have changed phonetically in different directions. They then try to reconstruct how the parental language sounded originally, before the descendant languages shifted it in one direction to another. However historical linguistics is dependent on finding the similar words to analysis. The further back we go, the fewer words we can find; but even finding a small number of similar common words is enough to determine distant origins. We need only become suspicious with uncommon meanings. They are likely to be random coincidences.
    The words most resistant fo change would be words used daily in the household - words for family relationships, for example.  If the distance between the Inuit language and the Finnic language is some six thousand years or so, we certainly cannot expect there to be very many examples of similarities.
    The source of the Inuit words and expressions tested in my brief study included only a few 1000 expressions. (The Inuit Language of Igloolik, Northwest Territories, Louis-J Dorais, University of Laval, Laval, Quebec, 1978). My source of Finnic words is my own upbringing. I know all the most common Estonian words from learning it in childhood. It is those most common words imparted to children that are the ones that are probably the oldest.
    So was it true? Do the words I saw in Inuit that had strong resemblances to Estonian, both in sound and meaning, belong to common ideas that would be used every day?  
    As expected there weren't many words, but even so, the rate at which I sensed similarities between Inuit words and Estonian words was significant: about one word in 55.
    The following area few of  the best examples, because the words relate to the most common concepts and indeed they have changes so little that the connection to Finnic is believable.  (For more detail, see the Supplementary Article - see the links at the bottom of this page)

     First it should be noted that Inuit grammar is as expected from the passing of some six millenia. The Finnic "agglutinative" structure (endings can be added to endings to form a complex thought) can be viewed as a degeneration from a "polysynthetic" form (small prefixes and suffixes added to stems to form complex ideas in single words)  There are also similarities between Finnic and Inuit grammar. The most noticable is the use of  -T as a plural marker, or -K- to mark the dual. (Although neither Finnish nor Estonian retains declension of a dual person, it is easily achieved by adding -ga  'with' into the declension, which is the Estonian commitative case ending.)
  among Inuit suffixes, the one that leaps out first is the suffix -ji as in igaji 'one who cooks'. This compares with the Est/Finn ending -ja used in the same way, to indicate agency, as in õppetaja 'teacher, one who teaches'. Indeed Livonian (related to Estonian) uses exactly -ji   This  ending would have been in common use, so there would have been an ancestral version that has survived millenia.
     In Inuit there is -ajuk as in tussajuq  meaning ' he sees for a long time' or the similar -gajuk which makes the meaning 'often'. This compares with Estonian/Finnish aeg/aika meaning 'time'. This pattern has parallels in Algonquian Ojibwa language (people of the birchbark skin boat)
     Inuit kina? 'who?' versus Est./Finn. kelle?/kene?stem for 'who?' This can be debated on the exact forms, but in general what we see is the use of the K for interrogative pronouns. . Note the use of K for interrogative pronouns, signifying the K sound marks a question. Such parallels in grammatical elements, is evidence that the similar words are a result of descent from the same language and not borrowings.
     Continuing to words, we should look first to family relations and then to daily activities.
    Words for family relations are words not easily removed, and Inuit produces more remarkable coincidences: Inuit ani 'brother of woman', compares with onu 'uncle' in Estonian, but in Finnish eno means almost exactly as in Inuit, 'mother's brother'.  When we consider that over millenia, these slight shifts in meaning can be expected, these parings with Finnic words do not need to be debated.
   Inuit akka refers to the 'paternal uncle'. In this case Estonian uses onu again, but Finnish says sekä 'paternal uncle' which is closer.
   Then there is the Inuit saki meaning 'father, mother, uncle or aunt-in-law'. In Estonian and Finnish sugu/suku means 'kin'. The Inuit word meaning suggests an institutional social unit consisting of the head of a family being one's father and his brother, plus both their wives (our mother and aunt-in-law) As I wrote above, Inuit culture was based in hunting, and the male who hunted ruled the society. The brother was both the assistance to hunting, and the substitute if the other became incapacitated. This is culturally known, The loss of the hunter, cold spell the end of the whole family dependent on them. This may have been the original meaning of the Finnic sugu/suku, but that when the Finnic people left the hunting way of life millenia ago, the meaning became blurred and generalized, in much the same way we see above the Finnish eno means 'mother's brother' while Estonian has narrowed it in onu to just 'uncle'
    Inuit has amauraq for 'great grandmother' a word that might reate to Inuit maniraq 'flat land' . These two words relate to Estonian/Finnish ema / emän- 'mother/lady-' on the one hand, and maa/maa 'land, earth, country' on the other. As I discuss elsewhere, early peoples saw the world as a great sea with lands in it like islands, thus the original concept of a World Mother was that she was primarily a sea.  Thus the original word among the boat peoples for both World Plane and World Mother was AMA. The meaning of AMA did not specify land or sea. The proof of this concept seems to be found in Inuit maniraq since it contains the concept of 'flat', as well as in Inuit imaq 'expanse of sea' which expresses the concept of 'expanse'. Estonian too provides evidence that the original meaning of AMA was that of an 'expanse', the World Plane. For example there is in Estonian the simple word lame ("lah-meh") means 'wide, spread out'. There are other uses of AMA which refer to a wide expanse of sea. One manifestation of the word is HAMA, as in Hama/burg the original form of Hamburg . Also there is Häme, coastal province of Finland, etc. which appears to have had the meaning of 'sea region'. Historically, according to Pliny, the Gulf of Finland was once AMALA, since he wrote that Amalachian meant 'frozen sea' (AMALA-JÄÄN). The words for 'sea' in a number of modern languages, of the form mare, mor, mer, meri can be seen to originate from AMA-RA 'travel-way of the world-plane'. The equating of sea with 'mother' interestingly survives also in French in the closeness of mère 'mother' to mer 'sea'. The intention of this discussion is to show that the worldview appears to be a deep one, possibly being born when boat peoples expanded into the open sea some 10,000 years ago,
     However, we must also note that while Inuit 'great grandmother' is amauraq, the actual Inuit word for 'mother' is anaana Is it possible Inuit used N to distinguish between the sea-plane and land-plane. Indeed their word for 'land, earth, country' too introduces the N -- nuna. Or perhaps the N is borrowed from the concept of femininity because we also find Inuit ningiuq 'old woman' and najjijuq 'she is pregnant' which relate to Estonian/Finnish stem nais-/nais meaning 'pertaining to woman'. It is worth noting that we find a similar word in Algonquian Ojibwa, notably  I bring the passage from later into this paragraph "Another Ojibwa word element with coincidences in both Inuit and Estonian/Finnish is -nozhae- 'female'.  The Ojibwa nozhae is very close to Estonian/Finnish nais-/nais-, and with exactly the same meaning. Estonian says naine for 'woman', genitive form being naise 'of the woman'"  Such connections with Inuit help support my theory that the Algonquian languages descended from earlier skin boat peoples established in the northeast arctic of North America, perhaps the "Dorset" culture ot their ancestral culture.
   Inuit also says amaamak for 'breast' which compares to Estonian/ Finnish amm/imettäja for '(wet) nurse'. There is aso Est./Finn. imema/imeä 'to suck'. These coincidences are strong indications of prehistoric connections, and I don't think a debate about this pairing can be defeated.
    Inuit puvak 'lung' connects well with Estonian puhu 'blow'. Finnish has developed the word to mean 'speak'. 
    In Inuit there is -pallia as in piruqpalliajuq meaning 'it grows more and more. This compares with Estonian/Finnish palju/paljon 'much, many'. Inuit also has the expression pulliqtuq 'he swells' which compares with Finnish pullistua 'to expand, swell'. The P+vowel form is commonly found in language in association to expansion, to blowing something up, as in English "ball".
        Of common daily activities we have the following:
      Inuit nirijuq 'he eats' versus Estonian närib 'he chews'  This one can be debated, because ninjuq omits the R sound.  Why not compare it to Estonian nina 'nose'  ('nose in food'?) This one needs more information, from within the language, derivative words, associated concepts. We need not leave any hypothesis because the connection is not obvious.
    But, the words which are of greatest interest are words for 'water'. If there is anything that all the boat people have in common is the act of gliding, floating, on water.
     It appears that in Inuit the applicable pattern is UI- or UJ- same as in Estonian/Finnish. uj-, ui-, Inuit uijjaqtuq means 'water spins' whose stem compares with Estonian/Finnish ujuda/uida 'to swim, float'. Interestingly Inuit uimajuq means 'dissipated', but Estonian too has something similar in uimane 'dazed' , demonstrating that both use the concept of 'swimming' in an abstract way as well. (Indeed the concept at least survives in English in the phrase "his head swims" to mean being 'dazed'.) Considering the Inuit infix -ma- meaning 'in a situation, state', it seems that the stem in both Inuit and Estonian cases is UI, and that -MA- adds the concept of being in a state, situation.
    Then there is in Inuit is kaivuut 'borer' which compares with Est./Finn. kaev/kaivo 'something dug out' today commony applied to a hole dug out of ground.  This is very close, especially between Inuit and FInnic   
   Inuit qaqqiq 'community house' versus Estonian/Finnish kogu/koko 'the whole, the gathering'. This pair too, matches in form.  The concept of 'community house' and 'gathering' are identical, other than an indication of a building. The shift that added the concept of a building could have arisen from the fact that in the arctic, community gatherings tended to be in the interior of buildings, and not in some open air location.
  Inuit alliaq 'branches mattress' compares with Est./Finn. alus/alus 'foundation, base, mattress, etc' This pairing too makes sense.  All that differs is the reference to the matress being made of branches. How far in the past has it been since Finnic peoples slept on branches matresses?!
