“The drum of Anders Paulsen (top left) and the Bindal drum (top right) represent variations in Sami drums, their shape, decoration and history. Paulsen’s drum was confiscated in Vadsø in 1691, while the Bindal drum was bought by a museum official in 1925; Vadsø and Bindal being in opposite corners of the Sami world. Paulsens’s drum has a typical Northern Sámi pattern, with several separate levels representing the different layers of spiritual worlds. The Bindal drum has a typical Southern Sami decoration: a rhombus-shaped sun symbol in the center, with other symbols around the sun, representing people, animals, landscape and deities.” ref

(Decolonize Russia/Siberian Land Back) Russian Conquest of Siberia and the spread of Russian Imperialism/Colonialism

Anders Paulsen

Anders Poulsen (died 1692), was a Sami “noaidi/shaman,” who was the last victim of the many Vardø witch trials, which took place between 1621 and 1692. In Sámi form his name was Poala-Ánde. He was born in Torne Lappmark in Sweden, married and lived in Varanger. He was active as a noaidi, and as such used a Sámi drum. The drum was taken from him by force on 7 December 1691 during the Christianization of the Sámi people, and he was put on trial for idolatry for being a follower of the Pagan Sami shamanism religion. The law used to persecute him was however formally the witchcraft law. Poulsen explained the drum’s use during his trial in February 1692. The case was considered significant and the local authorities sent a request to Copenhagen about how to deal with it. Before a sentence could be reached, however, he was killed by a fellow prisoner who suffered from insanity.” ref

Poulsen’s drum became part of the Danish royal collection after his death and eventually entered the collections of the National Museum of Denmark. It was on loan to the Sámi Museum in Karasjok, northern Norway from 1979 but it took “a 40-year struggle” for it to be officially handed back to the Sámi people in 2022, according to Jelena Porsanger, director of the museum, following an appeal by Norway’s Sámi president to Queen Margrethe of Denmark.” ref

Sámi shamanism

Traditional Sámi spiritual practices and beliefs are based on a type of animism, polytheism, and what anthropologists may consider shamanism. The religious traditions can vary considerably from region to region within Sápmi. Traditional Sámi religion is generally considered to be Animism. The Sámi belief that all significant natural objects (such as animals, plants, rocks, etc.) possess a soul, and from a polytheistic perspective, traditional Sámi beliefs include a multitude of spirits. Sámi traditional beliefs and practices commonly emphasizes veneration of the dead and of animal spirits. The relationship with the local animals that sustain the people, such as the reindeer, are very important to the kin-group.” ref

Sámi drum

A Sámi drum is a shamanic ceremonial drum used by the Sámi people of Northern Europe. Sámi ceremonial drums have two main variations, both oval-shaped: a bowl drum in which the drumhead is strapped over a burl, and a frame drum in which the drumhead stretches over a thin ring of bentwood. The drumhead is fashioned from reindeer hide. In Sámi shamanism, the noaidi used the drum to get into a trance, or to obtain information from the future, or other realms. The drum was held in one hand, and beaten with the other. While the noaidi was in trance, his “free spirit” was said to leave his body to visit the spirit-world. When used for divination, the drum was beaten with a drum hammer; a vuorbi (‘index’ or ‘pointer’), a kind of die made of brass or horn, would move around on the drumhead when the drum was struck. Future events would be predicted according to the symbols upon which the vuorbi stopped on the membrane.” ref

“The patterns on the drum membrane reflect the worldview of the owner and his family, both in religious and worldly matters, such as reindeer herding, hunting, householding, and relations with their neighbors and the non-Sámi community. Many drums were taken out of Sámi ownership and use during the Christianization of the Sámi people in the 17th and 18th centuries. Many drums were confiscated by Sámi missionaries and other officials as a part of an intensified Christian mission towards the Sámi. Other drums were bought by collectors. Between 70 and 80 drums are preserved; the largest collection of drums is at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm.” ref

“The Northern Sámi terms for the drum are goavddis, gobdis and meavrresgárri, while the Lule Sámi and Southern Sámi terms are goabdes and gievrie, respectively. Norwegian: runebomme, Swedish: nåjdtrumma; In English it is also known as a rune drum or Sámi shamanic drum. The Northern Sámi name goavddis describes a bowl drum, while the Southern Sámi name gievrie describes a frame drum, corresponding to the distribution of these types of drums. Another Northern Sámi name, meavrresgárri, is a cross-language compound word: Sámi meavrres, from meavrit and Finnish möyriä (‘dig, roar, mess’), plus gárri from Norwegian kar (‘cup, bowl’).” ref

“The common Norwegian name for the drum, runebomme, is based on an earlier misunderstanding of the symbols on the drum, which interpreted them as runes. Suggested new names in Norwegian are sjamantromme (“shaman drum”) or sametromme (‘Sámi drum’). The original Swedish name, trolltrumma, comes from the Christian perception of Sámi religion as witchcraft (trolldom), and it is now considered derogatory. In his Fragments of Lappish Mythology (ca 1840) Læstadius used the term divination drum (“spåtrumma”). In Swedish today, the term that’s commonly used is samiska trumman (‘the Sámi drum’).” ref

“There are four categories of sources for the history of the drums. First are the drums themselves, and what might be interpreted from them. Secondly, there are reports and treatises on Sámi subjects from the 17th and 18th centuries, written by Swedish and Dano-Norwegian priests, missionaries, or other civil servants, like Johannes Schefferus. The third category are statements from Saami themselves, given to legal courts or other official representatives. The fourth are the sporadic references to drums and Sámi shamanism in other sources, such as Historia Norvegiæ (late 12th century).” ref

“The oldest mention of a Sámi drum and shamanism is in the anonymous Historia Norvegiæ (late 12th century). It mentions a drum with symbols of marine animals, a boat, reindeer and snowshoes. There is also a description of a shaman healing an apparently dead woman by moving his spirit into a whale. Peder Claussøn Friis describes a noaidi’sspirit leaving the body in his Norriges oc omliggende Øers sandfærdige Bescriffuelse (1632). The oldest description by a Sámi is by Anders Huitlok of the Pite Sámi in 1642 about a drum that he owned. Huitlok also made a drawing; his story was written down by the German-Swedish bergmeister Hans P. Lybecker. Huitlok’s drum represents a worldview where deities, animals and the living and the dead are working together within a given landscape. The court protocols from the trials against Anders Paulsen in Vadsø in 1692 and against Lars Nilsson in Arjeplog in 1691 are also sources.” ref

“During the 17th century, the Swedish government commissioned a work to gain more knowledge of the Sámi and their culture. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) rumours were spread that the Swedes won their battles with the help of Sámi witchcraft. Such rumours were part of the background for the research that lead to Johannes Schefferus‘ book Lapponia, published in Latin in 1673. For Schefferus, a number of “priests’ correspondences” (prästrelationer) were written by vicars within the Sámi districts of Sweden. Treatises by Samuel Rheen, Olaus Graan, Johannes Tornæus and Nicolai Lundius were the sources used by Schefferus.” ref 

“In Norway, the main source are writings from the mission of Thomas von Westen and his colleagues from 1715 until 1735. Authors were Hans Skanke, Jens Kildal, Isaac Olsen, and Johan Randulf (the Nærøy manuscript). These books were, in part, instructions for the missionaries and their co-workers, and part documentation, intended for the government in Copenhagen. Late books within this tradition are Pehr Högström‘s Beskrifning Öfwer de til Sweriges Krona lydande Lapmarker (1747) in Sweden and Knud Leem‘s Beskrivelse over Finmarkens Lapper (1767) in Denmark-Norway. Notable is especially Læstadius Fragments of Lappish Mythology (1839–45), which both discusses earlier treatises with a critical approach, and builds upon Læstadius’ own experience.” ref

“The drums are always oval; the exact shape of the oval would vary with the kind of wood used. Drums which still exist are of four different types, and can be divided into two main groups: bowl drums and frame drums:

  1. In bowl drums, the wood consists of a burl shaped into a bowl. The burl usually comes from pine, but sometimes from spruce. The membrane is attached to the wood with a sinew.
  2. Frame drums are shaped by wet or heat bending; the wood is usually pine, and the membrane is sewn to holes in the frame with sinew.
  3. Ring drums are made from a naturally grown piece of pine wood. There is only one known drum of this type.
  4. Angular-cut frame drums are made from one piece of wood cut from a tree. To bend the wood into an oval, angular cuts are made in the bottom and the side of the frame. Only two such drums are preserved, both from Kemi Sámi districts in Finland. The partly preserved drum from Bjørsvik in Nordland is also an angular-cut frame drum.” ref

“In his major work on Sámi drums, Die lappische Zaubertrommel, Ernst Manker lists 41 frame drums, one ring drum, two angular-cut frame drums and 27 bowl drums. Given these numbers, many tend to divide the drums into two main groups: bowl drums and frame drums, seeing the others as variations. Judged by these remaining drums and their known provenance, frame drums seem to be more common in the Southern Sámi areas, and bowl drums seem to be common in the Northern Sámi areas. The bowl drum is sometimes regarded as a local adjustment of the basic drum type, this being the frame drum. The frame drum type is more reminiscent of other ceremonial drums used by the indigenous peoples of Siberia.” ref

“The membrane is made of untanned reindeer hide. Lars Olsen, who described his uncle’s drum, the Bindal drum, in 1885, said that the hide was usually taken from the neck of a reindeer calf because of its thickness. The symbols were painted with a paste made from alder bark. The motifs on a drum reflect the worldview of the owner and his family, both in terms of religious beliefs and in their modes of subsistence. A world is depicted via images of reindeer, both domesticated and wild, and of carnivorous predators that pose a threat to the herd. The modes of subsistence are presented by scenes of wild game hunting, boats with fishing nets, and reindeer herding.” ref

“Additional imagery on the drum consists of mountains, lakes, people, deities, as well as the camp-site with tents and storage-houses. Symbols of foreign civilizations, such as churches and houses, represent the threats from the surrounding and expanding non-Sámi community. Each owner chose his set of symbols; there are no two drums with identical sets of symbols. The drum mentioned in the medieval Latin tome Historia Norvegiæ, with motifs such as whales, reindeer, skis and a boat would have belonged to a coastal Sámi. The Lule Sámi drum reflects an owner who found his mode of subsistence chiefly through hunting, rather than herding.” ref

“A typology based on the structure of the patterns can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Southern Sámi, characterized by the rhombus-shaped sun cross in the center
  2. Central Sámi, where the membrane is divided in two by a horizontal line, often with a solar symbol in the lower section
  3. Northern Sámi, where the membrane is divided by horizontal lines into three or five separate levels representing different worlds: the heavens, the world of the living and an underworld.” ref

“In Manker’s overview of 71 known drums, there are 42 Southern Sámi drums, 22 Central Sámi drums and seven Northern Sámi drums. The Bindal drum is a typical Southern Sámi drum, with the sun-symbol in its center. Its last owner also explained that the symbols on the membrane were organized according to the four cardinal directions around the sun. South is described as the “summer side” or “the direction of life,” and contains symbols of the Sámi’s life in the fells during summer: the goahti, the storehouse or njalla, the herd of reindeer, and their pastures. North is described as “the side of death,” and contains symbols of sickness, death and wickedness.” ref

“Kjellström and Rydving have summarised the symbols of the drums in the following categories: nature, reindeer, bears, elk, other mammals (wolf, beaver, small fur animals), birds, fish, hunting, fishing, reindeer-herding, the camp site – with goahti, njalla and other storehouses, the non-Sámi village – often represented by the church, people, travel (skiing, reindeer with pulk, boats), and deities and their worlds. Sometimes even the use of the drum itself is depicted.” ref

“The reindeer-herding is mainly depicted with a circular symbol for the reindeer corral that was used to gather, mark and milk the flock. This symbol is found on 75% of the Southern Sámi drums, but not on any northern or eastern drums. The symbol for the corral is always placed in the lower half of the drum. Reindeer are represented as singular line figures, as fully modeled figures or by their antlers. The campsite is usually shown as a triangle symbolizing the tent/goahti. The Sámi storehouse (njalla) is depicted on many drums from different areas. The njalla is a small hut in bear cache style, built on top of a cut tree. It is usually depicted with its ladder in front.” ref

