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The History of Lapland Wherein are Shewed the Original, Manners, Habits, Marriages, and Conjurations of that People

118 pages
Library of Alexandria
This Country doth not every where pass by the same name. By some ’tis called Lappia, as Johann. Magnus in the Preface of his history, and Saxo Grammat. in his 5th book; by others Lapponia, as Olaus Magnus in the explication of his Map of Scandinavia, andZiegler in his description of the Northern Countries, and before these Ericus Versaliensis, and after them Andr. Buræus. The Swedesusually call the Country Lapmarkia, in whose language Mark signifies Land; the Danes and Norwegians, Laplandia, and alsoFindmarkia, as appears from Petr. Claudus description of Norway: for no one can gather any thing else but an account of this Country, from his whole 38th Chapt. which himself too seems to intimate, when he promises more about Findmarkia in his description of Lapland. Of i’ts being call’d Findmark, I shall speak in another place; Now we will see why ’tis call’d Lapponia andLappia, the Etymology of which words is not yet agreed upon by the Learned. Ziegler thinks they were named so by the Germans, from the dulness and stupidity of the people, which the word Lappi signifies amongst them; but this seems improbable, since this Country is but of late known to the Germans, and none of their antient Writers make any mention of Lappia. Moreover, theFinlanders, Swedes and Russians, who differ much in their language from one another, as well as from the Germans, call it all by the same name; and the Germans, who are so remote from Lapland, could not transmit this name to these more Northern Countries, especially when they had little or no commerce with them. Neither are the people so very dull and stupid; as Ziegler himself afterwards acknowledges, when he confesses they are good at the needle, and make delicate embroidered clothes. Neither can I assent to Wexionius’s opinion, that the Swedes gave them this name from their wearing of Skins; for Lapper and Skinlapper do not signify skins, but the same as the Greeks ῥάκοι (in English Rags) from whence Ol. Petr. Nieuren, who writ of Lapland in Gustavus Adolphus’s time, derives their name from their coming into Swedland every year with rags lapt about them, which is the signification of Lapp in that language. But they do not deserve that name, meerly for this reason, any more than the Finlanders and others, for they are generally cloth’d in good woollen garments, as we shall shew hereafter. Grotius thinks they are call’d Lappsfrom running or leaping, but Lœpa, which in the Swedish language signifies to run, is writ with a single P, and the name of this Country with a double one; and these People naturally are no great runners, tho by an art they have of sliding over the frozen snow, they are very swift in their motions. Some think that the Inhabitants do not denominate the Country, but the Country the Inhabitants, as in the name of Norwegians and others, which seems to be strengthned by this, because Ol. Magnus calls them Lappomanni, after the manner of Nordmanni, Westmanni, and Sudermanni, in which words Manni signifying Men, they were call’d Lappomanni, i. e. Men of Lappia. Others fancy that the name of the Country is deriv’d from Lappu, which in the Finnonick language is furthermost, because it lies in the farthest part of Scandinavia. There is yet another opinion which may seem no less plausible then any of the former, which agrees as well with the signification of the word Lapp among the Laplanders themselves, as the credit given to what has been matter of fact, viz. that ’twas call’d Lappia, not from its situation, or other such like accident, but from the Lappi that inhabited it.