    Inuit katak 'entrance' versus Est./Finn. katte/katte 'covering'. This too is very believable. The Inuit building had entrances covered with a skin, thus if it began in the meaning 'covering', it acquired the meaning of 'entrance'. This was especially true of winter during which people lived in large snow houses, where the only covering was at the entrance.
    Inuit kanaaq ' lower part of leg' versus Est./Finn kand/kanta 'heel'. This is a good example of the word form and meaning being very close. The lower part of a leg is in deed the heel. The Estonian/Finnish version is a little more focussed towards the heel. I would not debate this one more. But see next.
     Inuit kingmik 'heel' versus Est./Finn king/kenkä 'shoe'  Here the word for 'heel' resonates with the Est/Finn word for 'shoe'. A shoe is a covering for the heel.  Difficult to debate this one.
    Inuit tuqujuq 'he dies' versus Est. tukkub 'he dozes'.  The Estonian word is a colloquial word, that may have survived because it come into such common use. Since a person dozes daily, the chances are that the word survived in Inuit in the meaning of 'sleep' and only became transferred to the idea of 'death' relatively recently.
     Inuit angunasuktuq 'he hunts' or anguvaa 'he catches it' compares with Est./Finn öngitseb/onkia 'he fishes, angles' or hangib/hankkia 'he procures, provides'. The liking of hunting to fishing is not a problem because seagoing people hunting was identical to fishing. I find this paring is easy to argue and that more supportive evidence is available.
   Inuit nauliktuq 'he harpoons' versus Estonian/Finnish naelutab/naulitaa 'he nails'. But closer to the concept of harpoon is nool/nuoli meaning 'arrow'.  (Some words here have echoes with English words - like to nail - because English contains a portion of words inherited from native British language which was part of the sea-going people identifiable with the original Picts. Some also have echoes with Basque which also has connections with ancient Atlantic sea-peoples) We will refer to harpooning further later, as we find the same word in the Kwakiutl language!
    Inuit iqaluk 'fish' versus Est./Finn. kala/kala 'fish'.  This pairing can provoke major disageement among linguist. However, all we need for a closer parallel in form is to have the intial "I" in iqaluk to be dropped, because then we have QALU-  It is because of this, that I accepted this paring.  It is easy to drop an initial "I" in Finnic from pure laziness.
     Inuit unnuaq 'night' compares with Est./Finn. uni/uni 'sleep'. Here there is lack of parallelism between 'night' and 'sleep', however it is possible that the parallelism would be valid if originally the night was seen as the day being asleep. For an animistic worldview, the day can be viewed as a living entity that goes to sleep. While we cannot know for sure, the probability if high that this pairing of words is valid.
     The Inuit aqqunaq 'storm' is reminiscent of the earlier word akka for paternal uncle. It may imply that the storm was considered a brother of the Creator. The word compares to the Finnic storm god Ukko. In Finnish ukko also means 'old man'. Inuit also has aggu 'wind side', which implies the side facing the storm. In Estonian/Finnish kagu/kaako means 'south-east'. Prevailing winds travelled from the north-west to the south-east; thus the word may originate in a relationship to wind. Looking at all the evidence as a whole, the probability is very high, that Inuit aqqunaq is indeed mirrored in the Finnic words. I believe that if this is investigated further, the evidence will get better not worse.
   The Inuit kangia 'butt-end' compares with Est./Finn. kang/kanki 'lever, bar' or kange/kankea 'strong, intense'  Here is another example of the Est./Finn. words having more than one modern meaning.  The 'butt-end' is the 'tail end', the non-business end. The business end of a lever, bar, is the end that is put under the object being leveraged. In a lever, the tail end is easy to move. The business end is magnified and strong. It makes sense that kange/kankea  would mean 'strong, intense'.  I think it is not difficult to connect the concept of  the 'butt-end' as the 'strong end'. I do not think there is a debate possible that can defeat this pairing.
    In Inuit traditions and indeed throughout the northern hunter peoples, the man was always the hunter. This is reflected in Inuit ANG- words. We have already noted anguvaa 'he catches it'. There is also angunasuktuk 'he hunts', which is obviously related to anguti 'man, male', and angakkuq 'shaman'. Estonian kangelane, 'hero', but literally 'person of the land-of-strong' may have a relationship to the concept of 'shaman', and also to the earlier Inuit concept within kangia mentioned above.  In general we see here another example of an intense focus on hunting in both sea and land, and how hunting skills were greatly valued. Much could be written on this subject when we consider the way of life of the prehistoric boat peoples.
   Inuit also has several KALI words that have Estonian/Finnish correspondences. Inuit qulliq 'the highest' corresponds with Est/Finn. küll/kyllä 'enough, plenty'; Inuit kallu 'thunder' corresponds with Est/Finn kalla/--- 'pour;; Inuit qalirusiq 'hill' resembles Est./Finn. kalju/kallio 'cliff'. In general it looks like there are many dimensions to the KALI words, and it occurs both in Inuit and Finnic.
     The most interesting Inuit words to me, are tuurnaq 'a spirit' and tarniq 'the soul', because they compare with the name of the Creator across the Finno-Ugric world. It appears in Finnish and Estonian mythology as Tuuri, Taara, etc. And the Khanti still concieve of "Toorum". The presence of the pattern in Inuit is proof that it has nothing to do with the Norse "Thor", but that "Thor" is obviously borrowed from the indigenous Scandinavian Finnic peoples.
    Inuit uunaqtuq 'burning' relates to Est/Finn. kuum/kuuma 'hot' but most strongly to Finnish uuni 'oven'. This Inuit word obviously matches the Finnic uuni, very closely. Even though the Finnish word means 'oven', in a world that did not have ovens, it would have meant  'heating' which is caused by 'burning'. The conceptual connections are very close. In early languages there were fewer words, and the precise meaning was inferred from the context in which it was used. Over the last ,millenia the number of words multiplied mainly because language was increasingly used in situations where it was not being spoken directly in context, and therefore words had to present more precise meanings. Thus it is valid to imagine  an original UUN+vowel word that had many meanings, but all related to the production of heat, warmth.
    Inuit kiinaq means 'edge of knife'. This compares with Est./Finn küün/kynsi 'fingernail'  Both the Inuit and Finnic words describe the same type of object - a thin blade with a narrow edge,  It is possible in prehistoric times the creation of a blade from flint, was seen as the creation of a tool that was like a large fingernail. And then with the development of metallurgy and metal knives the word was carried over into knives. I have not problem with making this pairing.
    Inuit aklunaaq 'thong, rope' compares with Est./Finn. lõng/lanka 'thread'. While the Inuit word has the AK at front, everything else with the pairing works. Note that in primitive times there probably did not exist a word for 'thread' because a 'thread' would have been seen as a very thin thong. When skin clothing or boat coverings were sewn together, the thickness of the 'thread' used would vary greatly. There was no basis for making a distinction between a 'thread' and a 'thong, thin rope'.  I am happy with this paring, although there is room still for wondering about the AK- in front. Is it a prefix giving an additional description to the thin rope? Was the original Est/Finn word AKLANKA?  But I don't think answering this question will significantly alter this result.
    Inuit words sivuniq 'the fore-part' compares exactly with Finnish sivu 'side, page'. But also Inuit sivulliq 'past', compares with the alternative Finnish use of sivu in the meaning 'by, past'. This kind of parallelism in two meanings, is powerful in arguing a connection since it is not likely to occur by random chance. In my opinion there is no debate about this pairing. It is interesting to note that in these parallels, the Finnish word is closer to the Inuit. This is to be expected since Finnish was located closer to the northern regions around the White Sea, where our boat-people theory suggests, the expansion of skin boat peoples began.
    The following are a few remarkable parallels.
. In Inuit there is suluk 'feather' which compares with Est./Finn sulg/sulka 'feather'. This is one of the clearest parallels. This is also an amazing parallel. It suggests that birds and feathers were very important. Perhaps feathers were a sign of land nearby. We note that aboriginal peoples liked to wear feathers. There must have been a major significant to prevent the word being changed in form or meaning. Furthermore, we will see later that this word also exists in the Wakashan Kakiutl language. See later.
      The word may be related to the Inuit saluktuq 'thin' versus Est./Finn. sale/solakka 'thin'  The Inuit stem is SALU which certainly resonates with the Est./Finn. This is a good one, as it is a concept used every day. There is always something that is thin. We may wonder if there is a connection to 'feather'. I would not be inclined to debate this one.
    In Finnic traditions there is a very strong celebrating of water birds. They were a major source of food, and when feathers were plucked off, there was a constant supply of feathers in the household, and probably used for bedding and insulation. From that perspective - if the the boat peoples carried these traditions to arctic North America - it would not be surprising that the Inuit and Finnic word for 'feather' would have survived.
    This is just a sampling of Inuit words that resonate with Finnic words. I use Estonian mainly, based on the fact that  Estonia originally had the "Kunda" boat people culture that - judging from large harpoon heads - was the first to enter the sea, and which then expanded north to the arctic sea, beginning at the White Sea. While there is still an archaic theory created by linguists over a century ago, that the Finnic languages began in the east and migrated west, the truth from accumulated archeological information is that in actuality it began in the Baltic area and expanded east. (As we see in another article, it was the Asian reindeer people who migrated east, and there was some mixing with the Finnic boat peoples.)
    According to the new theory (not really new, as archeologist Richard Indreko proposed it already in the 1960's)  the Estonian language  is descended from the "Kunda" culture peoples, in situ, (without coming from elsewhere), and that would explain why Estonian resonates  so well in the "Uirala" studies. with the examples of indigenous peoples that can be linked to the expansion of seagoing boat peoples.
    The purpose of the above discussion of language is not to come to any major linguistic conclusions but to show, based on the scientific laws of probability, that what we found above is NOT possible by random change. There is enough in my findings to confirm the hypothesis that the Inuit culture ultimately arose from the same parental circumpolar language of arctic seagoing peoples.    

