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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
The Kalevala, Finnish mythology and folklore, and Tolkien references (Part 13)
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Oct 10 2018, 7:31pm

Post #26 of 34 (1850 views)
That sounds amazing! [In reply to] Can't Post

Your grandmother's summer house & outbuildings sound absolutely wonderful for an "old times geek" like me. What a charming, enchanting place - I could almost see it as I read your description - IMO you are very lucky to have childhood memories like that. Smile Thank you for sharing! And re:

My grandparents enjoyed the benefits of modern life, but felt it was important to pass along the old traditions and methods of doing things to kids. At least once a year, grandma would declare an "Old-fashioned Day", and we would dress appropriately and use only antique things and recipes, with no electricity or flush toilets allowed. You learn to appreciate what you have after that, and complain less about what you don't have!

What a lovely idea! And the fact that she got everyone to play along, including the Sunday School girls - your grandmother sounds delightful and resourceful, and I really admire the will & determination to teach the old ways to younger generations. What a treasure trove of memories you must have! (Now I got to thinking that if I had something like that I would first collect all related photos to be used as reference, and then draw & color the floor plans - the chicken house and dog house and all - with furnishings to keep the memory in a visual form as well. I did something a bit similar when drawing a "map" of my paternal grandparents' courtyard from the time when my father was a child, going by my relatives descriptions and instructions for where everything used to be.)

Your grandmother's summer house does sound like it has many things in common with the old pirtti rooms here. Instead of the quilting frames you mention, pirtti would have had a loom standing in one corner. Smile Your description reminds me of my maternal grandparents' place as well. It was not all that similar, but a house of its time (built after our Winter War) with a cook stove in the kitchen, upright stoves like this (do they have a name in English?) in the living room and bedrooms, and most of the furniture was from the 1950s or older. At the end of a narrow, steep stairway was the door to the attic that was full of old stuff and smelled like honey because the honey extractor was kept there. In the basement level there was the pantry, workshop and firewood storage; out in the yard was an old root cellar built mostly underground in the hillside, the pump well, and in the back corner the old outhouse. My grandfather had a lovely garden with old apple trees, berry bushes, rhubarb and potatoes and carrots etc., and lots of flowers for his bees. We got all our honey from my grandparents all through my childhood.

The mallard drake who thought he was a dog lived there, too, but that's another matter.

As it happens, I first read that like "that's another story" - maybe to be shared at some point...? Wink

Re: losing your original post... I hate it when something goes wrong and a post goes missing, so some years ago I started writing my posts (especially longer ones) on WordPad first, saving the text every once in a while, and then when it's ready I'll copy it to the new post field on TORn and edit. It has become a routine and the only way I could have written the longer Kalevala posts & interludes.

Re: talkoot, "work party" sounds great - maybe putting even more emphasis on the fun to be had, rather than the working part. Tongue From your examples it sounds like work parties were/are often carried out by either men or women, depending on the task? The Finnish talkoot, as far as I know (and based on those I have participated in), tend to include both sexes working together, and even children help in what ways they can when the work to be done is not too dangerous. Of course it all depends on what it is that needs doing. Barn-raising and the like are probably not for the whole family.

Thank you for sharing your memories of the "summer house", and for taking an interest in these posts & themes! Smile

P.S. I had to smile when thinking about our bilberries as "mountain blueberries". In early autumn forests here are full of bilberries, but (unfortunately *sigh*) not a mountain in sight...!