Sámi deities are shown on several drum membranes. These are the high god Ráðði, the demiurge and sustainer Varaldi olmmai, the thunder and fertility god Horagallis, the weather god Bieggolmmái, the hunting god Leaibolmmái, the sun god Beaivi / Biejjie, the mother goddesses Máttaráhkká, Sáráhkká, Juoksáhkká og Uksáhkká, the riding Ruto spirit who brought sickness and death, and Jábmeáhkká – the empress of the underworld. Some subjects from the non-Sámi world also appears on several drums. These are interpreted as attempts to understand and master the new influences interacting with the Sámi society. Churches, houses and horses appear on several drums, and drums from Torne and Kemi districts show both the city, the church and the lapp commissary.” ref

“Interpretation of the drums’ symbols might be difficult, and different explanations have been proposed for several of the symbols. It has often been assumed that the Sámi deliberately gave misleading explanations when they presented their drums to missionaries and other Christian audiences, in order to downplay the pagan elements and emphasise the Christian impact on Sámi culture. However, it has also been proposed that some of the symbols have been over-interpreted as religious motifs, when they actually represented matters of everyday life.” ref

“Håkan Rydving evaluated the drum symbols from a perspective of source criticism, and divides them into four categories:

  1. Preserved drums that were explained by their owners. These are only two such drums: Anders Paulsen‘s drum and the Freavnantjahke gievrie.
  2. Preserved drums that were explained by other people, contemporary to the owners. These are five such drums, four Southern Sami and one Ume Sami.
  3. Lost drums that were explained by contemporaries, either the owner or other people. There are four of these drums.
  4. Preserved drums without a contemporary explanation. These make up the majority of the 70 known drums.” ref

“Rydving and Kjellström have demonstrated that both Olov Graan’s drum fra Lycksele and the Freavnantjahke gievrie have been spiritualized through Manker‘s interpretations: When the explanations are compared, it appears as if Graan relates the symbols to household life and modes of subsistence, where Manker sees deities and spirits. This underlines the problems of interpretation. Symbols that Graan explains as snowy weather, a ship, rain and squirrels in the trees, are interpreted by Manker as the wind god Bieggolmai/Biegkålmaj, a boat sacrifice, a weather god and – among other suggestions – as a forest spirit.” ref 

“At the Freavnantjahke gievrie there is a symbol explained by the owner as “a Sámi riding in his pulk behind his reindeer”, while Manker suggests that “this might be an ordinary sleigh ride, but we might as well assume that this is the noaidi, the drum owner, going on an important errand into the spiritual world”. On the other hand, one might suggest that the owner of the Freavnantjahke gievrie, Bendik Andersen, is de-emphasising the spiritual content of the drum when the symbols usually recognized as the three mother goddesses are explained away by him as “men guarding the reindeer.” ref

“The primary tools used when working with the drum are mainly the drum hammer and one or two vuorbi for each drum. The drums also had different kinds of cords as well as “bear nails”. The drum hammer (Northern Sami: bállin) was usually made of horn and was T- or Y-shaped, with two symmetric heads, and with geometric decorations. Some hammers have tails made of leather straps, or have leather or tin wires wrapped around the shaft. Manker (1938) knew and described 38 drum hammers. The drum hammer was used for both trance drumming and, together with the vuorbi, for divination. The vuorbi (‘index’ or ‘pointer’; Northern Sámi vuorbi, bajá or árpa; Southern Sámi viejhkie) used for divination was made of brass, horn or bone, and sometimes of wood.” ref

“The cords are leather straps nailed or tied to the frame, or to the bottom of the drum. They had pieces of bone or metal tied to them. The owner of the Freavnantjahke gievrie, Bendix Andersen Frøyningsfjell, explained to Thomas von Westen in 1723 that the leather straps and their decorations of tin, bone and brass were offers of gratitude to the drum, given by the owner as a response to good luck gained via the messages the shaman received when using the drum. The frame of the Freavnantjahke gievrie also had 11 tin nails in it, in a cross shape. Bendix explained them as an indicator of the number of bears killed thanks to instructions given by the drum. Manker found similar bear nails in 13 drums. Other drums had a baculum from a bear or a fox among the cords.” ref

“Ernst Manker summarized the use of the drum, regarding both trance and divination:

  • before use, the membrane was tightened by holding the drum close to the fire
  • the user stood on his knees, or sat with his legs crossed, holding the drum in his left hand
  • the vuorbi was placed on the membrane, either in a fixed starting place or one chosen at random
  • the hammer was held in the right hand; the membrane was struck either with one of the hammer heads, or with the flat side of the hammer
  • the drumming started at a slow pace, and grew wilder
  • if the drummer fell into a trance, his drum was placed upon him, with the painted membrane facing downwards
  • the route of the vuorbi across the membrane, and the places where it stopped, were interpreted as significant” ref

Samuel Rheen, who was a priest in Kvikkjokk 1664–1671, was one of the first to write about Sámi religion. His impression was that many Sámi, but not all, used the drum for divination. Rheen mentioned four kinds of things the drum could give:

  1. knowledge about what was happening elsewhere
  2. knowledge about luck, misfortune, health, and illness
  3. curing diseases
  4. advice on which deity one should sacrifice unto” ref

“Of these four things mentioned by Rheen, other sources state that the first of them was only performed by the noaidi. Based on the sources, one might get the impression that the use of the drum was gradually “democratized”, so that there in some regions there was a drum in each household, and that the father of the household could use it to seek advice. Yet the original use of the drum, inducing trance work, seems to have remained a specialty of the shaman.” ref

“Sources seem to agree that in Southern Sámi districts in the 18th century, each household had its own drum. These were mostly used for divination. The types and the configurations of the motifs on the Southern Sámi drums suggest it was, indeed, used for divination. On the other hand, the configurations of the Northern Sámi drum motifs, with their hierarchical structures of the worlds, represent a mythological universe in which it was the noaidi’s privilege to wander.” ref

“The drum was usually carried along on nomadic wanderings. There are also reports of drums being hidden close to regular campsites. Inside the lavvu and the goahti, the drum was always placed in the boaššu, the space behind the fireplace that was considered the “holy room” of the goahti. Several contemporary sources describe a dual view of the drums: they were seen both as occult devices and as divination tools for practical purposes. Drums were inherited. Not all of those who owned drums in the 18th century described themselves as active users of their drum–at least that was what they insisted when the drums were confiscated.” ref

“There is no known evidence of the drum or the noaidi having had any role in childbirth or funeral rituals. Some sources suggest that the drum was manufactured with the aid of secret rituals. However, Manker made a photo documentary describing the drum-making process. The selection of the motifs for the membrane, or the philosophy behind it, are not described in any sources. It is known that the dedication of a new drum featured rituals that involved the whole household.” ref

“The noaidi used the drum to induce a state of trance. He hit the drum with an intense rhythm until he went into a trance or sleep-like state. While in this tate, his free spirit could travel into the spirit-worlds, or to other places in the material world. The episode mentioned in Historia Norvegiæ tells about a noaidi who traveled to the spirit-world and fought against enemy spirits in order to heal the sick. The writings of Peder Claussøn Friis (1545–1614) describe a Sámi in Bergen who could supposedly travel in the material world while he was in a trance: a Sámi named Jakob made his spirit-journey to Germany to learn about the health of a German merchant’s family.” ref

“Both Nicolai Lundius (ca 1670), Isaac Olsen (1717) and Jens Kildal (ca. 1730) describe noaidis traveling to spirit-worlds where they negotiated with death deities, especially Jábmeáhkka–the queen of the realm of the dead–regarding people’s health and lives. This journey involved risks to the noaidi’s own life and health. In the writings of both Samuel Rheen and Isaac Olsen, the drum is mentioned as a part of the preparations for a bear hunt. Rheen says that the noaidi could give information about hunting fortune, while Olsen suggests that the noaidi was able to manipulate the bear to move into the hunters’ range. The noaidi–or the drum’s owner–was a member of the group of hunters, following on the heels of the spear bearer. The noaidi also sat at a prominent place during the feast after the hunting.” ref

“In Fragments of Lappish Mythology (1840–45), Lars Levi Læstadius writes that the Sámi used his drum as an oracle, and consulted it when some important matter was at hand. “Just like any other kind of fortune-telling with cards or dowsing. One should not consider every drum owner a magician.” A common practice was to let the vuorbi move across the membrane, visiting the different symbols. The noaidi would interpret the will of the gods by the route taken by the vuorbi. Such practices are described in conjunction with the Bindal drum, the Freavnantjahke gievrie and the Velfjord drum.” ref

“Whether women were allowed to use the drum has been debated, but no consensus has yet been reached. On one hand, some sources say that women were not even allowed to touch the drum, and during herd migration, women should follow another route than the sleigh that carried the drum. On the other, the whole family was involved in the initiation of the drum. Also, the participation of joiking women was of importance for a successful spirit-journey.” ref

“May-Lisbeth Myrhaug has reinterpreted the sources from the 17th and 18th century, and suggests that there is evidence of female noaidi, including spirit-travelling female noaidi. In contrast to the claim that only men could be noaidi and use the drum, there are examples of Sami women who did use the drum. Kirsten Klemitsdotter (d. 1714), Rijkuo-Maja of Arvidsjaur (1661-1757) and Anna Greta Matsdotter of Vapsten, known as Silbo-gåmmoe or Gammel-Silba (1794-1870), are examples of women noted to have used the drum.” ref

Drums after Christianisation

“In the 17th and 18th centuries, several raids were made to confiscate drums, both in Sweden and in Denmark-Norway, during the Christianization of the Sámi people. Thomas von Westen and his colleagues considered the drums to be “the Bible of the Sámi”, and wanted to eradicate what they saw as “idolatry” by destroying or removing the drums. Any uncontrolled, “idol-worshipping” Sámi were considered a threat to the government. The increased missionary efforts towards the Sámi in the early 18th century might be explained as a consequence of the government’s desire to controle the citizens under the era of absolute monarchy in Denmark-Norway, and also as a consequence of the increased emphasis on an individual Christian faith in pietism, popular at the time.” ref

“In Åsele, Sweden, 2 drums were collected in 1686, 8 drums in 1689 and 26 drums in 1725, mainly of the Southern Sámi type. Thomas von Westen collected about a hundred drums from the Southern Sámi district; 8 of them were collected at Snåsa in 1723. 70 of von Westen’s drums were lost in the Copenhagen Fire of 1728. von Westen found few drums during his journeys in the Northern Sámi districts between 1715 and 1730. This might be explained by the advanced Christianisation of the Sámi in the north, in that the drums had already been destroyed. It might also be explained through the differences in the ways the drums were used in Northern and Southern Sámi cultures, respectively. While the drum was a common household item in Southern Sámi culture, it might have been a rare object, reserved for the few educated noaidi in Northern Sámi culture.” ref

“Probably the best-known is the Linné Drum – a drum that was given to Carl Linnaeus during his visits to northern Sweden. He later gave it to a museum in France, and it was later brought back to the Swedish National Museum. Three Sámi drums can be found in the collections of the British Museum, including one bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane, founder of the museum. Over 30 drums are held at the Nordiska Museet, Stockholm; with others held in Rome, Berlin, Leipzig and Hamburg. Cambridge University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and London’s Horniman Museum all hold examples of Sami drums.” ref

Anders Poulsen’s drum became part of the Danish Royal Collection after his trial and death. It eventually entered the collections of the National Museum of Denmark and was on loan to the Sámi Museum in Karasjok, northern Norway, from 1979. Following “a 40-year struggle” it was officially returned to the Sámi people in 2022, according to Jelena Porsanger, director of the museum, following an appeal by Norway’s Sámi president to Queen Margrethe of Denmark.” ref