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


  The seagoing peoples of arctic Canada would have been aware of a large land towards the south. Since a warmer climate would have been attractive, the only thing keeping any in the arctic would have been their being locked into a way of life dependent on hunting animals of the arctic coasts and waters.
    Immediately towards their south, moreover, there were vast tundra deserts - land barren of life other than a short period in summer. These barren lands would have been barriers to moving inland in the southerly direction. However towards the northeast of North America, there were ways in which arctic coastal boat peoples could venture south and become aware of warmer, inhabitable lands with enough animals to hunt.
    In what is now eastern Canada, there were two coasts by which seagoing arctic peoples could venture south while continuing their seagoing way of life - south along the coasts of Hudson Bay and south along the Labrador coast.  But common sense suggests the most inviting direction was the latter, down the Labrador coast, for two major reasons - seagoing people in the vicinity  of Greenland would discover the north end of whale migration routes that went north and south along the North American coast,  The first peoples to venture south would have been whale hunters. However whale hunters too would have been trapped in a way of life that kept them out at sea and only camping along coasts.
    However when these whale huinters reached the waters off the southeast coast of Newfoundland, they met up with the Gulf St ream sweeping north and turning northeast alongside an shelf known today as "The Grand Banks" that was rich with sea-life. It is here that whale-hunters who also pursued fish, woutld find reason to linger and inhabit the coasts nearby.
    Of paticular interest to those who settled along the coasts were salmon runs up and down rivers that drained to that coast.  Boat people could have followed the salmon inland into yet-uninhabited  post-glacial flooded lands.
    Having originated from seagoing peoples with skin boats, they would have discovered they were able to substitute birch bark for animal skins, as a covering for their boats, and expanded quickly through northern lands that were rich with paper birch..
    The story of the inland expansion of boat peoples is obvious from the fact that these boat peoples defined as the "Algonquian" cultures, were found by Euiopean colonists to be located in all river systems that drained generally to the northeast Atlantic coast of North America. The longest penetration towards the interior occurred through migrating up the Saint Lawrence River into the Great Lakes. Towards the south of the Great Lakes there were land-based peoples. Possibly the "Iroquoian" peoples were descended from such peoples, since the Iroquoian cultures were completely different from that of the Algonquian. The Iroquoians were not nomadic, but created settlements and farmed the surrounding lands.
    The Algonquians, therefore are very interesting peoples to study from the point of view of the expansion of boat peoples.
    Over the ages, there would have been intermarriage between the original Algonquians and whatever land-based peoples they encountered in their expansion. Such intermarriage and general contact would have brought indigenous genes and language into the Algonquian boat peoples.
    Bur we cannot ignore the possible migration of arctic boat peoples south along the coasts of Hudson Bay as well. There were three major rivers draining into Hudson Bay, so it would have been easy for boat peoples to travel up those rivers and find an increasingly forested and inhabitable land, if they adapted to hunting land-animals.  There were annual migrations of carbou, and the sparse forests and boggy lands contained the animal known in North America as "moose" (In European English they are called "elk". North American elk are called "red deer" in European English).
    We cannot say how many arctic people inhabited the post-glacial lands of the Hudson Bay basin from travelling south from Hudson Bay, versus north from Lake Superior, but I tend to believe more expanded north from Lake Superior than expanded south from Hudson Bay. The reason is a simple one - boat people are more likely to  explore down-river from an inhabited area as they would expect more inhabitable lands ahead, whereas if you explore from barren lands there will be an expectation of more of the same barren lands. Furthermore they would have to paddle against the current. It would only be when the upriver southward direction was known, that paddling upriver through barrent lands would be tolerated, in order to reach more inhabited lands at the southern reaches of the river systems.(Boat peoples on rivers travelled seasonally up and down rivers. The Cree would have wintered as far south as the rivers would carry them.)
    Returning to the Altantic origins, the northeast Atlantic offered other large rivers than the Saint Lawrence by which the ancestors of Algonquians went into the interior. One nortable river is the Churchill River that drained from the interior of Quebec into the Atlantic. The people of that river were/are the "Labrador Innu" of today. The Algonquians in Newfoundland or Nova Scotia were harvesters of the sea and did not travel inland. The "Micmaq" are obviously descended from peoples who remained there. But in New Brunswich the "Maliseet" peoples inhabited the Saint John River.  Other small tribes were located in the water systems of smaller rivers drainging into the Atlantic between the Appalachians and the Altantic coast, south to around New York. The zied of a tribe was determined by the productivity of the land, which allowed a tribe to occupy a smaller geographical area than tribes (like the Cree) occupying barren lands that required much greater nomadism to find food.
    Focussing on the larger tribes that occupied the east half of what is now "Canada", Europeans arriving a few centuries ago found  the "Cree" in the water basin of southern Hudson Bay, the "Ojibwa" in the water basin of the Great Lakes north of lakes Ontario and Erie, the  "Algonquin: in the water basin of the Ottawa River, the "Montagnais Innu" in the warer basin of the Saguenay River, and the:Labrador Innu" in the water basin of the Churchill River.  All these peoples were located in regions without very large trees - hence dugouts were not an option - but filled with birch trees. All their boats were made by covering a frame with birch bark. The birch bark canoe can be viewed as a form of skin boat.
    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, or their predecessor culture, and migrated south.
       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 that humans are land-people, and strong continuous pressures were needed to force a change that made humans assume a new way of life dependent on boats, we cannot assume that the development of the boat using way of life developed independently from northing in North America. The evidence is not found in North America. 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. In addition, the ocean currents favoured voyages from northern Scandinavia since there were locations where they could land to obtain fresh water. For a journey in the opposite direction, the voyagers would have to be prepared for a long journey with no place to land and carry plenty of fresh water and food.  It is not impossible, but the expansion of seagoing peoples from east to west, first requires an established seagoing culture with a reason to journey eastward (ie to find new sites for hunting sea animals) which happened. Once it happened, the expansion to North America was inevitable, and was probably repeated often.
    (This is not to say there were no other ways to cross the Atlantic. Just as we can claim that the Norse crossing to the northeast coast of North America was not the first, so too we can calim that the crossing by Christopher Columbus near the equator was not the first either. The real issue is not crossings, but whether those crossings had any significant impact at the destination. A handfull of men arriving on the North American coast would barely have had any impact  at all. Archeologists may uncover material evidence of early crossings of the Atlantic, but unless the evidence is sustantial, the group who left the evidence there might have had zero impact, and the culture may not have lasted more than the lifetime of these arrivals. But in the case of the Algonquians, we see a substantial impact that seems to have come from seagoing North Atlantic peoples, and lasted for many millenia up to recent history. With recent contact with Europeans, the Europeans had already developed major ship technology and were able to impact North America in a major way with thousands of immigrants. Yhe native peoples of North America have been impacted like never before to the extent of having the impact assimilate them. 

Figure 2
Algonquian and arctic boat peoples
This map shows both the expansion of the Algonquian tribes in blue, and the seagoing the archeological "Dorset" culture.


    Other than the obvious connection between the birch-bark skin boat and the animal skin boats of the arctic, the Algonquian boat peoples origins is difficult to fathom. To what degree did they develop their own way of life independently, and to what degree did they borrow from skin boat peoples in the North Atlantic and the North American northeast arctic seas? There certainly must have been influences from the arctic, since the Algonquian boat peoples had contact with the Inuit and previous peoples in the north - such as around Hudson Bay and northern Quebec - who did use the animal skin boat,usually walrus skin.
    The arctic, according to our theory expressed earlier,  was inhabited first by the arctic skin boat peoples of the White Sea spreading around the arctic coasts (which is not such an enormous distance - maps tend to stretch the arctic.) And then the skin boat peoples were drawn southward by the warmth and many liked the warmth and adapted their arctic culture to suit. I is certainly a good argument, that arctic skin boat people groups who ventured south, would have remained in southern locations that were not already inhabited. (When a location is inhabited, newcomers are not free to do as they please, and are chased away - except if the newcomers are considerably stronger and able to displace the inhabitants.)  Logically, if the lands flooded with glacial water, were vacant since no boat peoples yet existed there, then any people with skin boats from the north would have easily inhabited those vacant flooded lands. .
    Archeology describes two North American arctic cultures - the "Thule" culture identifiable with the modern "Inuit" culture, and the "Dorset" culture that preceeded it. Apparently the "Thule" culture was originally in the northwest, around Alaska, and the "Dorset" culture was originally in the northeast. The former apparently expanded east, and overpowered the "Dorset".  We are reminded of an earlier discussion of how peoples pursuing the same resources are in fierce competition and ultimately there would be one winner; and the loser was driven away. However, the loser is not dead, but has to adapt. The one side killing off the other is never wise, so what would have happened would be that the defeated people of the "Dorset" culture simply joined the people of the "Thule" culture. Archeologically speaking, it could simply be a matter of the spread of the superior "Thule" material culture. It reminds us that archeologically determined material culture is not genetic. The genetics of the original users of the "Dorset" culture and the original users of the "Thule" culture could have been genetically the same, and even spoken nearly the same language. History offers many examples of how a new material culture spreads without spreading the genetics of the originators of the new material culture. There are examples all around us today, as all peoples of the world are adopting the mass media material culture, and everything carried in it. From this argument, it follows that the Algonquian birch-bark boat peoples could in fact be descended from  the same genetic stock, at least in part, as the arctic skin boat peoples, and becoming established much earlier than the period of the "Thule" or even "Dorset"culture. There is considerable evidence in the northeast quadrant of North America of elements coming from the east across the North Atlantic. Besides the obvious spread of the skin boat concept, there are some genetic markers, for example, which is a subject of current debate regarding early crossings of the Atlantic (and that the North American Native peoples did not entirely come across at the Bering Strait land bridge, but also by boat at both the Atlantic and Pacific sides.)

Figure 3

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?