(This post was edited by Ilmatar on Oct 10 2018, 7:35pm)


Oct 10 2018, 9:27pm

Post #27 of 34 (1851 views)
*** Buildings & Structures of a Traditional Finnish Farm [In reply to] Can't Post

1) courtyard in Teuva, Southern Ostrobothnia, photo by M. Kurtén 2006 - 2) Brage museum yard, Ostrobothnia - 3) Jalomäki "closed yard", Ulvila, Satakunta (source)

This post was inspired by the house/room terminology discussion in the thread, and may be boring & pointless to most, but I will post this anyway Cool as it seems that there are some
others here who are interested in the old times and how people used to live in the past centuries in other countries. I know I once bought two fascinating books called "The Country House
Explained" and "English Castles Explained" when visiting England; I remember the salesperson in the museum's gift shop asked me if I was a teacher and I told her no, I was just interested
in old houses & castles. Tongue

And for those of you who have Finnish ancestors, it's highly unlikely that many of them would have lived in towns because Finland remained heavily countryside-centric (is that a word?) later
than most other countries in Europe. *checks* In the year 1950 the majority of Finns still lived in the countryside, but by 1970 the tables had turned in favor of towns and cities. In other words,
if you have Finnish ancestors, it's very likely that some of them have lived in a farmhouse that - depending on the region (re: historical provinces) - had elements and features that more or less
resembled the ones described here. Smile

2) map of a "museum house" in Central Finland by J. Jäppinen

Outbuildings have been grouped around the courtyard in various ways in different parts of the country. In the villages of western Finland it was a common practice to arrange
buildings around a square or rectangle shaped courtyard, resulting in a yard that was closed all around almost like a fortress. The courtyard was usually divided in two, either
with a fence or some buildings: to the "people's yard" in front of the residential buildings, and the "cattle yard" surrounded by outbuildings and livestock buildings. Animals
were kept away from the people's yard. These fenced-off courtyards were common from the Middle Ages until late 1800s. They were formed mostly to control animals - wolves
could not get into the yard, while dogs could not run out of it - and in warm summer nights the cattle was sometimes allowed to move freely in the cattle yard, protected from wild
animals by the surrounding buildings. In the eastern, central and northern parts of the country the terrain is more hilly and uneven than in the west, making it harder to build
a symmetrical square yard, and there was more variation in how outbuildings were arranged around the house or courtyards. Even then there were some differences between
various regions.

2-3) examples: closed yard typical for the western regions, open yard for the eastern regions (source)

As mentioned earlier in this thread, the typical main building of a farm included these rooms:
* porch (large houses had two or three, and maybe one on the back as well)
* anteroom/vestibule, between the porch and other rooms
* tupa - for cooking, baking & eating
(* pantry)
* pirtti (sometimes two) - for spinning, woodworking, other light tasks & sleeping
* master & mistress's bedchamber

Most houses had only one floor, but in the Ostrobothnia region it was customary for wealthy farmers/peasants to build a long, two-storey house with several porches / front doors.
The upstairs rooms were usually "summer bedrooms", guestrooms and storage rooms etc. In addition to the house's height, wealth was also indicated by the number of windows.

2) from a museum house in Finland Proper (source) - 3) floorplan of an old house in Ostrobothnia *)

In addition to the main building, a number of outbuildings and other structures were needed. As can be expected, poor houses had less - maybe only a sauna, a cowshed
and a barn - while bigger houses had more land and animals, and more need for several outbuildings; some even had as many and as varied as parsonages did. As late as
the early 1900s the courtyard of one house could include as many as fifty buildings. Every need and function did not need a separate building standing alone; many farms
would have the old couple's house and the dairy side by side under one roof and sharing a wall, for example, or have two aitta buildings standing next to each other and
connected by a covered entrance. The number of buildings may have been a cause of pride for the master, but nothing was built without a need. When building a new sauna or
a cowshed, for example, it was common to leave the old one standing as well, even though there was no need for two saunas; the old buildings were repurposed as storage
space etc. Sauna, smithy and riihi (grain threshing cabin) were erected farther away from the other buildings because of the fire hazard they posed. Granary and woodshed
were also set apart from others so that a possible fire would not destroy them. Several aitta buildings were often arranged in a row by the road, making it easy to unload goods
into suitable storage rooms; if the house was close to a lake some of these buildings would be by the road leading to the shore, so that items kept in them could be transferred by boat.