Noaidi (Shaman)

noaidi (Northern SaminoaidiLule SaminoajddeSouthern SaminåejttieSkolt SaminōjjdTer SaminiojteKildin Saminoojd/nuojdPite Saminåjjde) is a shaman of the Sami people in the Nordic countries, playing a role in Sámi religious practices. Most noaidi practices died out during the 17th century, most likely because they resisted Christianization of the Sámi people and the king’s authority. Their actions were referred to in courts as “magic” or “sorcery” (cf. witchcraft). Several Sámi shamanistic beliefs and practices are similar to those of some Siberian cultures.” ref

Noaidis, often referred to as the “Sámi shamans”, are the traditional healers and protectors of the Sami people. Noaidis are considered to have the role of mediator between humans and the spirits. To undertake this mediation, the noaidi are believed to be able to communicate with the spirit world, and to ask what sacrifice needed to be made by a person so that he might return to good health and be successful in the hunt for food. Sacrifices designed by the noaidi are understood to reestablish a kind of balance between the mortal and immortal worlds.” ref

“Using a traditional drum, which is the most important symbol and tool of the Sámi noaidi, they invoke assistance from benevolent spirits and conducted out-of-body travel via the “free soul” with the help of other siida members. The Sámi distinguish between the “free soul” versus the more mundane “body soul”; the “body soul” is unable to traverse the divide separating the spiritual netherworld from the more mundane, corporeal, real world. A noaidi can engage in any kind of affair that demands wisdom; it is said they take payments for their services. The activities include healing people, helping children, making decisions and protecting reindeer, which represents the most important source of food and are also used as tribute payment.” ref

“The sources from which we learn about noaidi are court protocols, tales, excavated tools such as belts, and missionary reports. That noaidis were punished and in some cases sentenced to death for their “sorcery” should perhaps rather be interpreted as an attempt to obliterate opposition to the crown. Prior to 1858, when the Conventicle Act was abolished, there was by law no freedom of religion, as the Lutheran Swedish church was the only allowed religion for Swedish citizens. Swedish priests supported conviction of noaidis for sorcery, and in 1693, Lars Nilsson was executed for this charge.” ref

“It has traditionally often been claimed that only men could become noaidi and use the drum, but both Rijkuo-Maja of Arvidsjaur (1661-1757) as well as Anna Greta Matsdotter of Vapsten, known as Silbo-gåmmoe or Gammel-Silba (1794-1870), were both noted to have done so. In the Sami shamanistic form of worship drumming and traditional chanting (joiking) is of singular importance. Some of joiks are sung on shamanistic rites; this memory is conserved also in a folklore text (a shaman story). Recently, joiks have been sung in two different styles, one of which is sung only by young people. The other joik may be identified with the “mumbling” joik, resembling chants or magic spells.” ref

“Several surprising characteristics of joiks can be explained by comparing the music ideals, as observed in joiks and contrasted to music ideals of other cultures. In some instances, joiks mimic natural sounds. This can be contrasted to other goals, namely overtone singing and bel canto, both of which exploit human speech organs to achieve “superhuman” sounds. Overtone singing and the imitation of sounds in shamanism are present in many other cultures as well. Sound imitation may serve other purposes such as games and other entertainment as well as important practical purposes such as luring animals during hunts. noaidi is a mediator between the human world and saivo, the underworld, on the behalf of the community, usually using a Sámi drum and a domestic flute called a fadno in ceremonies.” ref, ref

Deities, Ancestors, and Animal Spirits

“Aside from bear worship, there are other animal spirits such as the Haldi who watch over nature. Some Sámi people have a thunder god called Horagalles. Rana Niejta is “the daughter of the green, fertile earth”. The symbol of the world tree or pillar, which reaches up to the North Star and is similar to that found in Finnish mythology, may also be present. Laib Olmai, the forest spirit of some of the Sámi people, is traditionally associated with forest animals, which are regarded as his herds, and he is said to grant either good or bad luck in hunting. His favor was so important that, according to one author, believers said prayers and made offerings to him every morning and every evening.” ref

“One of the most irreconcilable elements of the Sámi’s worldview from the missionaries’ perspective was the notion “that the living and the departed were regarded as two halves of the same family.” The Sámi regarded the concept as fundamental, while Protestant Christian missionaries absolutely discounted any possibility of the dead having anything to do with the living. Since this belief was not just a religion, but a living dialogue with their ancestors, their society was concomitantly impoverished.” ref

“The Sami religion differs somewhat between regions and tribes. Although the deities are similar, their names vary between regions. The deities also overlap: in one region, one deity can appear as several separate deities, and in another region, several deities can be united in to just a few. Because of these variations, the deities can be somewhat confused with each other.ref

“The main deities of the Sami were as follows:

  • Akka – a group of fertility goddesses, including Maderakka, Juksakka and Uksakka
  • Beaivi – goddess of the sun, mother of human beings
  • Bieggagallis – husband of the sun goddess, father of human beings
  • Bieggolmai ‘Man of the Winds’ – god of the winds
  • Biejjenniejte – goddess of healing and medicine, daughter of the Sun, Beaivi
  • Horagalles – god of thunder. His name may mean “Thor-man”. He is also called “Grandfather”, Bajanolmmai, Dierpmis, Pajonn and Tordöm.
  • Jahbme akka – the goddess of the dead, and mistress of the underworld and the realm of the dead
  • Ipmil ‘God’ – adopted as a native name for the Christian God (see the related Finnish word Jumala), also used for Radien-attje
  • Lieaibolmmai – god of the hunt and of adult men
  • Madder-Attje – husband of Maderakka and father of the tribe. While his wife gives newborns their bodies, he gives them their souls.
  • Mano, Manna, or Aske – god of the moon
  • Mubpienålmaj – the god of evil, influenced by the Christian Satan
  • Radien-attje – Creator and high god, the creator of the world and the head divinity. In Sámi religion, he is passive or sleeping and is not often included in religious practice. He created the souls of human beings with his spouse. He was also called Waralden Olmai.
  • Raedieahkka – wife of the high god Radien-attje. She created the souls of human beings with her spouse.
  • Rana Niejta – spring goddess, the daughter of Radien-attje and Raedieahkka. Rana, meaning “green” or by extension “fertile”, was a popular name for Sámi girls.
  • Radien-pardne – the son of Radien-attje and Raedieahkka. He acts as the proxy of his passive father, performing his tasks and carrying out his will.
  • Ruohtta – god of sickness and death. He was depicted riding a horse.
  • Stallo – feared cannibal giants of the wilderness
  • Tjaetsieålmaj – “the man of water”, god of water, lakes and fishingref

Sacred Landscape

In the landscape throughout Northern Scandinavia, one can find sieidis, places that have unusual land forms different from the surrounding countryside, and that can be considered to have spiritual significance. Each family or clan has its local spirits, to whom they make offerings for protection and good fortune. The Storjunkare are described sometimes as stones, having some likeness to a man or an animal, that were set up on a mountain top, or in a cave, or near rivers and lakes. Honor was done to them by spreading fresh twigs under them in winter, and in summer leaves or grass. The Storjunkare had power over all animals, fish, and birds, and gave luck to those that hunted or fished for them. Reindeer were offered up to them, and every clan and family had its own hill of sacrifice.” ref

Mountain Sámi

“As the Sea Sámi settled along Norway’s fjords and inland waterways, pursuing a combination of farming, cattle raising, trapping, and fishing, the minority Mountain Sámi continued to hunt wild reindeer. Around 1500, they started to tame these animals into herding groups, becoming the well-known reindeer nomads, often portrayed by outsiders as following the traditional Sámi lifestyle. The Mountain Sámi had to pay taxes to three states, Norway, Sweden, and Russia, as they crossed each border while following the annual reindeer migrations; this caused much resentment over the years. Between 1635 and 1659, the Swedish crown forced Swedish conscripts and Sámi cart drivers to work in the Nasa silver mine, causing many Sámis to emigrate from the area to avoid forced labor. As a result, the population of Pite– and Lule-speaking Sámi decreased greatly.” ref

“The Sámi (/ˈsɑːmi/ SAH-mee; also spelled Sami or Saami) are the traditionally Sámi-speaking people inhabiting the region of Sápmi, which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and of the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The region of Sápmi was formerly known as Lapland, and the Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, but these terms are regarded as offensive by the Sámi, who prefer the area’s name in their own languages, e.g. Northern Sámi Sápmi. Their traditional languages are the Sámi languages, which are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.” ref

“Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. As of 2007 about 10% of the Sámi were connected to reindeer herding, which provides them with meat, fur, and transportation; around 2,800 Sámi people were actively involved in reindeer herding on a full-time basis in Norway. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sámi in some regions of the Nordic countries.” ref

“Speakers of Northern Sámi refer to themselves as Sámit (the Sámis) or Sápmelaš (of Sámi kin), the word Sápmi being inflected into various grammatical forms. Other Sámi languages use cognate words. As of around 2014, the current consensus among specialists was that the word Sámi was borrowed from the Proto-Baltic word *žēmē, meaning ‘land’ (cognate with Slavic zemlja (земля), of the same meaning).” ref

“The word Sámi has at least one cognate word in Finnish: Proto-Baltic *žēmē was also borrowed into Proto-Finnic, as *šämä. This word became modern Finnish Häme (Finnish for the region of Tavastia; the second ä of *šämä is still found in the adjective Hämäläinen). The Finnish word for Finland, Suomi, is also thought probably to derive ultimately from Proto-Baltic *žēmē, though the precise route is debated and proposals usually involve complex processes of borrowing and reborrowing.” ref 

“Suomi and its adjectival form suomalainen must come from *sōme-/sōma-. In one proposal, this Finnish word comes from a Proto-Germanic word *sōma-, itself from Proto-Baltic *sāma-, in turn borrowed from Proto-Finnic *šämä, which was borrowed from *žēmē. The Sámi institutions—notably the parliaments, radio and TV stations, theatres, etc.—all use the term Sámi, including when addressing outsiders in Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, or English. In Norwegian and Swedish, the Sámi are today referred to by the localized form Same.” ref

“The western Uralic languages are believed to spread from the region along the Volga, which is the longest river in Europe. The speakers of Finnic and Sámi languages have their roots in the middle and upper Volga region in the Corded Ware culture. These groups presumably started to move to the northwest from the early home region of the Uralic peoples in the second and third quarters of the 2nd millennium BC. On their journey, they used the ancient river routes of northern Russia. Some of these peoples, who may have originally spoken the same western Uralic language, stopped and stayed in the regions between Karelia, Ladoga and Lake Ilmen, and even further to the east and to the southeast. The groups of these peoples that ended up in the Finnish Lakeland from 1600 to 1500 BCE later “became” the Sámi. The Sámi people arrived in their current homeland some time after the beginning of the Common Era.” ref

“The Sámi language first developed on the southern side of Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga and spread from there. When the speakers of this language extended to the area of modern-day Finland, they encountered groups of peoples who spoke a number of smaller ancient languages (Paleo-Laplandic languages), which later became extinct. However, these languages left traces in the Sámi language (Pre-Finnic substrate). As the language spread further, it became segmented into dialects. The geographical distribution of the Sámi has evolved over the course of history. From the Bronze Age, the Sámi occupied the area along the coast of Finnmark and the Kola Peninsula.” ref 

“This coincides with the arrival of the Siberian genome to Estonia and Finland, which may correspond with the introduction of the Finno-Ugric languages in the region. Petroglyphs and archeological findings such as settlements, dating from about 10,000 BCE can be found in Lapland and Finnmark, although these have not been demonstrated to be related to the Sámi people. These hunter-gatherers of the late Paleolithic and early Mesolithic were named Komsa by the researchers.” ref

Relationship between the Sámi and the Scandinavians

“The Sámi have a complex relationship with the Scandinavians (known as Norse people in the medieval era), the dominant peoples of Scandinavia, who speak Scandinavian languages and who founded and thus dominated the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden in which most Sámi people live. While the Sámi have lived in Fennoscandia for around 3,500 years, Sámi settlement of Scandinavia does not predate Norse/Scandinavian settlement of Scandinavia, as sometimes popularly assumed. The migration of Germanic-speaking peoples to Southern Scandinavia happened independently and separate from the later Sámi migrations into the northern regions.” ref 