    Furthermore, Greenland Inuit insist they originated in the east, while the Thule culture is supposed to have come from the west. I think this is most easily explained by the theory that the "Thule" material cutlure expanded, and not genetics. That way, people can think of their ancestors (genetic origins) in northern Europe, while technically their material was most recently the "Thule" culture that originated in the west,
    But that is not all. The interior Algonquian peoples around the Great Lakes themselves carry beliefs of origins in the east - which is at least consistent with a boat people expanding east along the major waterway: the Saint Lawrence River that carries people to the Great Lakes.
    The fact that around 1000AD, the Norse were carried by currents and winds to the shores of Labrador and Newfoundland, suggest that such an event could have occurred from time to time every since there were large seagoing boats in the North Atlantic. If as rock carvings at the White Sea show, there were large seagoing skin boats on the north European side as early as 6,000 years ago, then even if we compute one accidental crossing every 500 years, that means in 5,000 years before the Norse there could have been  unintented crossings similar to the Norse crossings. Even earlier crossings, like some archeologists claim, could have occurred if there was an independent development of seagoing boats somewhere along the Atlantic coast during the Ice Age. For example, if somewhere on the Atlantic coast, people got into the habit of hunting animals on sea ice, they may have developed ways of more easily reaching those animals. For example boats based on the principle of the raft, such as reed boats, could have developed independently of the development described here under "uirala".(A raft-based boat would simply use the buoyancy of materials, and not water displacement of the northern thin-skinned boats that when swamped would lose their ability to float on top of the water.)
    Besides the Norse crossing of 1000 years ago, there must have been other earlier crossings. Newfoundland had up to historic times a Native group called the Beothuks, whose culture first manifested there in the early centuries AD. They could have come south,or even originated from the northern British Isles.where one of the names of the seagoing boat peoples there were called peohtas. It is logical that during the period of the push of Celts into the north, and then the Roman invaders circumnavigating the British Isles and establishing control over all the isles, that many of the seagoing "Picts" would have abandoned the area, and perhaps found a vacant Newfoundland that was as good. The Beothuks was masters of skin boats and canoes.
    But such ideas are speculations arising from logical considerations.
    Returning to hard data, what more is there that suggests at least some cultural, genetic, and linguistic origins came across the North Atlantic as that an early time (as early as 6,000 years ago)? :Less studied - or perhaps not studied at all before, except here - is linguistic evidence of contact between the Algonquian languages and Finnic languages of the original northern European boat peoples.
    In the course of investigating the traces of expansion of boat peoples, I had a look at Algonquian languages, taking the Great Lakes "Ojibwa" (or "Anishnabe") dialect for study.
    The full study can be seen in a Supplementary Article whose link is given at the bottom, but we can make some general observations here.
    Unlike our observation of the Inuit language across the arctic that showed evidence of a language with the same genetic origins as Finnic languages, our observation of the Algonquian languages showed a different foundation language,but with Finnic-like elements on top. My impression is that there was a mixing of an original culture and newer ones which perhaps came with the skin boat peoples across the North Atlantic.
    The Finnic languages - looking notably at Finnish and Estonian - look like a degeneration of the highly "polysynthetic" language of the Inuit. Finnic languages have words that seem to contain a large number of prefixes, affixes, and suffixes .Degeneration takes the form of these elements being frozen into words, while in Inuit, the prefixes, affixes, and suffixes are largely still free to use to invent word-phrases as needed.
    At the roots of the Algonquian languages is the grammatical distinction between animated and inanimated things - things containing spirit and therefore alive, verse things without spirits and therefore dead. While it is possible to see connections with Finnic based on the use of the K,G it is clear that if there was a common original language, it existed a very long time ago.
    In short, it is easier to see similarities at the foundations of Finnic and Inuit, than at the foundations of FInnic and Algonquian. A good scenario would be that originally there were pedestrian woodland hunter-gatherers on northeast North America, but who, lacking boats did not inhabit the flooded lands under the melting glacier. Then northern skin boat peoples spread south  and the inhabiting of the flooded lands became possible. There was then a cultural mixing between the arctic peoples who came from the circumpolar seas, and the indigenous pedestrian woodland peoples further south in drier lands.
    Still, there are a few remarkable coincidences that suggest a distant genetic origin. Here are some remarkable coincidences in words:
    Ojibwa kayashk 'seagull' corresponds to Estonian kajakas 'seagull'. This is an almost exact parallel. Is it possible that in their seagoing days, seeing seagulls was important - a sign they were close to land, and the importance of the bird ensured the word would endure.
    Ojibwa pagi, pagid 'release, let go, free liberate, set free' can be compared to Estonian põgenik/pakolainen meaning 'refugee, escaper'.
    Another very close parallel is between Ojibwa naub or naup meaning 'lace, string together, connect, join, unite', and Estonian/Finnish nööp/nappi 'button'.
    Ojibwa ssin, assin shin is a verbalizer meaning to be in a place. This compares with Estonian/Finnish cases and words that use -S- and denote a relationship to the 'inside' of something. For example Estonian says tule sisse to mean 'come inside.' Note that we found  that Inuit too employed "S" to convey the idea of 'interior'
    In Inuit (see PART TWO) we found the word for 'father' to be ataata. However the common Estonian word for 'father' is isa. This is reflected in Ojibwa -osse- 'father'.
    Another Ojibwa word element with coincidences in both Inuit and Estonian/Finnish is -nozhae- 'female'. We recall Inuit ningiuq 'old woman' and najjijuq 'she is pregnant'. These compare with Estonian/Finnish stem nais-/nais- meaning 'pertaining to woman, female-'. The Ojibwa nozhae is very close to Estonian/Finnish nais-/nais-, and with exactly the same meaning. Estonian says naine for 'woman', genitive form being naise 'of the woman'
    An interesting Ojibwa word that used the word for 'water, surf' is kukaubeekayh meaning '(river) falls'. This word compares with Estonian/Finnish kukuda/kukua 'to fall'. Plus add vee 'water' . So in Estonian one can say kukuv vee-. 'falliing water'. Also kukozhae 'ashes, cinders' may reflect the same meaning of falling. An Ojibwa speaker can tell us if the implication in the kuko- element is 'fall'.
    The Ojibwa word for 'earth' is aki, but this word is similar to Ojibwa words related to time! For example ajina 'a while, a short time'.  And once again we see a parallel to FInnic since it compares with Estonian aja- stem  meaning 'related to time'. In the Inuit examples we saw Inuit akuni 'for a long time', which we compared to Est./Finn. aeg/aika 'time', kuna/kun 'while', and kuni/--- 'until'. Estonian also has the interesting imperative akka! meaning 'begin!'. Ojibwa has akawe! with the reverse meaning 'wait!'  These examples of words pertaining to time suggests that the Ojibwa word for 'land, earth' presents the concept of 'the everlasting place'. 
   Ojibwa Koogaediwin means 'village', 'temporary encampment'. As we saw above there was Inuit qaqqiq 'community house' versus Estonian/Finnish kogu/koko 'the whole, the gathering'. Indeed in the Estonian landscape a common name for a village was Kogela 'place of gathering'.
  See the supplementary article "INTERESTING COINCIDENCES BETWEEN ALGONQUIAN AND FINNIC LANGUAGES"  for a  more detailed discussion and more examples.
    In general, the presence of some words also found in the Inuit language directly above the Algonquian cultural range, suggests there has been significant contact with the Inuit if not distant roots. The Finnic parallels could have travelled to the Algonquians at an early time by the early expansion of seagoing skin boats. Similarities between Inuit and Finnic are found elsewhere too.
    (Once we accept that humans were able to deliberately cross large expanses of ocean at least as early as 6,000 years ago, we can accept crossings from east to west many times. But then some crossings from west to east is also possible. A North American seagoing people with plenty of fresh water aboard their ship could have travelled the Gulf Stream to the north European coast. But it is more likely there was circumpolar movement of culture, as there is plenty of evidence of an arctic circumpolar culture, such as for example the drum created by stretching skin on a hoop fpund in all circumpolar boat peoples.)


    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.

The Pacific Coast of North America

    In the above section we looked at how arctic boat peoples descended south along the Atlantic coast and Hudson Bay to probably give rise to the Algonquian birch-bark canoe peoples. We noted above how their language showed resonances with both Inuit and Finnic. But it was unclear what the founding language was, because we do not see as many grammatical similarities with Finnic as we found in Inuit language. It suggests that the arctic boat peoples descending south, initially blended a little with indigenous natives before the expansion into the interior.
    My investigation of the Algonquians lead me to wonder if I might find similar resonances with Finnic down the Pacific coast among seagoing aboriginal peoples.
    In the late 1970's  I first had the idea that seagoing boat peoples had nothing to prevent them from travelling long distances if they had a mind for it. 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, it occurred to me that seagoing  peoples with traditions in whaling would have taken cues to their voyages from their observing the long distance migrations of whale up and down North American coasts. We know that the eastern coast of North America had whaling migrations and it is probable that those whales were hunted, since whaling traditions were well developed in the "Greenland Inuit". See my supplementary article EXPLAINING "LONGHOUSE FOUNDATIONS" ON THE LABRADOR COAST for the evidence of seagoing skin boat peoples with a culture archeologically thought to be "Dorset" along the Labrador coast. These people were probably long distance nomads with families gathering off the south Greenland coast every year to collectively hunt whales. Normally tribes would be broken up into extended families, but hunting whales needed all the families or clans working together.
    The Inuit were whalers across the North American arctic, but not as dependent on whales since they were able to access sea animals like seals, walrus and fish as well.
    But now, considering there were and are whale migrations up and down the Pacific coast of North America as well, is it possible the Inuit whaliing culture also expanded south along the Pacific coast. Whaling people along a north+south migrating route would locate their home base half way along the route, because then they would see the whales twice a year, once when migrating north, and once when migrating south. That location might be around Vancouver island. Thus if our theory is correct that whaling aboriginals originated in the arctic in the arctic seagoing peoples ancestral to Inuit, then we should find aboriginal peoples in the vicinity of Vancouver island with deep whaling traditions, who we MIGHT discover have words in their language that resonate with Inuit and Finnic words
   Being a student at the University of Toronto in the 1970's, 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 traditions, and then for some words in their language that seemed to resonate with Finnic. Having been raised with Estonian, I could resonate with anything that seemed Finnic, even if shifted in minor ways. 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 left the book out and thenI looked more carefully at the language, culture, and what archeology had found for that people.
    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 6,000 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 whaling is so specialized, people following it would not mix well with people with other ways of life.  The first thing I discovered was that a few peoples along the Pacific coast, who pursued whales, actually originated from the interior at an early time. Their language would not be linked to the original whaling people expansion. Thus archeological information was important to identify which peoples arrived by sea and established on the coast at the early times - such as about 5,000 years ago.   


    The Inuit of Alaska  clearly originated from the migrations of whale hunting peoples to that location along arctic coasts. My opinion is that they most likely reached Alaska from the east, from the same peoples from which the "Dorset" culture developed, who ultimately came from the arctic European coastal waters. 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, in my view they were basically the same people. Aside from evidence of a few territorial conflicts, there is nothing to suggest one people exterminated the other. I believe they were a single people with roughly the same language, and what changed was that the more superior material culture (mainly hunting tools) spread throughout.
    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, we have seen, is used in many other 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. 
   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 at their core. Whales were being hunted from boats across the Canadian arctic to Alaska and then south through the Aleutian Islands.
    Before we look at whaling peoples of the east side of the Pacific ocean let us have a quick look at the "Ainu" of Japan, whose name and seagoing traditions appear to link the Ainu name with the Inuit name, or for that matter the "Innu" name of the Algonquian peoples on the Labrador coast.

Ainu of the West Pacific Coast


    It is common sense the these circumpolar whaling peoples would have ventured southward in the Pacific from the Bering Strait and Aleutians. Perhaps the Ainu legacy in Japan represents whaling peoples established on the west site of the Pacific.  Were the Ainu whaling peoples?
  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 burial 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. It would not have been a local development.
    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 I believe had the same origin in arctic Europe.
    When sizable trees 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. The Norse expansion into Norway basically assimilated the coastal people from their original native form.)
    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. They could have originated with skin boats and reverted to dugouts when coming to a coastal region with substantial trees.
     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. Too much history has passed with the  people who identify as "Ainu" to include the "Ainu" in the investigation. We cannot look for clear connections to the seagoing boat peoples. We have pointed to similarities in the word "Ainu" and "Inuit" or "Innu" meaning 'person' or 'people'. We have also pointed to the connection between the Ainu "dragon boats' and the skin boat peoples tradition of  the animal head on the prow. What about language?
    According to linguists, 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. (Aggultinative means endings can be added to endings. As I said above the agglutinative form can be seen as a degeneration of the "polysyntheitc" form of Inuit, where words are composed of many small elements preceding or added to stem words.)
    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 the verb katta 'cover'), or "mak" for 'mountain side' (Estonian mägi 'mountain'). These are remarkable coincidences and could represent remnants of the original language that by chance faile to be changed or replaced.
    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. 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. Reverence to thunder was found on the Pacific side, as we will see.
    Our conclusion about the Ainu is that they originated from the expansion of whaling peoples, but have in recent centuries become mixed with other peoples. This is not unusual among aboriginal peoples influenced by new peoples arriving among them.
    We can wonder if whaling peoples also continued further south than Japan. This is a possible direction of further study, starting with determining whale migration routes; but I have not done such investigations. I believe if there were, then such peoples would have disappeared, assimilated into indigenous cultures or more recent colonizations.
    My investigations in the 1970's were directed at whaling peopes along the North American coast. The remainder of this page will deal with what I discovered. 