Here is a list of typical elements found in and around a traditional courtyard (or arranged on a low hillside according to their functions), depending on which region the house is located:

1. Main building (with a "porridge bell" up on the roof; this was used to signal meal times to people working outside)
2. Syytinkitupa, a house where the older couple retired (with life annuity paid by their offspring) when the eldest son took over the farm
3. Pytinki, a fine building used for celebrations only (or sometimes the house that a younger brother has built for his family)
4. Luhtiaitta (or a few), a two-storey building with several rooms, and a partly open porch on the second floor with stairs leading to it on the outside; this is where young people
slept at summer, and where each maiden (daughter of the house) had a room where they kept the textiles, clothes and linen etc. they had made
5. Dairy, or "milk room", where the milk was stored and made into butter, sourmilk and viili (often by the mistress of the house - children and animals not allowed in; cheese
was made in the main building in tupa because it required cooking)
6. Cowshed, with adjacent "cattle kitchen" where cattle fodder was made (by stewing straw, leaves and other plant parts in hot water)
7. Sheep barn for sheep and goats (unless the animals were kept in their own pen in the cowshed)
8. Henhouse (not a light "outdoors shed" like in the pictures I found when looking online, but a proper winter-proof room - unless the poultry were kept in their own pen in the cowshed)
9. Stables
10. Pigsty (sometimes built under the large ramp leading from the yard to the cowshed's attic, where some of the hay was kept)
11. Outhouse/privy
12. Sauna (or a "smoke sauna", or both)
13. Well
14. Ground cellar for root vegetables
15. Woodshed for firewood
16. Riihi (grain threshing barn) outside the courtyard
17. Barn for storing hay fodder
18. Grain-aitta (grain barn?), for storing grain - there was a small opening in the door so that cats could go in to hunt mice
19. Flour-aitta (flour barn?) for storing flour
20. Food-aitta (food barn?) for storing other foodstuff (salted, dried, etc.)
21. Storage-aitta (or a few)
22. Clothes-aitta (or a few - unless all clothes were stored in luhtiaitta, see item 4 above); the paid workers sometimes slept in these buildings in the summertime
23. Keittokota, "cooking hut" where cooking was sometimes done in summer, to keep the heat away from the house (as well as smoke, in the time before proper flues were made)
24. Aisakeinu swing, the big one where people stand upright and it goes all the way round (typically used in Midsummer's Eve, or after hay had been harvested, etc. celebrations)
25. Vierastupa, guest room
26. Tool shed (unless all tools were kept in the house in pirtti)
27. "Dung shed" for manure
28. "Cart shed" (wagon shed?) for horse-drawn carriages, carts and sleighs
29. Smithy/forge/workshop (almost every wealthy house had their own)
30. Boat shed (on the shore of a lake or river, accessible from both land and water)
31. Nuottakota, "seine shed" for storing fishnets (on the shore of a lake or river, accessible from both land and water)

Some bigger houses also had:
32. Pakari = bakery
33. "Malt sauna", for distilling spirits
34. Renkitupa, the farmhands' house

Finally, some houses also had their own:
35. Windmill
...but usually it was situated in some central location in the village and used by all houses.

1), 3) houses with some of their outbuildings and a fence between the two yards, both in Hauho, Tavastia - 2) the densely built old village of Porras in Tammela, Tavastia, in 1870

Apart from the fields - rye, barley, oat and (since late 1700s) wheat - most houses grew their own turnips (later partly replaced by potato), rutabagas, peas, broad beans,
cabbages, hops, tobacco, flax, and hemp. Upper class families also grew herbs for spices, while medicinal herbs have always been collected from nature. Fruit tree orchards,
berry bushes, herbs and a variety of vegetables first appeared in the gardens of monasteries and parsonages, and they became commonplace only after their health benefits
were strongly advertised in the early 1900s.