“For centuries, the Sámi and the Scandinavians had relatively little contact; the Sámi primarily lived in the inland of northern Fennoscandia, while Scandinavians lived in southern Scandinavia and gradually colonised the Norwegian coast; from the 18th and especially the 19th century, the governments of Norway and Sweden started to assert sovereignty more aggressively in the north, and targeted the Sámi with Scandinavization policies aimed at forced assimilation from the 19th century.” ref

“Before the era of forced Scandinavization policies, the Norwegian and Swedish authorities had largely ignored the Sámi and did not interfere much in their way of life. While Norwegians moved north to gradually colonize the coast of modern-day Troms og Finnmark to engage in an export-driven fisheries industry prior to the 19th century, they showed little interest in the harsh and non-arable inland populated by reindeer-herding Sámi. Unlike the Norwegians on the coast who were strongly dependent on their trade with the south, the Sámi in the inland lived off the land. From the 19th century Norwegian and Swedish authorities started to regard the Sámi as a “backward” and “primitive” people in need of being “civilized”, imposing the Scandinavian languages as the only valid languages of the kingdoms and effectively banning Sámi language and culture in many contexts, particularly schools.” ref

The Far North was a fabled territory to city dwellers in “civilized,” temperate Europe. Classical Greek and Roman geographers told their readers that north beyond civilized settlements roamed cannibals; dog-headed people who barked; people who hibernated half of the year or spent half the year underwater; people who had no notion of private property, marriage, or laws. Medieval travel writers including Marco Polo repeated the fantastic tales. Meanwhile, the Russian kingdoms of Novgorod and then Moscow developed a trade in expensive furs—sable, fox, and beaver—with northern hunters. By the end of the sixteenth century, Cossacks employed by Russian agents shattered Tatar rule in Sibir and extended the Czar’s sovereignty through a series of fortified trading posts where natives were obliged to pay tribute in the form of furs, receiving “gifts” from “the czar’s exalted hand” in return.” – Shamans and Religion, An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking by Alice Beck Kehoe

The “gifts” were axes and knives, cloth, beads, tea, sugar, and tobacco, presented with exotic food (Russian bread) and liquor. Superficially, it looked like the Western European trade with American Indians that would develop a century later, except that Russia considered the Siberian nations to be their subjects and enforced tribute with military campaigns. Siberia being an exceedingly large territory, it took Russia a good two centuries to push sovereignty eastward to the Pacific, and then the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 turned the Czar’s rule into Soviet domination.” – Shamans and Religion, An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking by Alice Beck Kehoe

Russian or Soviet, the conquering power officially classified the non-Russian people as “aliens.” A few “aliens” were formally educated town-dwellers or peasant farmers and could be treated like Russians, many were classified as “nomads” who moved with their herds regularly to seasonal pastures, and others were classified as “wanderers” who hunted and fished apparently (so far as the Russian officials noticed) without fixed movements. Nomads and wanderers were required to turn in annual fur tributes, but the Russian colonial officials let them continue their “alien” customs. “Aliens” who accepted Christian baptism were compelled to settle in Russian outposts. Native women who were married to, or kept as concubines by, Russians expected this, but for native men, it meant leaving their families and occupations of herding or hunting.” – Shamans and Religion, An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking by Alice Beck Kehoe

For the Russian enterprise, it meant these men ceased to pay fur tribute; therefore, there was little government effort to convert the Siberians until, in 1702, Peter the Great encouraged the Russian Orthodox missionaries to bring soldiers with them to persuade whole villages to accept baptism after the priests burned their shrines and images of spirits. Czar Peter protected the Crown’s revenue by rescinding the rule that converts were freed of fur tribute. Through the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Russian interventions in Siberia became increasingly onerous for the indigenous nations. Siberian families became accustomed to trade for metal kettles as well as axes, knives, and traps, and purchased flour, tea, and sugar that were regularly eaten. Liquor and tobacco remained important constituents of the fur trade.” – Shamans and Religion, An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking by Alice Beck Kehoe

The “aliens” were subject to labor taxes including road building, carting, providing firewood to heat the trading posts, and assisting officials. An 1822 law formally recognized a policy of indirect rule with Russian officials governing through designated male “clan elders” regardless of whether the people had clans. These appointees administered customary law and relieved some of the burdens of tribute collecting. A designated “clan elder” could be a shaman, or simply the oldest active responsible man in a district. Historian Yuri Slezkine (1994:88) considers this attitude toward the empire’s “aliens” to reflect nineteenth-century Western intellectuals’ belief that uncivilized (i.e., not living in cities) peoples are indicative of the early condition of human-kind, incapable of performing the obligations and rights of citizens. Superficially, the policy seems benign, but in fact, it was racist, denying the social achievements of the small nations adapted to the harsh environments of the north.” – Shamans and Religion, An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking by Alice Beck Kehoe

“For long periods of time, the Sámi lifestyle thrived because of its adaptation to the Arctic environment. Indeed, throughout the 18th century, as Norwegians of Northern Norway suffered from low fish prices and consequent depopulation, the Sámi cultural element was strengthened, since the Sámi were mostly independent of supplies from Southern Norway.” ref

Christianization of the Sámi people

“The Christianization of the Sámi people in Norway and Sweden–Finland took place in stages during a several centuries long process. The Sámi were Christianized in a similar way in both Norway and Sweden–FinlandDuring the 19th century, the pressure of Christianization of the Sámi increased, with some Sámi adopting Laestadianism. With the introduction of seven compulsory years of school in 1889, the Sámi language and traditional way of life came increasingly under pressure from forced cultural normalization. Strong economic development of the north also ensued, giving Norwegian culture and language higher status.” ref, ref

“There were Christian missionaries in Sápmi already during the Roman Catholic middle ages, and Christianity co-existed with traditional Sámi shamanism. In 1389, the Sami Margareta (missionary) traveled south to request Christian missionaries. It was however not until the 17th-century, when the kingdoms of Denmark-Norway and Sweden started to colonize Sápmi, that Christianity truly made its presence known.” ref

“In the Kingdoms of Denmark-Norway, the Sami religion was banned on death penalty as witchcraft. During the 17th-century, the persecution of the followers of Sami religion were more intensely persecuted than before by Christian missionaries, and several Sami were persecuted for sorcery because they practiced the Sami religion. A fifth of all charged with sorcery in Norway are estimated to have been Pagan Sami. During the 17th-century, a more intense Christian mission was launched in Norway to convert the Sami people to Christianity.” ref

“However, there was an awareness’ that this campaign only caused the Sami to behave outwardly as Christians and kept practicing their own religion in secrecy. This fact was pointed out by the Sami missionaries, who stated that it would not be possible to truly convert the Sami people if the Sami religion could not even be discussed, which was not possible when Pagans were afraid to be accused of witchcraft if they admitted to be Pagans.” ref

The Protestant church was hostile to Sámi shamanism, which it considered to be Pagan idolatry, and wished to exterminate it and Christianize the Sámi people, in parallel with the royal powers wishing to assert their political dominance over the territory and use its economic resources. In the first half of the 17th-century, churches were built in Sápmi by the order of king Charles IX of Sweden, and the Sámi people were compelled to subject themselves to the law of Sweden by attending them. They were however silently allowed to practice Sámi shamanism in private until the second half of the 17th-century, when Swedish authorities forced them to abandon their religion, burning their Sámi drums, banning the joik singing and forcing them to subject to the doctrine of the church both in public and private.ref

“In the 18th-century, the Christian mission among the Sami in Norway achieved actual success, after the Christian missionaries convinced the authorities to grant the Sami amnesty from the witchcraft law, which made it possible for Pagans to openly discuss their religion without the risk of getting arrested for witchcraft. In parallel, the Pietist Mission in Copenhagen sent the missionary Thomas von Westen to the Norwegian Sami people in Finnmarken where he was active in 1716-1727. Thomas von Westen used a new method. Instead of doing as the previous missionaries and force the Sami to practice outward Christianity, such as to attend church, he focused on personal theological persuasion. It was he who convinced the authorities to grant declare the Sami religion no longer illegal: he then informed himself of the religion, and convinced the Sami to convert with a focus on the idea of personal conviction and confession, which proved very efficient.ref

“The Sámi people still continued to practice Sámi shamanism in secrecy until the second half of the 18th-century, when missionaries of first the Pietism and then eventually the Laestadianism sect had true success in their mission and the Sámi people converted to Christianity. The mission of Thomas von Westen in Norway proved so efficient that the Swedish Pietists under Daniel Djurberg made use of it during their mission among the Sami in Sweden. In contrast to the coercive 17th-century mission, which forced the Sami to outward Christianity, the 18th-century Pietist mission appears to have been truly successful, although the conversion progressed slowly. Around the 1770s, the Sami people were reportedly Christian, talked about the Sami religion as the religion of their ancestors rather than their own, and were reported to have good knowledge about Christianity by the Sami priests. The Christian mission among the Sami did however continue until as late as the mid 19th-century, when Laestadianism became very successful among the Sami people.ref

“On the Swedish and Finnish sides, the authorities were less militant, although the Sámi language was forbidden in schools and strong economic development in the north led to weakened cultural and economic status for the Sámi. From 1913 to 1920, the Swedish race-segregation political movement created a race-based biological institute that collected research material from living people and graves. Throughout history, Swedish settlers were encouraged to move to the northern regions through incentives such as land and water rights, tax allowances, and military exemptions.” ref

“The strongest pressure took place from around 1900 to 1940, when Norway invested considerable money and effort to assimilate Sámi culture. Anyone who wanted to buy or lease state lands for agriculture in Finnmark had to prove knowledge of the Norwegian language and had to register with a Norwegian name. This caused the dislocation of Sámi people in the 1920s, which increased the gap between local Sámi groups (something still present today) that sometimes has the character of an internal Sámi ethnic conflict.” ref

“In 1913, the Norwegian parliament passed a bill on “native act land” to allocate the best and most useful lands to Norwegian settlers. Another factor was the scorched earth policy conducted by the German army, resulting in heavy war destruction in northern Finland and northern Norway in 1944–45, destroying all existing houses, or kota, and visible traces of Sámi culture. After World War II, the pressure was relaxed, though the legacy was evident into recent times, such as the 1970s law limiting the size of any house Sámi people were allowed to build.” ref

“The controversy over the construction of the hydro-electric power station in Alta in 1979 brought Sámi rights onto the political agenda. In August 1986, the national anthem (“Sámi soga lávlla“) and flag (Sámi flag) of the Sámi people were created. In 1989, the first Sámi parliament in Norway was elected. In 2005, the Finnmark Act was passed in the Norwegian parliament giving the Sámi parliament and the Finnmark Provincial council a joint responsibility of administering the land areas previously considered state property. These areas (96% of the provincial area), which have always been used primarily by the Sámi, now belong officially to the people of the province, whether Sámi or Norwegian, and not to the Norwegian state.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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“Aurignacian (43,000 to 26,000 years ago), Gravettian (33,000 to 21,000 years ago), Magdalenian (17,000 to 12,000 years ago), and Sami (Haplogroup N  Y-DNA) at least by 3,500 years ago until the fifteenth century) were all nomadic peoples of Ancient Europe. N1c correlates closely with the distribution of the Finno-Ugrian languages. The Sami languages are thought to have split from their common ancestor about 3300 years ago.” refref

“Mitochondrial DNA studies of Sami people, haplogroup U5 are consistent with multiple migrations to Scandinavia from Volga-Ural region, starting 6,000 to 7,000 years before present.” ref

“Nearly half of all Sami and one-fifth of Finnish maternal lineages belong to U5. U5 arrived in Europe with the Gravettian and appears to have been a major maternal lineage among the Paleolithic European hunter-gatherers and even the dominant lineage during the European Mesolithic at more than 80%. Among 16 Gravettian samples, six belonged to U5.” ref