The North American Pacific Coast - The Wakashan Whale Hunters


         During the 1970's when I investigated  Native cultures and languages on the North American Pacific coast, 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 some languages along the  Pacific coast, known more commonly as the Northwest Coast (of North America). I only discovered then 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".  All the "Wakashan" languages (about 5 of them) had deep whaling traditions and were worth investigating In my investigation in the 1970's I found most information about the people known as "Kwakiutl"
    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
     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 peoples. 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. The arrivals must have occurred when there were no seagoing people along the coast, and the coastal areas were vacant of humans. According to archeology the first inhabiting of the coast occurred about 5,000 years ago, and my theory is that was when the "Wakashan" whaling peoples first arrived.
      However, archeology does reveal that there was some  intrusion by land from the Interior. The displacement of the coastal people already established would still have been as difficult. But from the interior, 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 from the interior 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 originally  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.
    Native peoples of the Northwest coast identifiable from today. 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. Most of these listed are native Americans who converted mainly to harvesting the plentiful salmon, a few even considering whaling. But 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.

Figure 9  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


     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 6000-5000 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 had 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:(p l94, 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, therefore 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, whaling peoples who arrived at the Pacific as an extension of the westwardexpansions into the North American arctic Next, interior people, seeing new opportunities in unoccupied coastal locations, migrated to the coast, and finally there were various degrees 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.
    We are not particularly interested in these later arrivals on the coast, but the original whaling seagoing peoples who lay at the foundations of the "Wakashan" peoples/
    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.
    My 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 arctic 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 10
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 challenge was from arctic Norway to Greenland, but that area had an incentive for seagoing people - 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 did not place much faith in theories pertaining to an Asian or Eurasian connection. He 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.
     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 early original 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 across the north Atlantic and across the North American arctic. whaling peoples in both the north Atlantic and North Pacific followed whale migrations south and established themselves at the midpoint of the migrations to encounter them twice a year - once when going north and once when going south.. The information that suggests they were the first people to inhabit coastal areas, also helps confirm that in general coasts of North America were originally uninhabited - perhaps because North America had not developed any fondness for fish or rough coastal waters as opposed to land animals, and of course from not having a 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.
    In the following section we will look more closely at the Wakashan  cultures for connections to original whaling peoples of White Sea origins.

Can We Identify Inuit and Finnic Roots in Kwakwala?

           In my random investigation of Native (Indian) languages in the University of Toronto library in the 1970's, I was not looking for whaling peoples. I had by then discovered remarkable coincidences between Inuit and Finnic (mainly Estonian) languages, and wondered if there might be more languages that resonated with Finnic, without fully understanding what it would mean if I were to find it. Such people would have arrived by boats, and one hgihly probable reason would be for whale hunters to esablish themselves at a location next to whale migrations.
    As I show above, I investigated the background of the Wakashan cultures, but I had already found some coincidences in the language. The following is a more detailed description of what I found. I did not find many books on Native languages of the Pacific coast. For example, a book on the Nootka peoples (one of the Wakashan groups) did not offer a very large word list to work on.
    It just happened that by that time, a person named  D. M. Grubb  had taken on the task of creating a practical writing system for writing the Kwalwala dialect of the Wakahsan languages. I had to deal with the complex writing system - which was really a phonetic writing system based on using standard typewriter keyboard letters.

    The book title was  A Practical Writing System and Short Dictionary of Kwakw'ala by D. M. Grubb (National Museum of Canada, Ottawa, 1977). In spite of the complex orthography the author created, I was able to sense Estonian-like words. Not as many as when I investigated Inuit, but significant nonetheless.  Perhaps today there are better dictionaries of the language, and a simpler wrtiing approach, but I did by investigation in the 1980's and the internet had not even been invented yet. One had to find information in books through the library system
  A Practical Writing System and Short Dictionary of Kwakw'ala began by presenting a complex orthography based on the capabilities of a normal typewriter (or today the standard PC keyboard) This writing system sought to represent that actual sound of spoke Kwakwala using standard Roman alphabet Latin sounds. The following are close to Latin   A, B, D, E, H, I, L, M, O, P, Q, S, T, U,  and some extensions such as Ä which is the A found in "happy", and English for W, Y   In this writing system these are then modified by   adding a faint sound after one of these major ones. I will show these lesser sounds with small case. Thus for example we have Dz as in English "adze" or Dl as in "maudlin" or  Gy as in "egg-yolk" and so on. If there are two sounds modifying the main one, the order chosen will be one that give the closest effect when read.
    For the purpose of this article, I simplified the Grubb writing system a little as follows. Note it is a phonetic writing system, whereas the FInnic and Inuit words lack detailed phonetics, but our purpose here is merely to show enough to demonstrate that Finnic, Inuit, and Kwakwala form of Wakashan, originate from the same circumupolar arctic sea people who had whaling traditions

SMALL LETTERS DESCRIBE SLIGHT MODIFICATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS SOUND (this is he phonetic aspect of the writing system)

(note I do not add underlining to FInnic, as all words sysematically stress the first syllable, nor do we show the Finnic words in full phonetics)

( example in QÄTsI ' STÄLÄ)

     As for my representation of the Estonian and Finnish words, here I write them in caps and add the stress on the initial syllables, purely to make it look similar to the way I write out the Kwakwala words. The Estonian or Finnish words are already written close to the Latin standard, with small variations.  The stress in Finnic words is always on the first syllable. Also, in Estonian j = "Y" in English, and Finnish y= "Ü" in Estonian or like EU in Latin.  In Estonian-Finnish  ö is like "E" with rounded lips, and Õ is like Ä with lips rounded. For the Kwakwala words, we use the common application of the Ä for the sound found in happy, while A is the sound in father
      As in the case with the other languages studied, I selected only the examples that are believable. To keep it brief,  I  avoid the derivations or compound words. Note that the words are all based on commonly used words, and that the author does not get involved with the internal structure of the language (word stems vs grammatical endings and their rules.) Note that the Kwakwala words are in various common forms and the Finnic suggestions may not be in the same form and this may affect meanings not being in parallel - such as the Kwakwala word being in a verb form and the closest Finnic form being perhaps a noun. Therefore comparisons must adjust for the lack of exact grammatical parallels.



 All whaling peoples used harpoons to hunt sea animals. Therefore we should be able to find a word for 'harpoon' in Kwakwala and Inuit and FInnic.

   NOL   'to cover with harpoon'   compares with Est/Finn NOOL/NUOLI and Inuit NAULIKTUQ 'he harpoons' This is another renarkable example of a word that is found in all three languages, and on top of it, the word refers to something that would be an essential tool for whale hunters. The Est/Finn contracting of the meaning to 'arrow', is of course due to the fact that Finnic peoples stopped being whalers millenia ago, but the use of arrows to shoot at waterfowl, etc still remained. The word survives also in English "nail" but here even more degenerated. Is it possible this is a word that dates back to reindeer people in the Ice Age?
   LI 'ALUT   'crew'  compares with Est/Finn LIIT / LIITO  'league, union of people, team'  This is of course debatable.

    For whaling peoples we should also find plenty of words connected with water and the hard surf that beats upon the Pacific shores.
    Like in FInnic, words relating to sound, surf, and shorelines are dominated by the sound K-vowel-L  The sound pattern even extends to the tongue. In Estonian/Finnish as in keel/kieli  There are many cognates fnaming things that can be associated with either sound or the behaviour of churning water and shoreline rocks. In Finnic the word exends to boiling (Estonian kee)  We do not see this pattern in this context very much in Inuit, but the Inuit did not live beside pounding surf, and so such words would have faded, But the Paciic coast boat peoples lived beside pounding surf even more than the "Kunda" culture experienced on the east Baltic coast.
   KhÄ   'hear'    versus Est/Finn  KUULE  'hear!' This pairing is very positive, because there are other words, see below, of this general structure, that pertain to sound. See the next two.
 QwALÄh  'flood tide hitting rocks'   This word reflects something also in Estonian - describing water flow (not necessarily sound) Estonian has KALLA 'pour' and  KALJU 'cliff, ridge (in water=reef)' If sound is intended Estonian has KÕLA 'to sound, resonate (far)'  Finnish has similar if not identical examples.Note also that above we saw the Inuit kallu 'thunder' . This is obviously the same, as the sound of surf on rocks would be a thundering sound. It is interesting to note these words for sound and pouring and cliffs, because it reflects a dominant experience of people constantly dealing with water, rocks, and the sound of surf. It would be reason for these words to endure. They are not in Inuit because the Inuit were not dealing with the same pounding surf as coastal people of the Northwest Pacific coast.

      WA- versus Finnic  VEE- for 'water'
    WA KhÄLÄ  'to hear the sound of water'   versus Est. VEE-KUULA(MA)  'water, to hear' ('to hear water')   
QhÄLÄSÄ  'did you hear that?'     versus Est/Finn  KUULSID?  'did you hear that?'   Note that the S may be a 2nd person marker in both since we have already seen parallelism in the 1st person singular and plural.
    KhALAM  'tongue'    versus Est/Finn  KEEL or KIELI  'tongue, language'  Here the Kwakwala -M and stress on the last part of the word seems to be a nominalizer, namer. The Kwakwala seems more primitive, in that 'tongue' is noticably formed from the word for 'hear'.  


(Estonian versions are contrived to parallel the Kwakwala word in putting the noun in partitive sense as the first part of a compound verb)
    WA  KhÄ  'to hear the sound of water'   versus Est. VEE-KUULA(MA)  'water, to hear' ('to hear water') 
    LA  KhÄ   'to hear banging'   versus Est.  LÖÖ-KUULA(MA)   'hit, to hear' ('to hear the hit')
  QÄ  'YÄLÄ   'to hear footsteps'   versus Est  KÄI-KUULA(MA)  'walking, to hear' ('to hear the walking'
    The formula is to put the thing tha makes the sound in front of the word for  'make sound'
    These last examples seem to also affirm the parallels between
     WA- versus Finnic  VEE- for 'water'
    LA- versus Finnic  LÖÖ- for 'hit, bang'
    QÄ- versus  KÄI-for 'step, walk'   (See also  Inuit qaiqujivunga meaning 'I ask to come.')