Hops was used to give taste to beer and mead, its young sprouts were used in dishes, and its as fibers for ropes, yarn and fabrics. Growing hops was mandatory for every house
in Finland from the Middle Ages until 1915 in order to diminish the need for import; it was used to pay taxes, and any house that neglected to tend the amount of "hops poles"
defined by the size of the household had to pay fines. Thus, lines of lush green poles of hops vines stood in the yard of every house and croft. In the 1700s hops was even
exported to other countries. (Old Finnish hops varieties have since been collected and saved, because foreign varieties usually cannot be harvested during our brief summers.)

1) by A. Ruohonen - 2, 4) Jalomäki, Ulvila, Satakunta, photos by Wikimedia Commons - 3) gate building in Vöyri, Ostrobothnia

Anything else anyone could possibly want to know about traditional Finnish farms...? WinkLaugh

*) Floor plan key
umpikuisti = covered/closed porch
porstua = anteroom, with stairs to the attic
(etu)tupa seems more like a pirtti to me... Unsure
kamari = bedchamber
keittiö = kitchen (probably renovated from a bedchamber or pantry)
pirtti = the Hall, but seems more like a tupa to me, with its big uuni (masonry oven) - they must have switched places in this house...
takka = open fireplace
sänky (or vuode) = bed
penkki = bench
höyläpenkki = workbench
renkien sänky = farmhands' bed
piikojen sänky = service maids' bed

1) luhtiaitta - 2) two-storey house in Ostrobothnia (source) - 4) old storage-aitta buildings
Most of the b/w drawings are from the book "Kämppiä ja pihapiirejä" by Alfred Kolehmainen

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Jan 3, 12:16am)
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Alassëa Eruvande

Oct 11 2018, 7:05pm

Post #28 of 34 (1794 views)
Dowager [In reply to] Can't Post

I think dowager is more to differentiate between the widowed mother of the current lord and the wife of the current lord. So you'd have the Dowager Countess Fancypants (widowed mother of Lord Fancypants) and the Countess Fancypants, wife of Lord Fancypants.
I think if Lord Fancypants is a child or unmarried, his widowed mother is still the Countess Fancypants, until he does marry.

But definitely not a farmer's wife.

I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!

N.E. Brigand

Oct 11 2018, 11:59pm

Post #29 of 34 (1772 views)
"just simple farmers ... people of the land, the common clay ... you know ... " // [In reply to] Can't Post


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.

Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Oct 12 2018, 6:32pm

Post #30 of 34 (1689 views)
re: Dowager Countess Fancypants! [In reply to] Can't Post

I had thought that "dowager" just meant the influential widow of a nobleman, regardless of if she even had any children - I had not realized it had more to do with being the young lord's mother vs. being the lord's wife .

Thank you for helping me out with the titles! Smile


Oct 12 2018, 7:14pm

Post #31 of 34 (1686 views)
J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Story of Kullervo" - Comments & views from some papers and sites (and two native English-speaking readers) [In reply to] Can't Post

...Trying to avoid repeating & citing too much of what has already been said in the Foreword, Introduction and Commentary of the book itself.
SPOILER ALERT just in case anyone reading this is planning to read Tolkien's version of the story of Kullervo (or Silmarillion Tongue) - even though
the changes he made to the story are so minimal that IMO the Kalevala posts regarding Kullervo have already "spoiled" it. I suppose that anyone
who planned to read it already has, so I'm late to this but still thought to add a few quotes & views in this thread before adding my own comments
and moving on to other poems.

First, in case anyone thought the book was in any way similar to Tolkien's other works, take this word of warning from someone whose literature blog I happened to find (while looking for book cover pics):

A professor published J.R.R. Tolkien's unfinished short story. I'm a fan of Tolkien's work, but only an academic would appreciate this. Mr. Tolkien wrote this before he developed superior storytelling skills I admired in The Hobbit.
People who hate their jobs might enjoy this. Kullervo gets some revenge on his tormentors, but he lives a miserable life and everything ends tragically. This was a bummer to read.