“U5b1b1 arose approximately 10,000 years ago, over two millennia after the end of the Last Glaciation, when the Neolithic Revolution was already underway in the Near East. Despite this relatively young age, U5b1b1 is found scattered across all of Europe and well beyond its boundaries. The Saami, who live in the far European North and have 48% of U5 and 42% of V lineages, belong exclusively to the U5b1b1 subclade. Amazingly, the Berbers of Northwest Africa also possess that U5b1b1 subclade and haplogroup V. How could two peoples separated by some 6,000 km (3,700 mi) share such close maternal ancestry? The Berbers also have other typically Western European lineages such as H1 and H3, as well as African haplogroups like M1, L1, L2, and L3. The Saami and the Berbers presumably descend from nomadic hunter-gatherers from the Franco-Cantabrian refugium who recolonized Europe and North Africa after the LGM.” ref

“The journey of U5b1b1 didn’t stop there. The Fulbe of Senegal were also found to share U5b1b1b with the Berbers, surely through intermarriages. More impressively, the Yakuts of eastern Siberia, who have a bit under 10% of European mtDNA (including haplogroups H, HV1, J, K, T, U4, U5, and W), also share the exact same deep subclade (U5b1b1a) as the Saami and the Berbers.” ref

Genetic Studies on Sami

“Genetic studies on Sami are the genetic research that has been carried out on the Sami people. The Sami languages belong to the Uralic languages family of Eurasia. Siberian origins are still visible in the Sámi, Finns, and other populations of the Finno-Ugric language family. An abundance of genes has journeyed all the way from Siberia to Finland, a recent study indicates. As late as the Iron Age, people with a genome similar to that of the Sámi people lived much further south in Finland compared to today. The first study on the DNA of the ancient inhabitants of Finland has been published, with results indicating that a copious number of Siberian genetic variants are present in modern Sami populations.” ref

“Genetic material from remains associated with Western Siberian hunter-gatherers has been found in the inhabitants of the Kola Peninsula from as far back as approximately 4,000 years ago, later spreading also to Finland. The study also corroborates the assumption that people genetically similar to the Sámi lived much further south than currently. The Western Siberian hunter-gatherers (WSHG) themselves harbored about 30% EHG (Eastern European Hunter-Gatherers) ancestry, 50% ANE (Ancient North Eurasian) ancestry, and 20% East Asian ancestry, therefore mostly European-related ancestry, and also resembled the earlier Botai samples of northern Central Asia. The genetic samples compared in the study were collected from human bones found in a 3,500-year-old burial place in the Kola Peninsula and the 1,500-year-old lake burial site at Levänluhta in South Ostrobothnia, Finland. All of the samples contained identical Siberian genes.” ref

Sami Y-DNA

“Three Y chromosome haplogroups dominate the distribution among the Sami: N1c (formerly N3a), I1 – today is more commonly known as I-M253 – and R1a, at least in the study carried out by K. Tambets et al. in 2004. The most common haplogroup among the Sami is N1c, with I1 as a close second according to that study. Haplogroup R1a in Sami is mostly seen in the Swedish Sami and Kola Sami populations, with a low level among the Finnish Sami according to Tambets and colleagues, a finding that suggests that N1c and R1a probably reached Fennoscandia from eastern Europe, where these haplogroups can be found in high frequencies. In Finland, there is also a general difference within the Finnish population between eastern and western Finland, where the eastern show a dominance of N-haplogroup and the west a dominance of I-haplogroup, where the latter is explained by a migration from southern parts of today’s Norway and Sweden over to Finland as we know it today.” ref

“But the spread of R1a-haplogroup amongst Sami in Sweden shows a big span from 10.1% to 36.0%, with an average of 20%, to be compared with Sami in Finland with a span from 9% to 9.9% Because Sami groups in Sweden show differences between haplogroups – such as U5b and V even thought that are mtDNA-groups – in the south of Sweden and in the north of the country (see below), the spread of Y-haplogroups such as R1a amongst groups of Sami in Sweden might be significant as well. No such study has yet been done though.” ref

“However the two haplogroups R1a and N1c have a distinctly distribution when it comes to linguistics. R1a is common among Eastern Europeans speaking Indo-European languages, while N1c correlates closely with the distribution of the Finno-Ugrian languages. For example, N1c is common among the Finns, while haplogroup R1a is common among all the neighbours of the Sami.” ref

“Haplogroup I1 is the most common haplogroup in Sweden, and the Jokkmokk Sami in Sweden have a similar structure to Swedes and Finns for haplogroup I1 and N1c. Haplogroup I-M253 in Sami is explained by immigration (of men) during the 14th century. That is quite late in Sami history bearing in mind that an distinctive Sami culture can be traced and first observed back to 1000 BCE. The Sami languages are thought to have split from their common ancestor about 3300 years ago.” ref

Sami mtDNA

“Classification of the Sami mtDNA lineages revealed that the majority are clustered in a subset of the European mtDNA pool. The two haplogroups V and U5b dominate, between them accounting for about 89% of the total. This gives the Sami regions the highest level of Haplogroups V and U5b thus far found. Both haplogroups V and U5b are spread at moderate frequencies across Europe, from Iberia to the Ural Mountains. Haplogroups H, D5, and Z represent most of the remaining averaged total. Overall 98% of the Sami mtDNA pool is encompassed within haplogroups V, U5b, H, Z, and D5. Local frequencies among the Sami vary.” ref

“The divergence time for the Sami haplogroup V sequences was estimated by Max Ingman and Ulf Gyllensten at 7600 YBP (years before present), and for U5b1b1 as 5500 YBP amongst Sami and 6600 YBP amongst Sami and Finns. This suggests to them an arrival in the region soon after the retreat of the glacial ice. Other research on Sami shows that most of them do not belong to the mtDNA Haplogroup I (not to be confused for the aforementioned paternal Haplogroup I-M170) that is shared by many Finnic peoples.” ref

Sami U5b

“The great majority of Sami belong to U5b Haplogroup U (mtDNA) even though a small proportion falls into U4. The percentage of total Sami mtDNA samples tested by K. Tambets and her colleagues (published in 2004) which were U5b ranged from 56.8% in Norwegian Sami to 26.5% in Swedish Sami. In research made by M. Ingman and U. Gyllensten in 2006 is a slightly different setting shown: Norwegian Sami belongs to U5b as well as U5b1b1 to 56.8%, Finnish Sami with 40.6%, Northern Sami in Sweden to 35.5% and Southern Sami in Sweden within reindeer herding to 23.9% while Southern Sami in Sweden outside of reindeer herding/other occupation belong to U5b to 16.3% and to U5b1b1 to 12%.” ref

“Sami U5b falls into subclade U5b1b1. The Sami U5b1b1 sub-clade is present in many different populations, e.g. 3% or higher frequencies in Karelia, Finland, and Northern-Russia. The Sami U5b1 motif is additionally found in very low frequencies for instance in the Caucasus region, however this is explained as recent migration from Europe. However, 38% of the Sami U5b1b1 mtDNAs have haplotype so far exclusive to the Sami, containing a transition at np 16148. Alessandro Achilli and colleagues noted that the Sami and the Berbers share U5b1b, which they estimated at 9,000 years old, and argued that this provides evidence for a radiation of the haplogroup from the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe.” ref

“M. Engman’s and U. Gyllensten’s studie on mtDNA amongst Sami in Scandinavia also reveals that haplogroup H is 15.2% within the Sami traditional group in the south of Sweden, and 34.8% amongst Southern Sami in Sweden, and as high as 44.6% amongst Southern non-traditional Sami in Sweden, but just 2.6% amongst Northern Sami in Sweden, and 2.9 within the Sami group in Finland and amongst Sami in Norway to 4.7%. That result points in the direction that South Sami in Sweden have been more exposed to and/or intermarried the continental European haplogroup H earlier, and much more frequent, than Sami in the north of Sweden, in Finland and in Norway, which can be explained by Scandinavian/Swedish settlers that migrated into Southern Sami areas in Sweden from areas like Mälardalen.” ref

Sami V

“The divergence time for the Sami haplogroup V sequences is estimated by M. Ingman and U. Gyllensten at 7,600 years ago. But there is a difference within the Sami group in Sweden according to their study. North Sami (Sami in the North of Swedish Lapland) belong to haplogroup V with 58.6% and South Sami (Sami in the South of Swedish Lapland) within reindeer herding to 37.0% and South Sami outside reindeer herding/other occupation to 8.7%. That can be compared with Sami in Norway that has a 33.1% belonging to haplogroup V and Sami in Finland to 37.7%. Sami in Finland and South Sami within reeinder herding in Sweden have the same percentage belonging to haplogroup V.” ref

“But according to K. Tambets’ et al. study is haplogroup V the most frequent haplogroup in the Swedish Sami and is present at significantly lower frequencies in Norwegian and Finnish subpopulations. Note though, that in the study made by K. Tambet’s et al. has no differentiation between Sami in the north and the south of Sweden been made, which otherwise probably would change the outcome of their study. Torroni and colleagues have suggested that the spread of haplogroup V in Scandinavia and in eastern Europe is due to its late Pleistocene/early Holocene expansion from a Franco-Cantabrian glacial refugium.” ref

“However subsequent studies found that haplogroup V is also significantly present in eastern Europeans. Furthermore, haplogroup V lineages with HVS-I transitions 16153 and 16298 that are frequent in the Sami population are much more widespread in eastern than in western Europe. So haplogroup V might have reached Fennoscandia via central/eastern Europe. Such a scenario is indirectly supported by the absence, among the Sami, of the pre-V mtDNAs that are characteristic of southwestern Europeans and northwestern Africans.” ref

Sami Z

Haplogroup Z is found at low frequency in the Sami and Northern Asian populations but is virtually absent in Europe. Several conserved substitutions group the Sami Z lineages with those from Finland and the Volga-Ural region of Russia. The estimated dating of the lineage at 2700 years suggests a small, relatively recent contribution of people from the Volga-Ural region to the Sami population.” ref

“Haplogroup Z is most frequent in Northeastern Asia. It is also present in Siberian populations as well as in the region of Volga-Ural, as just mentioned. Subhaplogroup Z1 is present in lineages in Western Asia and Northern Europe as well as in the Koryak and Itel’men populations. Interestingly enough is haplogroup Z most frequent amongst maritim Koryaks with just a bit over 10%, but is not at all present in reindeer-herding Koryaks. The Itel’men and Koryak populations live on the Kamchatka peninsula, the former in the south and the latter in the very north.” ref

Sámi Shamans and their Drums

Shaman´s drum symbols in Scandinavia

“In Sámi shamanism, the noaidi used the drum to get into a trance, or to obtain information from the future, or other realms. The drum was held in one hand, and beaten with the other. While the noaidi was in trance, his “free spirit” was said to leave his body to visit the spirit-world. When used for divination, the drum was beaten with a drum hammer; a vuorbi (‘index’ or ‘pointer’), a kind of die made of brass or horn, would move around on the drumhead when the drum was struck. Future events would be predicted according to the symbols upon which the vuorbi stopped on the membrane. 
The patterns on the drum membrane reflect the worldview of the owner and his family, both in religious and worldly matters, such as reindeer herding, hunting, householding, and relations with their neighbors and the non-Sámi community.” ref

Sami Y-DNA: “three haplogroups N1c, I1, and R1a dominate”

N1c (formerly N3a ), I1 (I-M253), R1a, and R1b.