It is in words for family and relations that we see most connections to both Inuit and Estonian, and these tend to prove the theory that the Kwakwala language derives from circumpolar boat people who originally moved into the arctic at the White Sea and later through the interior to the Alta area.
SUYÄ'IMÄ  'heritage, family' SUGU / SUKU   'family' SAKI 'father, mother, uncle or aunt-in-law
U'MÄ  'noblewoman, queen' EMA / EMÄN- 'mother/lady'   AMAURAQ 'great grandmother'
QÄS 'your grandfather' UKKO  'myth: sky-father'  AKKA  'paternal uncle'
ANIS   'aunt' ONU / ENO   'uncle' ANI 'brother of woman'
OS   'father'
ISA / ISÄ  'father' -?--(might exist but I have not found it)
ABAMP 'one's mother'

ABI/APU   'help'  (Est and FInn uses the concept of  'help' in the meaning of 'mate' as in 'husband' or 'wife'

    Other commmonly used words are given below

          LA - GOING:
These words show the sound pattern L+vowel describes the act of going. It is interesting to note that it is likely that the original word for 'soumd' was K+vowel so that K+vowel+L+vowel in essence meant to 'let go the sound'

    'go'   versus  Est/Finn  LÄHE  This is such  common word in Est./Finn that it is easy to believe it has endured for millenia
(First person singular marked by -N)
  LAN 'I go'   versus Est/Finn  LÄHEN  Amazingly the first person singular ending is the same! Grammatical parallels are strong indicators of descent from a common ancestral language, rather than borrowing.
(First person plural marked by -M-)
   LA 'MANTs  'we are going to'   versus Est/Finn  LÄHME  or LÄHEMME  'we are going to...; we are going'   Here we again see a grammatical marker parallel in the use of M in the 1st person plural.
LhANTA  'to blow nose'   versus Est/Finn  LENDA  or LENTÄ   'fly!'   This is debatable, but it is amusing as we imagine something blowing out of one's nose. This needs more investigation into associated words, such what is the word for 'nose', and whether the word for 'blow' has connotations of flyings. This is a good example in which further research is necessary to determine if this paring should be accepted or not.

     -  WALKING
    We saw above that is the stem for walking, stepping. In FInnic Estonian the word KÄI very common. It would have been used steadily to ensure survival over thousands of years.
   WA-     WATER
    Water is always ever present in the lives of boat-oriented peoples, thus we wouild expect similarities through all the boat people language dialects.

    ' WÄP   'water'   compares with  Estonian/Finnish VEE- whose most common noun form is VESI, partitive VETT  The word also resembles English (Germanic) 'water',  But this would be a coincidence except that the Germanic word probably originated from Finnic
  'loose on water'  The first part KhAN is probably related to the word for 'walking'. T hen we have WE for 'water' and LÄ for 'go'. Thus an Estonian parallel might be KÄI-VEE-LÄHE 'walk-water-go'
    QIWELÄ  'too long in the water'  uses the element QI to represent 'too long' . The element QI evokes the use of -GI in Estonian as a suffix meaning  'yet, still'  Thus we can form, in reverse order the Estonian VEE-LÄ-GI  'still on the water'

(note - if the Inuit column is blank, it does not mean a parallel does not exist. This investigation was limited to what was provided in two books cited plus  my knowledge of Estonian and FInnish, A more thorough study will no doubt find more parallels. The reason I am showing more parallel with Estonian/Finnish than with Inuit, is because I am selecting the Kwakwala words via Estonian. Someone very familiar with Inuit, will see many more Inuit-Kwakwala parallels as they were closer neighbours)

KhwALÄ  for 'alive'
ELAV or ELÄVÄ  'alive'

GUKw  'house'   KOGU/KOKO 'all; gathering'  KODU/KOTI  'home, hut, teepee' qaqqiq 'community house' 
GUKwALÄ  'be together (in a house)'   KÜLA/KYLÄ  'settlement'

qaqqiq 'community house'
NOGAD   'maker of songs, wise man'  NÕID / NOITA  'shaman, sorcerer' katak 'entrance' 
ÄLUMÄS  'new'   ALUS   'foundation, beginning'
ALG 'beginning'
alliaq 'branches mattress'
OLA  for 'truth'  OLU / OLO  'state of being' (ie 'how things are = truth)
GAGUMAS 'shadow'  

KAGU/KAAKKO 'south-east' 

uqqu 'lee side'
SAL'   'sorting out'  
SELETA/SELITTÄÄ 'explain, sort out'

ThsAL -ThsALK  'down feathers'
is ThsALK just ;'feather'?
SULG / SULKA  'feather'
suluk 'feather'
KhUKhU ' NÄ 'neck'           
KUKAL  'back (nape) of neck'
LAIHwqI'LÄS  'fire in hole'
Est: LÕKKE or LEEK 'fire', LÄIGE 'shine'
Finn:  LEIKKI 'fire'; LEKOTELLA 'to bask in the sun'

LAQAKhwAS   'burnt place' 
LAGE/ LAKEA  'open area, clear, open'
PUSA  'to swell up from soaking'
PAISUDA/PAISUA  'to swell'
Finnish PULLISTUA 'to expand, swell'
puvak 'lung'
pulliqtuq 'he swells'


    MI ' 
  'evil power'    suggests Est/Finn  HÄMAR/HÄMÄRA  'dim', dusky' This is debatable,  but the next word, with the same HÄM-  stem and a meaning closer to the Est/Finn parallel, helps to support both.
    MÄNIKw  'scared speechless' compares with  Est/Finn HÄMMASTA/ HÄMMÄSTYÄ  'to amaze, astound, startle'
      PAM    'hairy face'     HABAHysTE  'beard'     Est: HABEMES or HABE  'beard'
    This is remarkable, because it may indicate that the people who originally arrived  by sea, may have been European.  This is consisent with the boat-people theory, wherein I describe the boat peoples emerging in northern Europe just south of the retreating glaciers. Such people would have grown beards. The mongoloid appearance, with minimal beards, as we saw in previous chapters, originated from the westaward migrations of Asian reindeer hunters who converted to the way of life of the boat peoples, in more recent millenia.. This idea of an original arrival of Europoid bearded men at the Pacific by sea can then explain why the Ainu men are well-bearded. 
      ' NI ' YU     'shoelace'            Est  NIIT   'thread'   Of course, shoelaces are modern, so the original meaning would have referred to any thin thong or thread.
       'go (on)!!'                 Est  HAKKA!  'start! go on!'  The Kwalwala word here sounds so Estonian-like, it is difficult to reject this one.
    MAHwqÄ   'potlach'         compares with Est/Finn MAKSA  'pay'  (Note, the potlach custom of the Pacific coast was to hold a feast in which the host gave away gifts in order to win a good standing with hosts - because it was not enough to be strong: neighbours had to recognize it.  In this case the Est/Finn MAKSA is already conceptually more like 'give gift payments' than to 'pay debts')
    PhÄLhÄ  'lay a hand on'  compares with  PEALE/ PÄÄLE  'onto top of' This is a remarkable parallel. The Kwakwala version is practically parallel
    IK  'good'    which is best compared to Finnish IHANA 'wonderful' which is represented in Estonian with IHA 'desire, craving' 
    IKhÄLhÄ  'high above'   might resonate also with Estonian/Finnish  IGA- / IKA- 'eternal'  The Kwakwala word structure probably breaks down to  'extreme-high', and the  IKI word in Finnic too probably has a root meaning of 'extreme'  and it may even be sound-psychological.


       From what I have seen, further proper linguistic study will find more grammatical parallels. We have noted vague similarities in 1st and 2nd person markers and case markers.The Wakashan languages bear further investigation from a Finnic and from a whaler-people perspective.  Kwakwala is only one of a number of languages characterizes are Wakashan, and surveying them all may probably result in remarkable further insights. The above investigations are based on only two books, one with Inuit and the other with Kwakwala.
    But what about culture? Can we find parallels in culture as well.   The most obvious evidence of the long distance kinship with arctic European seagoing peoples would be the presence of the animal head on the prow. Somewhere I learned that Europeans had observed walrus heads on Inuit umiaks made from walrus skin. Since walrus have no necks, that means the heads would not be visible - other than perhaps two tusks at the prow. The Greenland Inuit had umiaks consisting of skin with two poles on two ends, by which the skin could be removed from the frame. It lacks a head because of this practice. The separated skin could then be used for shelter. Furthermore Greenland whalers probably made the boat skins out of whale hide.
    On the Pacific coast, it was no longer necessary to make skin boats because there were giant cedar forests. They could revert to making dugours. But in the tradition of Pacific coast, the large cedar dugouts were painted to resemble a whale - with eyes at the prow. Was this a continuation of a very old tradition. The Ainu too, on the other side of the Pacific also made boats of wood because forests with large trees were available, but in their case, they actually incorporated 'dragon' heads on the prow - something that makes us wonder if they did not revert to wood boats as readily as the Wakashan whalers beside giant cedars. Did they continue to use skin boats with walrus heads on the prow a little longer? Did they try the skins of other animals?

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 6,000-5000 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 northern aboriginal culture - for example the belief that all the active environment contained 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).   Finnic cultures for the most part have become part of modern civilization and the original animism is no longer used.  Finnic world view  has modernized in keeping with the growth of Indo-European civilization for over a millenium. Traces of original animism can still be found especially in isolated regions.
     The traditonal practitioner of the early shamanism was the shaman.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'.  I believe these words actually referred to the secular leader, the tribal chief, and not the spiritual guide. The Kwakwala word NOGAD 'wise man' or 'maker of songs' however is close to Estonian/Finnish  nõid or noita  'shaman', 'sorcerer', 'witch', etc.  
    Also tying in with mythology, we find in these northern boat people languages, the belief in storm deities. Inuit presents the word aqqunaq for 'storm', which was close to their 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 QwALÄh 'flood tide hitting rocks'. (To hear the similarities one has to say the words without looking at the peculiar phonetic orthography. The sound of "QwALÄh" is close to QALÄ, KALÄ This one example is not convincing. See further supportive examples below which more clearly show Inuit words in Kwakwala.
  Assuming I am correct in comparing the Inuit kallu with QwALÄh, let us consider what Finnic provides.
 Finnic mythology pictures an ancestor called Kaleva which 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 KÕLA 'sound, echo' in Estonian, 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 do not appear to identify the thunder diety with a KALLU type of word, but trather a different word, they worshipped a thunder deity.
   Kwakwala mythology held that the common ancestor of humanity was the Thunderbird, and that  everyone was a Thunderbird before becoming a human.  Compare with everyone being a descendant of the thunder-deity - a 'son of Kaleva' in Finnic mythology if we allow KALEVA to be the thundering deity.
    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 in the general consonant-vowel pattern, 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 in my perspective, KOLI was really a thunder bird, while the so-called Thunderbird was 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 mythology.
   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: IKhÄLhÄ  'high above'   which I compared with  IGI-/IKI- 'eternal' but which can also compare with the FInnic word for lightning. 
    In Finnic mythology, there was 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 äike 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.
    Even in the North American mythology of the Thunderbird, the idea is that the thunder sound comes from the flapping of the bird's giant wings. The lightning supposedly comes out of its eyes, but that concept has no parallel in the real world. We can conclude that the Thunderbird, as the word 'thunder' implies, is indeed not about lightning, but about thunder, and the lightning aspects have been added.
    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 I 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 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, in order to preserve their original one KOLI. 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 found there, the raven.