Now that no one is expecting too much... Tongue Let's have a few quotes for the possible academics - even though someone else out there had a more positive experience with the book:

My favourite aspect of this part of the novel, by far, was the several alternate endings that Tolkien explored. I loved seeing his word shortenings (K for Kullervo, and the such), and also how clear his thoughts were. He’d outline one ending, and then write “or” before the next. I just loved how incredibly personal this was, and how much insight it gave into the kind of thought processes that Tolkien went through when deciding on the ending of this tale. It gave such an intimate feel to the whole thing, which is why it was my favourite aspect of this novel as a whole (and not just The Story of Kullervo section).

Yle News:

What did Tolkien do to Kullervo? He filled in the gaps and tied the loose ends, writes Verlyn Flieger, Professor Emerita who has edited The Story of Kullervo for publishing. Joonas Ahola, an expert on folklore, agrees.
According to him, Tolkien has added psychological depth and coherence to Kullervo. In his opinion, the text demonstrates Tolkien’s sense of drama and the ability to utilise the mythologies and stories he knows.
Tolkien makes Kalervo’s dog Musti (also called Mauri!) into a much more important character than in Kalevala. --- According to Joonas Ahola, Kullervo and Wanona bear a resemblance to Romulus and Remus,
the twins raised by a wolf. An animal helper is an archetype of fairytale and mythical characters. As an example of this, Ahola mentions the little birds that bring Cinderella her ball gown.
When the knife breaks as Kullervo is trying to cut a bread of stone with it when he is herding sheep, he is understandably enraged and wants to have his revenge. Interestingly enough, Tolkien keeps the lengthy
cattle protection spell from Kalevala in his own story although he does make alterations to it.

Yle (article in Finnish):

"There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made."
The name Ilúvatar is almost the same as Ilmatar, who in the Kalevala - almost by accident - creates the world. The Kalevala's influence can also be seen in the tales of Silmarillion.
In both epics there is the theme of hoping to return a coveted possession, in both tales it is searched for in hard-to-reach places in the north, and in both tales the possession is lost.


Kullervo's tale is just one of 50 songs in the Kalevala, an epic of 22,795 verses telling the story of the Sampo, a magical object that bestows power on whoever possesses it. Tolkien used numerous plot
elements from the Kalevala in his own novels - a powerful magical object, incest, battles between brothers, and orphan heroes setting out on quests. "Kullervo is the origin story for Shakespeare's Hamlet
- a young man whose uncle kills his father and on whom he wreaks a terrible vengeance," says Verlyn Flieger. "It is likely that Tolkien knew that Shakespeare had used this tale."
In The Silmarillion (begun in 1914, but only published after his death), Tolkien turns Kullervo into Turin Turambar, the warrior hero.
"I think he liked the Kalevala because it has both high and low elements," suggests Tolkien-biographer Prof John Garth from the University of Nevada. "There are clodhopping idiots, treated in a really
down-to-earth, anti-heroic way. In Tolkien's own fiction, he creates totally different moods. The hobbits are very relatable, very friendly; and then the elves are much more remote."
"Tolkien liked the fact that this was a national myth," says John Garth. "He wished that England had something similar. Britain had Celtic stories but England had not preserved its mythology. With
The Lord of the Rings he wanted to give England its own Kalevala."
Garth suggests that Finnish nationalism struck a chord with Tolkien. "You see that same ethos in the way he presents the Shire and the Hobbits: their freedom from interference, their 'funny little
ways' that should be respected."
Tolkien was intrigued by the long vowel sounds of Finnish and the umlaut accents. Fictional Elvish phrases such as "Mindon Eldalieva" ("Lofty Tower of the Elvish-people") and "Oron Oiolosse"
("Ever Snow-white Peak") use the sound and style of the language.
Tolkien's invented Elvish language of Quenya "is incredibly complex", explains John Garth. When writing The Hobbit in the 1930s and The Lord of the Rings (published in 1949), Tolkien included irregular
verbs and archaic phrases, showing how his invented language had changed over time - the Quenya used by Aragorn differs from the older Quenya used by his ancient ancestors, in which the influence
of Finnish is much stronger.
"Tolkien realised with The Story of Kullervo that language, culture and mythology are inextricably linked," Flieger says. "He had invented a language - and so he invented a mythology."
But Finnish sources were not the only ones Tolkien used. Others include the romantic medieval images of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the scenery of the Welsh countryside, the adventures of King Arthur,
and his own traumatic experiences in the Battle of the Somme between July and November 1916.
Verlyn Flieger thinks the most Finnish aspect of Tolkien's writing is the mood. "There is a strain of deep tragedy and pessimism that runs through Tolkien's work, even The Hobbit and certainly Lord of the Rings.
The Story of Kullervo is without a doubt the darkest story he ever wrote.It is our first experience of that darkness."