Sami – mtDNA: “two haplogroups V and U5b dominate”

V, U5b, H, Z, and D5. ref

DNA Explained

DNA haplogroups I1 and U5b are related to Magdalenians predominantly Y-DNA haplogroup I and HIJK with all samples of mtDNA belonging to U, including five samples of U8b and one sample of U5b(Western Hunter-Gatherer WHG) were predominantly Y-DNA haplogroup I and mtDNA haplogroup U5. ref, ref

Y-DNA haplogroup R1a and R1b and mt-DNA U5 and C1 were found in Eastern Hunter-Gatherers (EHG). The EHG male of Samara (5650-5550 BCE) carried Y-haplogroup R1b1a1a* and mt-haplogroup U5a1d. The other EHG male, buried in Karelia (5500-5000 BCE) carried Y-haplogroup R1a1 and mt-haplogoup C1g. ref

Haplogroup N1 (N1a, N1c) was found in ancient bones of Liao civilization (at least by 6,200 BCE or around 8,200 years ago):

“N1a1a (M178) is seen at 60% among Finns and approximately 40% among LatviansLithuanians & 35% among Estonians. N1a2b (P43) estimated to be approximately 4,000 to 5,500 years old, is seen at low to moderate frequency among speakers of some other Uralic languages. Haplogroup N-P43 forms two distinctive subclusters of STR haplotypes, Asian and European, the latter mostly distributed among Finno-Ugric-speaking peoples and related populations. N has also been found in many samples of Neolithic human remains exhumed from Liao civilization in northeastern China, and in the circum-Baikal area of southern Siberia. It is suggested that yDNA N, reached southern Siberia from 12-14 kya. From there it reached southern Europe 8-10kya.” ref

“N1a1a1a1a1a-CTS2929/VL29 Found with high frequency among Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, northwestern Russians, Swedish Saami, Karelians, Nenetses, Finns, and Maris, moderate frequency among other Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Poles, and low frequency among Komis, Mordva, Tatars, Chuvashes, Dolgans, Vepsa, Selkups, Karanogays, and Bashkirs.ref

“N1a1a1a1a1a1a1-L1025/B215 Highest frequency among Lithuanians, significant in Latvians and Estonians and lesser frequency in BelorussiansUkrainians, South-West Russians, and Poles. With exception of Estonians, L1025 has highest share among N-M231 clades in previously mentioned populations. Also observed in Finland and Sweden, with sporadic instances in NorwayGermanyNetherlandsUnited Kingdom, the AzoresCzech Republic, and Slovakia.ref

“N1a1a1a1a2-Z1936,CTS10082 Found with high frequency among FinnsVepsaKarelians, Swedish Saami, northwestern RussiansBashkirs, and Volga Tatars, moderate frequency among other RussiansKomisNenetsesOb-UgriansDolgans, and Siberian Tatars, and low frequency among MordvaNganasansChuvashesEstoniansLatviansUkrainians, and Karanogays.ref

“Haplogroup N1c was known as N3. N1c represents the western extent of haplogroup N, which is found all over the Far East (China, Korea, Japan), Mongolia, and Siberia, especially among Uralic speakers of northern Siberia. Haplogroup N1 reaches a maximum frequency of approximately 95% in the Nenets (40% N1c and 57% N1b) and Nganassans (all N1b), two Uralic tribes of central-northern Siberia, and 90% among the Yakuts (all N1c), a Turkic people who live mainly in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic in central-eastern Siberia. N1c is found chiefly in north-eastern Europe, particularly in Finland (61%), Lapland (53%), Estonia (34%), Latvia (38%), Lithuania (42%), and northern Russia (30%), and to a lower extent also in central Russia (15%), Belarus (10%), eastern Ukraine (9%), Sweden (7%), Poland (4%) and Turkey (4%). N1c is also prominent among the Uralic-speaking ethnicities of the Volga-Ural region, including the Udmurts (67%), Komi (51%), Mari (50%), and Mordvins (20%), but also among their Turkic neighbors like the Chuvashs (28%), Volga Tatars (21%) and Bashkirs (17%), as well as the Nogais (9%) of southern Russia.” ref

Haplogroup N is a descendant of East Asian macro-haplogroup NO. It is believed to have originated in Indochina or southern China approximately 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. Haplogroup N1* and N1c were both found at high frequency (26 out of 70 samples, or 37%) in Neolithic and Bronze Age remains (4500-700 BCE) from the West Liao River valley in Northeast China (Manchuria) by Yinqiu Cui et al. (2013). Among the Neolithic samples, haplogroup N1 made up two-thirds of the samples from the Hongshan culture (4700-2900 BCE) and all the samples from the Xiaoheyan culture (3000-2200 BCE), hinting that N1 people played a major role in the diffusion of the Neolithic lifestyle around Northeast China, and probably also to Mongolia and Siberia.ref

Ye Zhang et al. 2016 found 100% of Y-DNA N out of 17 samples from the Xueshan culture (Jiangjialiang site) dating from 3600–2900 BCE, and among those 41% belonged to N1c1-Tat. It is therefore extremely likely that the N1c1 subclade found in Europe today has its roots in the Chinese Neolithic. It would have progressively spread across Siberia until north-eastern Europe, possibly reaching the Volga-Ural region around 5500 to 4500 BCE with the Kama culture (5300-3300 BCE), and the eastern Baltic with the Comb Ceramic culture (4200-2000 BCE), the presumed ancestral culture of Proto-Finnic and pre-Baltic people. There is little evidence of agriculture or domesticated animals in Siberia during the Neolithic, but pottery was widely used. In that regard, it was the opposite development from the Near East, which first developed agriculture then only pottery from circa 5500 BCE, perhaps through contact with East Asians via Siberia or Central Asia.ref

  • “N1c1a (M178): found in Siberia (Khakass-Daurs)
    • N1c1a1 (L708): found in Siberia (Anayins)
      • N1c1a1a (P298): found in Siberia (Yakuts)
        • N1c1a1a1 (L392, L1026): Finno-Ugric branch; found throughout north-east Europe
          • N1c1a1a1a (CTS2929/VL29): Baltic-Finnic branch
            • N1c1a1a1a1 (L550): West Finnic branch; found around the Baltic Sea and in places settled by the Vikings
              • N1c1a1a1a1a (L1025)
                • N1c1a1a1a1a1 (M2783): found especially in Balto-Slavic countries, with a peak in Lithuania and Latvia
                • N1c1a1a1a1a2 (Y4706): found mostly in Finland and Scandinavia
            • N1c1a1a1a2 (CTS9976): East Finnic branch; found among the Chudes (Karelia, Estonia)
            • N1c1a1a1a2a (L1022)
          • N1c1a1a1a2a1 (Z1936): Finno-Permic branch; found in the Volga-Ural region and among the Karelians and Savonians
            • N1c1a1a1a2a1a (Z1925): found in Finland, Lapland, Scandinavia, the Volga-Ural and the Altai
              • N1c1a1a1a2a1a1 (Z1933)
                • N1c1a1a1a2a1a1a (Z1927): found among the Karelians
                • N1c1a1a1a2a1a1b (CTS8565): found among the Savoniansref

Haplogroup V (mtDNA)

Haplogroup V is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. The clade is believed to have originated over 14,000 years ago in Southern Europe. Haplogroup V derives from the HV0a subclade of haplogroup HV. In 1998 it was argued that V spread over Europe from an Ice Age refuge in Iberia. However, more recent estimates of the date of V would place it in the Neolithic. Haplogroup V is a relatively rare mtDNA haplogroup, occurring in around 4% of native Europeans. Its highest concentration is among the Saami people of northern Fennoscandia (~59%). It has been found at a frequency of approximately 10% among the Maris of the Volga-Ural region, leading to the suggestion that this region might be the source of the V among the Saami.” ref 

“Haplogroup V has been observed at higher than average levels among Cantabrian people (15%) of northern Iberia, and among the adjacent Basque (10.4%). Haplogroup V is also found in parts of Northwest Africa. It is mainly concentrated among the Tuareg inhabiting the Gorom-Gorom area in Burkina Faso (21%), Sahrawi in the Western Sahara (17.9%), and Berbers of Matmata, Tunisia (16.3%). The rare V7a subclade occurs among Algerians in Oran (1.08%) and Reguibate Sahrawi (1.85%).” ref

“MtDNA haplogroup V has been reported in Neolithic remains of the Linear Pottery culture at Halberstadt, Germany c. 5000 BCE and Derenburg Meerenstieg, Germany c. 4910 BCE. Haplogroup V7 was found in representative Maykop culture samples in the excavations conducted by Alexei Rezepkin. Haplogroup V has been detected in representatives Trypil’ska and Unetice culture. Haplogroup V has also been found among Iberomaurusian specimens dating from the Epipaleolithic at the Taforalt prehistoric site 14,000 years ago.” ref

  • V1a found mostly from central to northeast Europe
    • V1a1 found in Scandinavia (including Lapland), Finland, and Baltic countries
    • V1a2 found in Bronze Age Poland
    • V7a found mostly in Slavic countries, but also in Scandinavia, Germany and France
    • V10 found in the British Isles, northwest France and Sweden / found in Bell Beaker Scotland
    • V15 found in England, Norway and Armenia
    • V18a found in Slavic countries, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, and the Netherlands
    • V20 found in Norway ref


Uralic languages-(U) “N-DNA related” and Indo-European languages-(IE) “R-DNA related”

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Here are my thoughts/speculations on where I believe is the possible origin of shamanism, which may have begun sometime around 35,000 to 30,000 years ago seen in the emergence of the Gravettian culture, just to outline his thinking, on what thousands of years later led to evolved Asian shamanism, in general, and thus WU shamanism as well. In both Europe-related “shamanism-possible burials” and in Gravettian mitochondrial DNA is a seeming connection to Haplogroup U. And the first believed Shaman proposed burial belonged to Eastern Gravettians/Pavlovian culture at Dolní Věstonice in southern Moravia in the Czech Republic, which is the oldest permanent human settlement that has ever been found. It is at Dolní Věstonice where approximately 27,000-25,000 years ago a seeming female shaman was buried and also there was an ivory totem portrait figure, seemingly of her.

And my thoughts on how cultural/ritual aspects were influenced in the area of Göbekli Tepe. I think it relates to a few different cultures starting in the area before the Neolithic. Two different groups of Siberians first from northwest Siberia with U6 haplogroup 40,000 to 30,000 or so. Then R Haplogroup (mainly haplogroup R1b but also some possible R1a both related to the Ancient North Eurasians). This second group added its “R1b” DNA of around 50% to the two cultures Natufian and Trialetian. To me, it is likely both of these cultures helped create Göbekli Tepe. Then I think the female art or graffiti seen at Göbekli Tepe to me possibly relates to the Epigravettians that made it into Turkey and have similar art in North Italy. I speculate that possibly the Totem pole figurines seen first at Kostenki, next went to Mal’ta in Siberia as seen in their figurines that also seem “Totem-pole-like”, and then with the migrations of R1a it may have inspired the Shigir idol in Russia and the migrations of R1b may have inspired Göbekli Tepe.

ref, ref, ref

I tried to put all the DNA migrations, that together help explain Sami DNA, and thus some of their cultural influences.

Sami People

Uralic languages

Ancient North Eurasian

Eastern Hunter Gatherer 

Western Hunter-Gatherer

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

This helps us understand the origins and movements of the Magdalenian cultures, which eventually shared DNA U5 with the earliest Ancestors of the people that would become Sami.