      Moving on to other aspects of Wakashan 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 in Figure 9 above) , 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 presented in another article, 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, Making peace with the spirit is found throughout the boat peoples we discuss. The Algonquian culture of eastern Canada, still today, follow a practice of making peace with the animal they killed by honouring it with tobacco. There is a great fear that bad luck arises from unhappy spirits. The animal spirit could also be honoured by using every part of it in honourable ways.
     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 (or "sweat lodge") is best known in the Algonquians, where they built a small domed structure, like a small wigwam. redhot stones carried inside. It does not exist in Inuit culture, probably because the Inuit had no fuel for heating other than animal fat and it had to be conserved for the regular house. 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.

 Other Pacific Coast Native Peoples South from the Wakashan


     In by investigation from library books at the University of Toronto in the 1980's, I pulled out book after book on Pacific coast Native peoples, and scanned any lexicons for words that jumped out at me from similarities to mainly Estonian.
    After discovering the similarities in the Wakashan dialects, notably Kwakwala, I continued south, and discovered two more languages in the books that resonated with Estonian, These languages, however, were not connected to coastal whaling, but salmon, But this does not mean they did not arrive as whalers. Whaling is something that can only be pursued twice a year - when the whales were migrating north and next migrating south. Furthermore whaling was difficult, and when the Pacific coast rivers were found to be full of salmon, it was easy to abandon whaling, and build a way of life around salmon.
    My purpose right now is to see if my findings in these languages can reveal a little more about the origins of these people. If we find many parallels with the Kwakwala words, we could conclude they were branches of the same people. If the languages are more unique, we have to consider the possibility that these people originated from immigrants more recent than 5,000 years ago. It is even possible for traders speaking a FInnic language to have established a colony perhaps around the Roman Age or earlier.

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.  For the Vancouver Island area, the Wakashan group of languages, see also the earlier map. I have added "Kalapuya" because I will look at some of its words, later. Note also the location of the Karoks.


      I begin with the Kalapuyans because I only found a short article on them, and a small lexicon of words. These people no longer exist. I will pay more attention to the next language, the one spoken by the Karoks, about which I found much information. The Karok peoples still exist today.
    But let us review the KALAPUYANS first and try to figure them out.


    The Kalapuyans were located Immediately to the south and interior from the Wakashan whaling people region, which could signal they may have been descended from the Wakashan, making their way into the interior along a branch of the Columbia River, obviously to exploit the salmon resouces. However, linguistics did not group them with the Wakashan, but a separate group including 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.
     Kalapuyan defines a family of languages or dialects. By discovering similar words among several languages of the Kalapuyan family, linguists hoped 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 here as one of the sources of Kalapuyan words for comparison with Finnic.
    It was been proposed many years ago - in 1965 - by Morris Swadesh that Kalapuyan languages were perhaps related to Takelma and together they formed a larger grouping. In any event, Swadesh presented words of Takelma plus three Kalapuyan languages (the three described above) in his 1965 paper (see references below). I also mined that paper as well as a source of Kalapuyan words.
    Unfortunately the number of words presented in these papers is small; however what counts is how many of the words appear to have Finnic parallels. We are not selecting several words from a large lexicon. The number of words that resonated with Finnic words in the case of Kalapuyan is large compared to the total.  
    The name "Kalapujans" is so close to Estonian kala püüdjad  '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  they were originally called by KALA-PÜÜDJAN and then over time the whole language drifted linguistically, influenced by neighbouring languages?


    Because the "Proto-kalapuyan" words derived by Shipley are still artificial, and possibly incorrect, the following comparisons we make here are with the real Kalapuyan words, indicating the dialect with T, S, or Y representing respectively Tfalati, Santiam, or Yoncalla.
     In terms of orthography, I continue to use the approach that uses the Latin sounds represeted by the Roman alphabet as a basis, with additional markers selected from common keyboard symbols.  Emphasis (if the source material gives it) is given by bolding,  the  single quote marks a catch in the throat or glottal stop, and a dash marks a sound break (without catch). These are very intuitive conventions.
    The following table compares not just Kalapuyan with Estonian/FInnish, but also tries to find parallels in the Karok or Kwakwala language which we will look at in the next section. Finding many parallels in Karok can indicate these people may have actually branched off the Karoks who, as the map shows, were locaed directly south in the upper Klamath River.

T=Tfalati; S=Santiam; Y=Yoncalla
(from limited resources)

(common words only)
We are limited by what was given in the source lexicon - see next section for Karok)
PAL (T) 'big'
PALJU / PALJON 'much, alot'
PUU£ (T,S 'blow' PUHU / PUHU  'blow / speak' Kwakwala: PUSA
See also Inuit puvak
' EEFAN (S) 'father'
ISA / ISÄ 'father' Kwakwala: OS   'father'
TIITA (S) 'give'
TII& (Y)
TEE / TIE 'do'
HUUSU  (Y) 'good' HEA / HYVÄÄ    'good' Karok: YAV   'good' 
TAHKI (T) 'kill'
TAPPA / TAPPA  'kill'
Est, TUKKU 'doze, sleep'

Inuit: TUQUJUQ 'he dies'
PA£  (T) 'lake'
PAA£  (S,Y)
PAAT   (Est)  'boat' Karok: PAAH 'boat'
MEEFU  (T) 'mountain'
MÄGI /MÄKI   'mountain, hill'
Karok: MA'   'mountain'
NUNA  (T, S) 'nose' NINA / NENÄ    'nose'
MIM    (T,S) 'person'
MIMI    (Y)
INIMENE   (Est)  'person' Karok: ' IIN   '(the world, human race) to exist' 
Inuit: INUK 'person'
Algonquian: ININI 'person'
T-ASTU  (S) 'sit'
ISTU/ ISTU   'sit'
HUYS   (T,S) 'smell' HAIS / HAISU   'smell'
YALKYAK (T)'straight'
JALG / JALKA  'leg, foot'
PYAN (T, S) 'sun' PEA / PÄÄ   'chief, most important'
PÄIKE (Est)  'sun'
PhÄLhÄ  'lay a hand on' ('put on top of'
KwAYN   (T)'swim'
KwAY    (S)
KÄI / KÄY   'go' Karok: ' AAHO   'to walk, go'  (note glottal stop at start is a K-type sound)
Kwakwala QASA
Inuit  QAI-
PAMYUT  (T) 'think'
Est. PEAMÕTTE  'main idea'
MÕTTE / MIETE  'thought'

K'AWAN (Y) 'fish' KALA / KALA  'fish' Karok: 'AAMA 'salmon'   
substitution of M for L ?
(consider loss of initial I)
PUUHA  (S) 'alder (tree)'
PO-P     (T)
PEEM   (T) 'tree'
PUU / PUU  'tree' Karok: 'IPAHA  'tree'
HUL-LII  (S) 'want' HOOLI / HUOLI  'want, desire'
WAL-LA (S) 'down'
ALLA / ALLA    'down'
ALUS 'foundation'
ALGUS 'beginning'
Kwakwala:ÄLUMÄS  'new'
 Inuit: ALLIAQ 'branches matress' 
(neighbouring, but not considered Kalapuyan)

KAA'-M 'two' KAKS / KAKSI  'two'
KATKI 'broken'
Karok: 'AXAK  'two'
Kwakwala: KUHwq'ID  'break in half'
' EL-AA- 'tongue' KEEL / KIELI    'tongue' Kwakwala: KhALAM 'tongue'

PEYAAN 'daughter, girl'
POJA / POJAN 'child; boy'    

          As we see in this small number of Kalapuyan words, which however form a large portion of the words presented in the source material, we find not just resonances with Estonian or FInnich, but also with Inuit, Kwakwala and Karok studied next. The source material for Karok was much larger, so we had more to investigate, and more resonances to find.


      Earlier, through words in the Kwakwala language, we looked at the Wakashan group in the region of Vancouver Island, who were original arrivals on the coast and brought whale hunting traditions.  In this section we look further at the Northwest coast of North America.continue south along the Pacific coast of North America and consider other Native peoples whose relationship to the whale hunters is less clear. They may represent later arrivals or true developments out of the original whaling people like the Wakashan.
    If we refer to the map above, we find the Karok, Yurok and Hupa south of the Wakashan languages area,  in northern California. 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 Klamath 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)  So these cutures on the Klamath River stood out and were/are somewhat mysterious.
    In my investigation of Pacific coast languages for words that to my impressions, resembled Estonian or Finnish, I looked at the languages of all three, and the Karok language had most examples by far that could be compared to Estonian/Finnish. Similarities to Yurok or Hupa as well as to their cultures were clearly the result of intermingling, and intermarriage. We can conclude that  one or two of them being original, and the remaining/remainder  arriving in the area by migration from somewhere else. Was the Karok language the original language on the Klamath and then partly displaced by newly arriving Yurol and Hupa, or by Karok arriving last, and being relegated a yet uninhabited upper Klamath. We need much evidence from archeology, history, and legends to determine who came first and who came later.

    The Karok , Yurok and Hupa tribes are grouped - in spite of their different languages - because the Klamath river valley tied them all together culturally.
    This distinctive northwestern California culture of the Klamath River valley, 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 Wakashan cultures 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.


     It is clear that an economy that used a form of currency had developed among the tribes of the North Pacific Coast Culture, no doubt from trade by boat up and down the coast.
    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 went further and 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, as well as health. The society idealized the practice 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 the dressings of wealth. (Drucker 183)
   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 at an early time, but not as early as the arrival of the whalers. Traders who could have navigated the Pacific where present in Europe a millenium or two before the Roman Empire, when there were several seatrading peoples like Phoenicians and Veneti, the latter I have found had a Finnic language, Such traders followed the practice of estabishing colonies to look after their interests between arrivals of ships (which could be as rare as once a year or several years)
     But to argue that theory we need to find cultural practices that can be connected to ancient Europe and which could not have developed in situ independently. To explore the evidence of the origins of the Klamath RIver cultures is beyond the scope of this article. I can only offer what I discovered so far and leave the question open. The Wakashan cultures we discussed earlier obviously originate via the expansion of whaling peoples because they continued whaling practices and their language showed links to Inuit to the north.