“Like Túrin, Kullervo would come to represent for Tolkien the pre-Christian hero, one plagued by poor self-control, despair, and often the curse of an outside force,” says Potts.
“Kullervo, like Turin and others of pagan tradition, exists in a world without grace.”
This push and pull between pagan and Christian heroes is something that Tolkien returns to again and again, perhaps most clearly in the dynamic between Boromir and Aragon in Lord of the Rings.
“Boromir views himself as a hero and thus suffers from overweening pride,” Potts says. “He gives in to the temptation to take the Ring, but eventually repents and redeems himself. [Contrast him with]
Aragorn who doubts his own strength, but rises to the challenge by his adherence to ultimate principles.”


[Kalevala's] unique voice, resembling no other European mythology, thoroughly captured the mind and heart of young Tolkien. "The almost indefinable sense of newness and strangeness ...
will either perturb you or delight you," he wrote at the time. "Trees will group differently on the horizon, the birds will make unfamiliar music; the inhabitants will talk a wild and at first unintelligible lingo. ...
This is how it was for me when I first read the Kalevala — that is, crossed the gulf between the Indo-European-speaking peoples of Europe into this smaller realm of those who cling in queer corners to the
forgotten tongues and memories of an elder day."
Newcomers to Tolkien may find it a somewhat rough ride, but Tolkien geeks will find plenty to geek out about. It's long been known, for example, that the first language Tolkien created for his Elves was
based on Finnish; and that Tùrin Tùrambar, the charismatic, doomed anti-hero of Tolkien's Silmarillion, was based on the equally doomed Kullervo. Reading The Story of Kullervo lets us see that process happening.
Meanwhile, back in 1913, you'll be glad to hear that young Tolkien did manage to pass his exams. But thanks to love and the Kalevala, he was persuaded to change his degree from Classics to English Language and
Literature — the field he would remain in for the rest of his life. It's possible that we might be living in a world without Hobbits if the 21-year-old Tolkien hadn't been preoccupied with the short, violent life of Kullervo
and the greater, stranger world of the Kalevala.

A Finnish article mentions that the name Tolkien gave to his elvish language, Quenya, may be based on the Finnish dialect Kven (spoken in northern Norway by the Kven people) because the two names sound almost the same. I don't know how likely it is that Tolkien would have known about this language minority. Then again, the article also suggests that at the time he wrote his story, "Finnish-speaking people were called 'kvens' in England." I did not find any proof for this - can anyone tell me if that's true, or has the article gotten its terms mixed up?