Paleolithic Y-chromosomal haplogroups by chronological period

  • Proto-Aurignacian (47,000 to 43,000 years before present; eastern Europe): F
  • Aurignacian Culture (43,000 to 28,000 ybp ; all ice-free Europe): CT, C1a, C1b, I
  • Gravettian Culture (31,000 to 24,000 ybp ; all ice-free Europe): BT, CT, F, C1a2
  • Epiravettian Culture (22,000 to 8,000 ybp ; Italy): R1b1a
  • Magdalenian Culture 17,000 to 12,000 ybp ; Western Europe): IJK, I
  • Epipaleolithic France (13,000 to 10,000 ybp): I
  • Azilian Culture (12,000 to 9,000 ybp ; Western Europe): I2 ref

Paleolithic mitochondrial haplogroups by chronological period

  • Proto-Aurignacian (47,000 to 43,000 years before present ; eastern Europe): N, R*
  • Aurignacian Culture (43,000 to 28,000 ybp ; all ice-free Europe): M, U, U2, U6
  • Gravettian Culture (31,000 to 24,000 ybp ; all ice-free Europe): M, U, U2’3’4’7’8’9, U2 (x5), U5 (x5), U8c (x2)
  • Solutrean Culture (22,000 to 17,000 ybp ; France, Spain): U
  • Epiravettian Culture (22,000 to 8,000 ybp ; Italy): U2’3’4’7’8’9, U5b2b (x2)
  • Magdalenian Culture 17,000 to 12,000 ybp ; Western Europe): R0, R1b, U2’3’4’7’8’9, U5b (x2), U8a (x5)
  • Epipaleolithic France (13,000 to 10,000 ybp): U5b1, U5b2a, U5b2b (x2)
  • Epipaleolithic Germany (13,000 to 11,000 ybp): U5b1 (x2)
  • Azilian Culture (12,000 to 9,000 ybp ; Western Europe): U5b1h ref

Mesolithic Y-chromosomal haplogroups by country

  • Ireland: I2a1b, I2a2
  • Britain: IJK, I2a2 (x2)
  • France: I (x3), I2a1b2
  • Luxembourg: I2a1b
  • Germany: I2a2a
  • Spain: C1a2
  • Italy: I, I2a2
  • Sweden: I2a1 (x2), I2a1a1a*, I2a1b (x2), I2c2
  • Estonia: R1a-YP1272
  • Latvia: I2a1 (x2), I2a1b, I2a2a1, I2a2a1b (x2), Q1a2, R1b1a1a-P297 (x7)
  • Lithuania: I2a1b, I2a1a2a1a-L233
  • Serbia: I, I2 (x2), I2a1, I2a2, I2a2a-M223, I2a2a-Z161 (x2), R, R1b1a-L794 (x8)
  • Romania: R, R1, R1b
  • Ukraine: IJ, I (x4), I2, I2a1, I2a2, I2a2a, I2a2a1b1-L702 (x2), R1a, R1b1a-L794
  • Russia: J, R1a1* (x3), R1a1-YP1301, R1b1a, R1b1a1a-P297 ref

Mesolithic mitochondrial haplogroups by country

Note that the very late Mesolithic Pitted Ware culture (c. 3200–2300 BCE) in Sweden is listed separately as it is possible that intermarriages with Neolithic or Chalcolithic neighbors took place.

  • Croatia: U5b2a5
  • France: U5a2 (x2), U5b1, U5b1b
  • Germany, Luxembourg: U2e, U4, U5a, U5a2c (x2), U5a2c3, U5b (x2), U5b1a, U5b1d1 (x2), U5b2a2, U5b2c1
  • Greece: K1c (x2)
  • Italy: U5b1
  • Lithuania: U4, U5b (x3)
  • Poland: U5a, U5b (x2), U5b1b
  • Spain: U5b, U5b1, U5b2c1 (x2)
  • Russia: C, C1g, C5d, D, H, U2e, U4 (x3), U4a, U4a1, U5a (x3), U5a1 (x2), U5a1d, T, Z1a (x2)
  • Sweden: U2e1 (x2), U4b1, U5a1 (x3), U5a2, U5a2d (x2)
  • Sweden (Pitted Ware): H, H1f, HV0 (x2), K1a, K1a1 (x3), T2b (x2), U, U4 (x8), U4a1, U4d (x3), U5a, U5a1a’g (x2), U5b (x2), U5b1, U5b2b1a ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

refref, ref

Ancient North Eurasian (ANE)

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American (AB/ANA)

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG)

Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG)

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) 

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG)

Early European Farmers (EEF)

Jōmon people (Ainu people OF Hokkaido Island) 

Neolithic Iranian farmers (Iran_N) (Iran Neolithic)

Amur Culture (Amur watershed)

Haplogroup R possible time of origin about 27,000 years in Central Asia, South Asia, or Siberia:


Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy”, remains of 24,000 years ago in central Siberia Mal’ta-Buret’ culture 24,000-15,000 years ago. The Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) samples (Afontova Gora 3, Mal’ta 1, and Yana-RHS) show evidence for minor gene flow from an East Asian-related group (simplified by the Amis, Han, or Tianyuan) but no evidence for ANE-related geneflow into East Asians (Amis, Han, Tianyuan), except the Ainu, of North Japan.” ref 

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy”, remains of 24,000 years ago in central Siberia Mal’ta-Buret’ culture 24,000-15,000 years ago “basal to modern-day Europeans”. Some Ancient North Eurasians also carried East Asian populations, such as Tianyuan Man.” ref

“Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were ANE at around 50% and Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) at around 75% ANE. Karelia culture: Y-DNA R1a-M417 8,400 years ago, Y-DNA J, 7,200 years ago, and Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297 7,600 years ago is closely related to ANE from Afontova Gora, 18,000 years ago around the time of blond hair first seen there.” ref 

Ancient North Eurasian

“In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient North Eurasian (often abbreviated as ANE) is the name given to an ancestral West Eurasian component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture and populations closely related to them, such as from Afontova Gora and the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site. Significant ANE ancestry are found in some modern populations, including Europeans and Native Americans.” ref 

“The ANE lineage is defined by association with the MA-1, or “Mal’ta boy“, the remains of an individual who lived during the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000 years ago in central Siberia, Ancient North Eurasians are described as a lineage “which is deeply related to Paleolithic/Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe,” meaning that they diverged from Paleolithic Europeans a long time ago.” ref

“The ANE population has also been described as having been “basal to modern-day Europeans” but not especially related to East Asians, and is suggested to have perhaps originated in Europe or Western Asia or the Eurasian Steppe of Central Asia. However, some samples associated with Ancient North Eurasians also carried ancestry from an ancient East Asian population, such as Tianyuan Man. Sikora et al. (2019) found that the Yana RHS sample (31,600 BP) in Northern Siberia “can be modeled as early West Eurasian with an approximately 22% contribution from early East Asians.” ref

“Populations genetically similar to MA-1 were an important genetic contributor to Native AmericansEuropeansCentral AsiansSouth Asians, and some East Asian groups, in order of significance. Lazaridis et al. (2016:10) note “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” The ancient Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were found to have a noteworthy ANE component at ~50%.” ref

“According to Moreno-Mayar et al. 2018 between 14% and 38% of Native American ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal’ta–Buret’ people (ANE). This difference is caused by the penetration of posterior Siberian migrations into the Americas, with the lowest percentages of ANE ancestry found in Eskimos and Alaskan Natives, as these groups are the result of migrations into the Americas roughly 5,000 years ago.” ref 

“Estimates for ANE ancestry among first wave Native Americans show higher percentages, such as 42% for those belonging to the Andean region in South America. The other gene flow in Native Americans (the remainder of their ancestry) was of East Asian origin. Gene sequencing of another south-central Siberian people (Afontova Gora-2) dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures to that of Mal’ta boy-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.” ref

“The earliest known individual with a genetic mutation associated with blonde hair in modern Europeans is an Ancient North Eurasian female dating to around 16000 BCE from the Afontova Gora 3 site in Siberia. It has been suggested that their mythology may have included a narrative, found in both Indo-European and some Native American fables, in which a dog guards the path to the afterlife.” ref

“Genomic studies also indicate that the ANE component was introduced to Western Europe by people related to the Yamnaya culture, long after the Paleolithic. It is reported in modern-day Europeans (7%–25%), but not of Europeans before the Bronze Age. Additional ANE ancestry is found in European populations through paleolithic interactions with Eastern Hunter-Gatherers, which resulted in populations such as Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers.” ref

“The Ancient North Eurasians (ANE) split from the ancestors of European peoples somewhere in the Middle East or South-central Asia, and used a northern dispersal route through Central Asia into Northern Asia and Siberia. Genetic analyses show that all ANE samples (Afontova Gora 3, Mal’ta 1, and Yana-RHS) show evidence for minor gene flow from an East Asian-related group (simplified by the Amis, Han, or Tianyuan). In contrast, no evidence for ANE-related geneflow into East Asians (Amis, Han, Tianyuan), except the Ainu, was found.” ref

“Genetic data suggests that the ANE formed during the Terminal Upper-Paleolithic (36+-1,5ka) period from a deeply European-related population, which was once widespread in Northern Eurasia, and from an early East Asian-related group, which migrated northwards into Central Asia and Siberia, merging with this deeply European-related population. These population dynamics and constant northwards geneflow of East Asian-related ancestry would later gave rise to the “Ancestral Native Americans” and Paleosiberians, which replaced the ANE as dominant population of Siberia.” ref

Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) is a lineage derived predominantly (75%) from ANE. It is represented by two individuals from Karelia, one of Y-haplogroup R1a-M417, dated c. 8.4 kya, the other of Y-haplogroup J, dated c. 7.2 kya; and one individual from Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297, dated c. 7.6 kya. This lineage is closely related to the ANE sample from Afontova Gora, dated c. 18 kya. After the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and EHG lineages merged in Eastern Europe, accounting for early presence of ANE-derived ancestry in Mesolithic Europe. Evidence suggests that as Ancient North Eurasians migrated West from Eastern Siberia, they absorbed Western Hunter-Gatherers and other West Eurasian populations as well.” ref

Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) is represented by the Satsurblia individual dated ~13 kya (from the Satsurblia cave in Georgia), and carried 36% ANE-derived admixture. While the rest of their ancestry is derived from the Dzudzuana cave individual dated ~26 kya, which lacked ANE-admixture, Dzudzuana affinity in the Caucasus decreased with the arrival of ANE at ~13 kya Satsurblia.” ref

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG) is represented by several individuals buried at Motala, Sweden ca. 6000 BC. They were descended from Western Hunter-Gatherers who initially settled Scandinavia from the south, and later populations of EHG who entered Scandinavia from the north through the coast of Norway.” ref

“Iran Neolithic (Iran_N) individuals dated ~8.5 kya carried 50% ANE-derived admixture and 50% Dzudzuana-related admixture, marking them as different from other Near-Eastern and Anatolian Neolithics who didn’t have ANE admixture. Iran Neolithics were later replaced by Iran Chalcolithics, who were a mixture of Iran Neolithic and Near Eastern Levant Neolithic.” ref

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago. The AB lineage diverged from the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage about 20,000 years ago.” ref

“West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (WSHG) are a specific archaeogenetic lineage, first reported in a genetic study published in Science in September 2019. WSGs were found to be of about 30% EHG ancestry, 50% ANE ancestry, and 20% to 38% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) is the name given to a distinct ancestral component that represents descent closely related to the Yamnaya culture of the Pontic–Caspian steppe. This ancestry is often referred to as Yamnaya ancestry or Steppe ancestry.” ref

“Late Upper Paeolithic Lake Baikal – Ust’Kyakhta-3 (UKY) 14,050-13,770 BP were mixture of 30% ANE ancestry and 70% East Asian ancestry.” ref

“Lake Baikal Holocene – Baikal Eneolithic (Baikal_EN) and Baikal Early Bronze Age (Baikal_EBA) derived 6.4% to 20.1% ancestry from ANE, while rest of their ancestry was derived from East Asians. Fofonovo_EN near by Lake Baikal were mixture of 12-17% ANE ancestry and 83-87% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Hokkaido Jōmon people specifically refers to the Jōmon period population of Hokkaido in northernmost Japan. Though the Jōmon people themselves descended mainly from East Asian lineages, one study found an affinity between Hokkaido Jōmon with the Northern Eurasian Yana sample (an ANE-related group, related to Mal’ta), and suggest as an explanation the possibility of minor Yana gene flow into the Hokkaido Jōmon population (as well as other possibilities). A more recent study by Cooke et al. 2021, confirmed ANE-related geneflow among the Jōmon people, partially ancestral to the Ainu people. ANE ancestry among Jōmon people is estimated at 21%, however, there is a North to South cline within the Japanese archipelago, with the highest amount of ANE ancestry in Hokkaido and Tohoku.” ref


“MA-1 genetic affinities of Mal’ta–Buret’ culture.” ref


Mal’ta–Buret’ culture of Siberia near Lake Baikal

“The Mal’ta–Buret’ culture is an archaeological culture of c. 24,000 to 15,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk OblastSiberiaRussian Federation. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal’taUsolsky District, and Buret’Bokhansky District (both in Irkutsk Oblast). And a buried boy whose remains were found near Mal’ta is usually known by the abbreviation MA-1, remains have been dated to 24,000 years ago. According to research published since 2013, MA-1 belonged to a population related to the genetic ancestors of SiberiansAmerican Indians, and Bronze Age Yamnaya and Botai people of the Eurasian steppe. In particular, modern-day Native AmericansKetsMansi, and Selkup have been found to harbor a significant amount of ancestry related to MA-1.” ref