      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)
    It would not be difficult to transpose ancient Finnic seagoing peoples of the Estonian past to the Klamath River and see something like the above, result. That is why, when we also discover that the Karok language had strong resonances with Finnic, we wonder if that happened. This is an unexpected result of my investigation. I had only expected to find the consequence of whaler migrations 5,000 years ago, and not possible arrival of traders speaking a large scale Finnic trade language, who left behind a colony that eventually lost contact with the people who brought them. (Some decades ago, I read of how


     Although sweat bathing was found in North America, such as the Algonquian "sweat lodge" that used 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) 
   Finnic culture too viewed the sauna in a religious way. There was a practice, for example, of leaving the sauna free after the living had finished so that the spirits of ancestors could visit as well. The custom probably originated with north Eurasian boat peoples as a way of defying winter cold, warding off hypothermia, but it could not be practiced by arctic people because a lack of wood in the arctic tundra. Animal fat as fuel was far too valuable to spare for creating an overheated enclosure.
    North American sweat bathing  was probably the original efficient one, of a very small enclosure and rocks heated in a fire outside and brought inside. The Finnic small cabin sauna, in which there was a rock fireplace in which rocks were heated inside, developed as a result of ceasing to be nomadic and building log cabins. A small log cabin was used not just for sweat bathng but for all other purposes requiring a heated room such as grain drying. It is therefore peculiar that the Klamath River sweathouse was a proper building with a fire built inside, as described by Drucker. 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.

    It is certainly possible that a people who were not nomadic might built permanent sweat-lodges that they could make spacious. On the other hand, what if traders of Finnic origins visited the Hupa and Yurok to trade, left behind a colony that became the Karoks, and then the Karoks pursuing the Finnic cultural practices spread it to the indigenous Hupa and Yuroks.
    But that theory still leaves the mystery of where the Hupa and Yurok people came from. It is a question that could be very interesting to a scholar of the future, but my intent here is only to report this unexpected discovery that might not be connected to the original expansion of whaling peoples, but connected instead to long distance traders who in Europe were called the "Eneti" or "Veneti". (See elsewhere for my deciphering of the Venetic inscriptions of ancient Northern Italy, that show the large scale Venetic trade system that originally carried furs and amber from northern Europe south to the civilizations of southeast Europe since about 5,000 years ago, used a Finnic lingua franca. Such an early date certainly makes it possible for intrepid seagoing traders to have navigated to the North American coast that early!)
    But our purpose here is not to try to solve the mystery, but only to report on what I found in my investigations in the 1980's  


      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.
      Let us look at the Karok language. I can first present some general observations here.
   In general the Karok word list consists of a large number of words that seem to have been borrowed from Yurok and Hupi. Notwithstanding that truth, the number of words that could be connected to Finnic words was large.


    The Karok words in the source The Karok Language, William Bright, uses a phonetic orthography dating to the 1950's. In order to be reasonably consistent with what I did with writing out the Kwakwala language  in a more readable fashion, I interpreted the orthography of the Karok words in my own way like with the Kwakwala, based on extended Roman alphabet and Latin phonetics. The accent mark in the original  I show by bolding and the dot  representing length I show by doubling the letter. Sadly until recently with the establishing of an international phonetic alphabet there have been very many phonetic orthographies, so that I am sometimes lost when looking at older materials with older phonetic writin. If my interpretation of the sound of a Karok word  is a litle incorrect, I don't think it is serious enough to alter the comparison with an Estonian/Finnish word. We are not pursuing precise linguistics here, just scanning for coincidences in sound patterns and meanings  that are beyond the probability of random chance. (To better understand how William Bright 'heard' the words, see  Bright, William   The Karok Language, 1957, University of California Press, Berkeley&Los Angeles)
    Note in the pairings below, as with the previous languages, that the ' marking a glottal stop can be viewed as a "K" in the Finnic.
    The Estonian/ Finnish words are written in standard Estonian/Finnish without further markings. (Those with no knowledge of Estonian,  the variations from Latin pronunciation are not great. The most important characteristic about Estonian and FInnish is that the first syllable is always emphasized and there are the special characters with umlauts  Ä,Ö  for AE and OE)

ESTONIAN/FINNISH (stress on 1st syllable)
'AAHKU  'to burn'  
'AHI-  'to burn'
'AAHA  'fire, lantern'     
AHI / AHJO   'fireplace / forge'
-AHI is also used to mark the past tense. Estonian uses the -SI- or -I- to mark the past tense.
' IŠ   'flesh, body' 
  IHU / IHO  'flesh, body'
PAAH   'boat'     
PAAT   'boat'
' IMMAA  'tomorrow'        
HOMME / HUOMENNA   'tomorrow'
KUUSRA(H) 'month; sun, moon'  
KUU / KUU    'moon'
' IPAHA  'tree'   (This can  be debated because of the initial I)
PUU / PUU   'tree'
YUMAA 'pertaining to the dead'   
JUMAL / JUMALA 'god' (J is pronounced like Y)
KOO     'all'      
KÕIK / KAIKKI  'all' KOOS 'together'
KOOVAN  'together'      
KOOS / KOOSSA  'together'
KOOKANHI  'to accompany'  
KAASA/ KANSSA 'in accompaniment with'
KARU  'also'       KA  'also'
' AXAK  'two'  
KAKS / KAKSI  'two'
TIIK   'finger'  
TII 'ear'
TIIT  'fin' 
TIIB or TIIV  'wing'
IKXIV  'thunderhead'     
ÄIKE , IKKE / UKKONEN  'lightening'
'ARAARA 'man, person'   
This comparison may be debatable and more info is desirable)
RAHVAS  'a people, nation'
'IINIŠ 'to come into existence' 
' IIN   '(the world, human race) to exist' 
compares with Inuit words like inuit 'people' and inuusaaqtuq 'he is born' and also those in Algonquian


' AAHO   'to walk, go'  (note glottal stop at start is a K-type sound) Compares with Kwakwala QASA 'walking'   and Inuit  qai- KÄI /KÄY  'walk, go'

' AAS  'water'    
   compares with Kwakwala 'WÄP 
VESI/VESI  'water'
Est. stem VEE-
VIIHI  'to dislike, hate'  (almost exact!)
VIHA / VIHA  'anger, hatred'
IMYAH-  'to breathe'     
HINGA / HENGITTÄ  'breath'
  IME  / IMEÄ   'suck
SU' VARIH  'deep' 
SÜGAV / SYVÄ   'deep'
SU'    'down, inside'      
SUU / SUU  'mouth'
IMUUSTIH  'to look at, watch' 
Same pattern as the Estonian not Finnish , unless Finnic has lost its equivalent
' UUS   'pine cone'     
KUUSK / KUUSI  'fir-tree'
VAASAN 'enemy'
VAASIH  'back'     
VASTA / VASTA  'against, opposing', 'opposite side'?
' AASIŠ   'go to bed'  
ASE  'bed, nest'
KOOKA  'kind, classification'   
KOGU / KOKO  'grouping, collection'
SIIRIH  'to shine'
SÄRA  Est. 'sparkle'
TAAT  'mother'  
Since Inuit ATAATA refers to 'father' this looks like a gender reversal.
NOTE: this instance suggests either Finnic used TAAT long ago (no longer today) or the Karok language in fact did have connection to Inuit, since a people are not easily going to change the name of a mother or father.
TAAT Est. 'old man'
TÄDI 'auntie'
  'AKAH   'father'
  compare with Kwakwala QÄQÄS 'your grandfather' and Inuit  AKKA  'paternal uncle'
UKKO  'mythological god'
MA'    'mountain' 
MÄGI / MÄKI   'mountain'
PATUMKIRA 'pillow' 
PADI  Est. 'pillow'
'AAMA 'salmon'   
This looks like a simple matter of substitution of M for L ?
KALA / KALA  'fish'
YAV   'good' 
HEA / HYVÄÄ   'good'  JA 'yes'
' AK 'pertaining to use of hands' 
More info needed for this one.
KÄE/ KÄEN 'of the hands'
' ASA 'to wear on one's body'   
KASUTA Est 'use'
KASUKAS Est 'fur coat'
HOOTAH  'late'   
OOTA / ODOTA 'wait'
KUNIŠ  'sort of, kind of'        
-KENE Est 'kind of'
-TARA  'instrument'   
TARVE / TARVE 'instrument'
-VA  suffix for action over extended time -V / -VA  suffix marking present participle
-TIH  suffix marking continuing action  
-TI  ending for Estonian past imperfect passive
-AHI   like past tense      
-SI / -I   marker for past tense
        The Karok source words I scanned also include all kinds of compound words and derivations. We selected only those that show strong correspondences. Some may be coincidences, but some patterns are sufficiently unique that they could not appear by random chance.
   Unfortunately the studies presented here are not exhaustive nor intended to be. My intention is only to point out remarkable coincidences in language to add to the broader multidisciplinary study that includes the information from archeology and associated sciences.

    It is difficult to assess how many words of a total lexicon have parallels in Finnic (Estonian or Finnish) because the line between what we accept and what is debatable, is subjective. But in my scanning of words in Basque, Inuit, Ojibwa-Algonquian, Kwakwala, Kalapuyan, and Karok I was looking for 1 in 35 commonly used words. But even 1 in 50 is remarkable enough if we consider a typical vocabulary or commonly used words is about 1000 words (It means we find 20 words, which is enough to indicate the coincidences are not random change, especially considering we have to find close parallels in both the sound pattern and meaning.

Conclusions Regarding the Spread of Seagoing People Beyond Europe

    I believe I have presented enough evidence to successfully argue that the original boat peoples of northern Europe, probably starting from the "Kunda" culture at the east Baltic coast, indeed migrated to the White Sea, developing skin boats where there was a lack of trees, then migrated to arctic Norway and then from there both across the North Atlantic, then across arctic North America to the North Pacific and then descend the coasts - probably motivated by whale migrations - and inhabit new territories along the coasts.
    These broader expansions occurred about 6,000 years ago, introducing boats and harvesting the seas to peoples who formerly had been land-based (since it is far easier to copy a successful way of life than to develop it by trial and error over many generations,)
    While finding remnants of a Finnic language may identify descendants of the original seagoing voyageurs, the impacts of them was extensive, leading to seatrade, crossing oceans for conquest and colonization, and generally moving humanity onto seas and rivers. Originally, like the apes, we only went near or into the water when forced to do so. Mastering the use of the sea was as significant a development as perhaps the mastering of farming.


Discussing Norh Atlantic seagoing aboriginal peoples and how they must have used the skins of their large skin boats to cover their temporary longhouses

The Algonquian languages compared to Finnic, suggest there was a cultural mixing between North Atlantic skin boat peoples descending south, an indigenous hunter-gatherers, but at least it appears there is a connection as already indicated by the use of the skin boat concept in the birch bark canoe.


Dorais,Louis-J ,
The Inuit Language of Igloolik, Northwest Territories,  University of Laval, Laval, Quebec, 1978
 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

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


2013 (c) A. Pääbo.