(This post was edited by Ilmatar on Oct 12 2018, 7:18pm)


Oct 12 2018, 7:24pm

Post #32 of 34 (1683 views)
You might enjoy this in-depth site that relates American colonial houses to their English models in the 17th century [In reply to] Can't Post

This site is part of a larger academic site for antiquarian studies of early New England colonial life. I've posted an excerpt below, with its interesting analysis of the variety of room names used at the time ('Emic'), compared to the general names we now apply to such rooms ('Etic'). But the entire site is very interesting! [I've added a few additional bracketed headers to make up for the loss of formatting in this post]

Rooms and Room Names, Emic and Etic

Emic categories are those used by members of a culture to designate their world. Etic categories are those imposed from the outside by those who are not part of the culture being described, therefore they may or may not, and often will not correspond to emic categories. The nomenclature which appraisers used in seventeenth century probate inventories both in England and in America for different rooms was not settled, and reflected regional diversity. In some regions the terms used to designate rooms varied, and in some instances their functions changed over time, but the way in which domestic spaces were used in the seventeenth century in England formed an initial template for the pattern which emerged in New England in general and Plymouth Colony in particular.

Emic categories

[ENGLAND, West midlands, 1600s] An emic classification of room names is that of Randle Holme, in his 1688 Academy of Armory. The volume is a monumental work in which the author set out to describe and illustrate the known and mythical world for incorporation into blazon - the illustration of coats of arms in accordance with the rules of heraldry. Published in Chester, in what probably may be designated the west Midlands, Holme's 1668 classification is as follows:

The several Rooms in the inside of an House:
Entry, Hall, Parlar
Buttery, Seller, Pantery
Stove, Wash house, Larder
Pastery, Skullery, Brew-house

Above Stairs
Street Room, Dining Room, Drawing Room
Chambers, Bed Chambers, Lodging Rooms
Dressing Room, Closets, Nursery
Stairs case, Galleries, Garrats
Sellars, Roofe Rooms, Store Chambers
Lofts, Cock Lofts, Lanthern [etc.]

[NEW ENGLAND, Plymouth colony, 1600s] For comparison, emic terms used in four of the Plymouth room-by-room inventories, in the order in which they were listed by the appraisers, and retaining the original orthography, are given below. Two are from the period, 1633 to 1669, and two from the later time span, 1670 to 1685.

1644 John Atwood, Gent., New Plymouth - 1666 Timothy Hatherly, Scituate
Hall - Parlour
Studdy - Parlour Chamber
Garret - Kitchinge Chamber
Staire Chamber - Leantoo
Kitchen - Seller
Milk House - Meale House
Seller - Buttery
Iner Seller - Leantoo goeing into the seller
Bedchamber - Wash [house?], Kitchinge

1671 John Barnes, Plymouth - 1675 Capt. Nathaniel Thomas, Marshfield
Kitchen - Inner Rome
Parlour - Inner Chamber
Leanto - Other Chamber
Chamber over the Parlour - Little Roome below
Celler - Outer Roome
Middle Rome - Outer Roome chimney leanto
Chamber over outer Roome - Celler
little Rome at the South end of the house - Outer house

Etic categories

[NEW ENGLAND, modern categorization of period rooms] In order to analyze the data from the Plymouth Colony room-by-room probate inventories, due to the diversity of emic terms used by appraisers, it was necessary to classify them under assigned etic categories. The sources are set out in Appendix D, but to place in context the discussion which follows, a summary is given below.

first room, hall, dwelling house, fire (fier) room, outer (outward) room outward or fier room)

PARLOR (parler, parlar, parlour, parlauer)
parlor, inner (iner, inward) room/chamber, great room/great parlor inward room or bedchamber

chamber, new chamber, lodging chamber, little chamber, "smaler chamber", old house chamber, bed chamber, easterly/east chamber, westerly chamber

ROOM (rome)
outlett inner roome, little rome next the studdy, another room, new room, lower room, "the 2 further lower Roomes", middle room , little room at the south end of the house, little Roome below, East and west rooms

KITCHEN (kitchinge)

LEAN-TO (leantoo) - lean-to, outer Room chimney lean-to

STUDY (studdy, studdie)


DAIRY (dary, dayerey, darey) - dairy, dairy house, milk house

bed chamber (follows "Loft over the first roome'), hall chamber, parlor chamber, chamber over the parlor/inner room (new, outward & old), kitchen chamber, servant's chamber(s), chamber over the house, stair(s) chamber, upper chamber/room, "upper Chamber or loft", lean-to chamber, outer chamber (over the outer/outward room), porch chamber, new chamber, shed chamber

LOFT- loft over the first roome

GARRET (garrett)

CELLAR (celler, cellor, sellar, seller) - cellar, lean-to cellar


MALT HOUSE (mault)

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Oct 15 2018, 1:48pm

Post #33 of 34 (1558 views)
That's fascinating - thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

Your post is very much an answer to what I had in mind when referring to houses & rooms of other countries in the past - and a lovely counterpart to the rooms/buildings lists in my posts regarding Finland's past. Smile It's interesting to see similarities & differences between the rooms mentioned in our respective posts. I wonder if the buildings described in your posts were maybe a bit closer to town houses of their time than farm houses (with their "street room", drawing room, lodging rooms, galleries, dressing room, "roofe rooms")? But there are also buttery, brew-house, "sellars", milk house etc. suggesting some level of self-sufficiency and making food & drink at home, instead of buying.

Words "emic" and "etic" were new to me, I don't think I have seen them anywhere else. The list of etic categories does help in trying to define the purpose of some rooms and features. It's curious that many rooms seem to have had so many different names in their time - but then again, so did the rooms of Finnish houses if you asked them of inhabitants in different parts of the country, as dialects and therefore vocabularies varied, and to some extent still do. (I must admit I was left wondering about the meaning of "pastery" - even the article you linked has no answer.... Tongue) The article in itself is interesting too - I did not read it all the way through but noticed esp. the lists of "active & passive artifact categories" that give a good idea about the furnishing of the rooms! One day, when I have free time and nothing more pressing to do, I'm going to take a closer look at that list and compare it to the things usually found inside Finnish (farm)houses.

Many thanks for the post & the link! Smile


Oct 15 2018, 2:39pm

Post #34 of 34 (1554 views)
*** Some details and features of Finnish houses of bygone times [In reply to] Can't Post

The old town of Porvoo, Uusimaa, by the river - medieval church, old boat sheds, and colorful town houses

Photos of gates, the "porridge bell" on the roof, masonry ovens, tupa or pirtti, windows, front doors, etc....

1) rows of dried rye bread hanging on the "bread perches" in the ceiling - 2) tupa in a house in Ostrobothnia, photo by A-K. Perko

1) photo by A. Saarinen - 2) by E. Laamanen - 3) house in Törnävä, Southern Ostrobothnia

1) source

1) a row of old aitta storage buildings in Sulkava, Southern Savonia, with the traditional shingle roof made of pine shingles - 2) an old hinge made by a blacksmith - 4) an outbuilding in Kurikka

1) photo by M. Koutonen - 3) by S. Jussila

2,3) photos by S. Virtanen - 4) old tupa in the Seurasaari open air museum in Helsinki

1) open and closed courtyards, sketch by Kukkonen & Lievonen - 2) sketch by M.G. Frelander (1903) - 3) sketch by Siikonen (1929)

1) townhouses along a street in the old town of Rauma, Satakunta - 2) Porvoo by S. Kiviniemi - 3) townhouses in the old town of Porvoo, Uusimaa

(root) cellars, 1) by A. Saarinen - 2) by S. Hinkula - 3) a new root cellar in Eura, Satakunta, with slightly hobbity feel to it Smile - 4) cellar of a manor house in Jämsä, Central Finland

1, 2) the traditional "lilac hut" (syreenimaja) is formed by lilacs planted in the shape of a horseshoe or a semicircle, and was often the favorite spot for the mistress of the house to have a cup of coffee. Tongue
Larger lilac huts would accommodate a long table & benches for a midsummer lunch - 1) source - 5) photo by M. Mäkelä

(This post was edited by Ilmatar on Oct 15 2018, 2:46pm)
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