“MA-1 is the only known example of basal Y-DNA R* (R-M207*) – that is, the only member of haplogroup R* that did not belong to haplogroups R1R2, or secondary subclades of these. The mitochondrial DNA of MA-1 belonged to an unresolved subclade of haplogroup U. The term Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) has been given in genetic literature to an ancestral component that represents descent from the people similar to the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture or a population closely related to them. A people similar to MA1 and Afontova Gora were important genetic contributors to Native Americans, Siberians, Northeastern Europeans, Caucasians, Central Asians, with smaller contributions to Middle Easterners and some East Asians. Lazaridis et al. (2016) notes “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia.” MA1 is also related to two older Upper Paleolithic Siberian individuals found at the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site called Ancient North Siberians (ANS).” ref


Indo-Uralic (or Early PIE and Pre-Uralic near each other, for those who don’t support a genetic relationship of Indo-European and Uralic) must have been spoken in Eastern Europe before ca. 5000 BCE. The development of that loose community in Eastern Europe after the Palaeolithic-Mesolithic transition may have accompanied the formation of EHG ancestry, and thus potentially the westward expansion of haplogroup R1a-M17, the eastward expansion of haplogroup R1b-P297, or both. The spread of Elshanian pottery from the east, then the Middle Eastern Neolithisation wave spreading from the west, as well as the in situ formation of an early Khvalynsk – Sredni Stog cultural-historical community from an admixture with local cultures in the Pontic-Caspian steppe offers the most likely ethnolinguistic community to be associated with Indo-Uralic speakers.” ref

“The mutation for blond hair is thought to have originated among the Afontova Gora population of the Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) cline of south-central Siberia.” ref

The Arrival of Siberian Ancestry Connecting the Eastern Baltic to Uralic Speakers further East


  • Increase in hunter-gatherer ancestry in Bronze Age Eastern Baltic genomes

  • Genetic input from Siberia to the Eastern Baltic during the transition to Iron Age
  • Arrival of Siberian ancestry coincides with the proposed arrival of Uralic languages
  • Light eyes, hair, and skin and lactose tolerance become frequent in the Bronze Age” ref

In this study, we compare the genetic ancestry of individuals from two as yet genetically unstudied cultural traditions in Estonia in the context of available modern and ancient datasets: 15 from the Late Bronze Age stone-cist graves (1200–400 BCE) (EstBA) and 6 from the Pre-Roman Iron Age tarand cemeteries (800/500 BCE–50 CE) (EstIA). We also included 5 Pre-Roman to Roman Iron Age Ingrian (500 BCE–450 CE) (IngIA) and 7 Middle Age Estonian (1200–1600 CE) (EstMA) individuals to build a dataset for studying the demographic history of the northern parts of the Eastern Baltic from the earliest layer of Mesolithic to modern times. Our findings are consistent with EstBA receiving gene flow from regions with strong Western hunter-gatherer (WHG) affinities and EstIA from populations related to modern Siberians. The latter inference is in accordance with Y chromosome (chrY) distributions in present-day populations of the Eastern Baltic, as well as patterns of autosomal variation in the majority of the westernmost Uralic speakers. This ancestry reached the coasts of the Baltic Sea no later than the mid-first millennium BCE; i.e., in the same time window as the diversification of west Uralic (Finnic) languages. Furthermore, phenotypic traits often associated with modern Northern Europeans, like light eyes, hair, and skin, as well as lactose tolerance, can be traced back to the Bronze Age in the Eastern Baltic.” ref

“The Eastern Baltic has witnessed several population shifts since people reached its southern part during the Final Paleolithic ∼11,000–10,000 BCE and its northern part during the Mesolithic ∼9000 BCE. No genetic information is available from Paleolithic populations, but Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of the Kunda and Narva cultures were genetically most similar to Western hunter-gatherers (WHGs) widespread in Europe. A genetic shift toward Eastern hunter-gatherer (EHG) genetic ancestry occurred with the arrival of the Neolithic Comb Ceramic culture (CCC) people ∼3900 BCE. The Late Neolithic (LN) Corded Ware culture (CWC) people of Ponto-Caspian steppe origin brought farming into the Eastern Baltic ∼2800 BCE, contrary to most of Europe, where the Neolithic transition was mediated by Aegean early farmers. Human remains radiocarbon dated to the Early Bronze Age (ca. 1800–1200 BCE) are rare from this region, and no ancient DNA (aDNA) data are currently available. Genetic data from succeeding Bronze Age (BA) layers in Latvia and Lithuania indicate some genetic affinities with modern Eastern Baltic populations but also notable differences.” ref

“In this study, we present new genomic data from Estonian Late Bronze Age stone-cist graves (1200–400 BCE) (EstBA) and Pre-Roman Iron Age tarand cemeteries (800/500 BCE–50 CE) (EstIA). The cultural background of stone-cist graves indicates strong connections both to the west and the east. The Iron Age (IA) tarands have been proposed to mirror “houses of the dead” found among Uralic peoples of the Volga-Kama region. As this time window matches the proposed diversification period of western Uralic languages and the arrival of Proto-Finnic language in the Eastern Baltic from the east, our study considers linguistic, archaeological, and genetic data to inform on this. One of the most notable genetic features of Eastern Baltic populations is a high frequency of Y chromosome (chrY) haplogroup (hg) N3a (nomenclature of Karmin et al.), a characteristic shared mostly with Finno-Ugric-speaking groups in Europe and several populations all over Siberia. The rapid expansion of people carrying these lineages likely took place within the last 5,000 years, but their arrival time in the Eastern Baltic remains unresolved. The gene flow from Siberia to western-Uralic-speaking populations has also recently been inferred using autosomal data. However, available aDNA data have not revealed chrY hg N lineages in Eastern Baltic individuals.” ref


“To characterize the genetic ancestry of people from the so-far-unstudied cultural layers, we extracted DNA from the tooth roots of 56 individuals (Figure 1A; Table S1; STAR Methods). No individuals were included from later IA in Estonia because people were mostly cremated during that period. Individuals morphologically sexed as males were prioritized in sampling to make comparisons using autosomal and both sex chromosomes. We shotgun sequenced all samples and they formed 3 groups: (1) 15 with low endogenous DNA content and resulting coverage, which were excluded from further analyses; (2) 8 with sufficient mtDNA (and in some cases, chrY) coverage for determining hgs, but not for informative autosomal analyses; and (3) 33 that yielded sufficient autosomal data for informative analyses. The 33 individuals included 15 from EstBA, 6 from EstIA, 5 from Pre-Roman to Roman Iron Age Ingria (500 BCE–450 CE) (IngIA), and 7 from Middle Age Estonia (1200–1600 CE) (EstMA) and yielded endogenous DNA ∼4%–88%, average genomic coverages ∼0.017–0.734×, and contamination estimates <4% (Table S1). We analyzed the data in the context of modern and other ancient individuals, including from Neolithic Estonia.” ref

“We identified chrY hgs for 30 male individuals (Tables 1 and S2STAR Methods). All 16 successfully haplogrouped EstBA males belonged to hg R1a, showing no change from the CWC period, when this was also the only chrY lineage detected in the Eastern Baltic. Three EstIA and two IngIA individuals also belonged to hg R1a, but three EstIA males belonged to hg N3a, the earliest so far observed in the Eastern Baltic. Three EstMA individuals belonged to hg N3a, two to hg R1a, and one to hg J2b. ChrY lineages found in the Baltic Sea region before the CWC belong to hgs I, R1b, R1a5, and Q. Thus, it appears that these lineages were substantially replaced in the Eastern Baltic by hg R1a, most likely through steppe migrations from the east. Although we did not detect N3a chrYs in our BA sample, unlike in BA Fennoscandia, we cannot rule out its presence due to small sample size. However, the frequency should not exceed 0.17 with 95% and 0.25 with 99% confidence. The frequency of hg N3a was significantly higher in our IA than our BA group (Fisher’s exact test p value 0.013). Our results enable us to conclude that, although the expansion time for R1a1 and N3a3′5 in Eastern Europe is similar, hg N3a likely reached Estonia or at least became comparably frequent to modern Estonia only during the BA-IA transition.

“To assess whether the Eastern Eurasian influence indicated by chrY hg N3a is apparent elsewhere in the genome, we first applied principal-component analysis (PCA). We projected ancient genomes from previous studies (Table S3) and this study on two axes inferred using Estonian Biocenter Illumina genotyping array data (EBC-chipDB) of modern Western Eurasian individuals (Table S3) (Figure 1C). A clear shift toward West Eurasian hunter-gatherers is visible between European LN and BA (including Baltic CWC) and EstBA individuals, the latter clustering together with Latvian and Lithuanian BA individuals. EstIA, IngIA, and EstMA individuals project between BA individuals and modern Estonians, partially overlapping with both. We performed ADMIXTURE analysis by projecting aDNA data on worldwide EBC-chipDB modern data (Figures S1C and S1D; Table S3) and present results at K = 9 (Figures 1B, S1A, and S1B; STAR Methods). EstBA individuals are clearly distinguishable from Estonian CWC individuals as the former have more of the blue component most frequent in WHGs and less of the brown and yellow components maximized in Caucasus hunter-gatherers and modern Khanty, respectively. The individuals of EstBA, EstIA, IngIA, EstMA, and modern Estonia are quite similar to each other on average, indicating that the relatively high proportion of WHG ancestry in modern Eastern Baltic populations compared to other present-day Europeans traces back to the BA.” ref


“When comparing Estonian CWC and EstBA using autosomal outgroup f3 and Patterson’s D statistics (Table S3), the latter is more similar to other Baltic BA populations, to Baltic IA and Middle Age (MA) populations, and also to populations similar to WHGs and Scandinavian hunter-gatherers (SHGs), but not to Estonian CCC (Figures 2A and S2A; Data S1). The increase in WHG or SHG ancestry could be connected to western influences seen in material culture and facilitated by a decline in local population after the CCC-CWC period. A slight trend of bigger similarity of Estonian CWC to forest or steppe zone populations and of EstBA to European early farmer populations can also be seen. These differences remain when over 900,000 positions of the ‘1240k’ capture are used instead of ∼500,000 positions of the EBC-chipDB (Figure S2B; Data S1). When comparing to modern populations, Estonian CWC is slightly more similar to Caucasus individuals but EstBA to Baltic populations and Finnic speakers (Figure 2B; Data S1). Outgroup f3 and D statistics do not reveal apparent differences when comparing EstBA to EstIA, EstIA to IngIA, and EstIA to EstMA (Data S1). These results highlight how uniparental and autosomal data can lead to different demographic inferences—the genetic change between CWC and BA not seen in uniparental lineages is clear in autosomal data and the appearance of chrY hg N in the IA is not matched by a clear shift in autosomal profiles.” ref

“We imputed the genotypes of 37 phenotype informative SNVs from the HIrisPlex-S system, two from TLR1, and one from MCM6 gene and a 32-bp deletion (rs333) in the CCR5 gene for Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals from Latvia and Estonia and the individuals of this study. We inferred a sharp increase to >50% in the frequency of the lactase persistence variant (MCM6/rs4988235) in the Baltic area after the LN (Data S2), in line with previous indications of this variant becoming common in Europe in the last 4,000–3,500 years and of its fast increase in populations with steppe ancestry due to local adaptation. In contrast, the rs333, responsible for HIV resistance, which we first detect in a CWC individual, remains at 10%–25% frequency since then (Data S2), comparable to its present-day 14.8% frequency in Estonia. Both TLR1 variants involved in the protection against leprosy were already present in Europe at medium-high frequencies since the Mesolithic (Data S2). Notably, we infer a high proportion (40%–60%) of dark skin pigmentation in the hunter-gatherers and CWC farmers (Data S2). We infer dark skin and blue eyes for two individuals, similarly to another European Mesolithic individual. However, from BA onward, we infer pale or intermediate skin pigmentation for all individuals and an increase in the proportion of blue eyes and lighter shades of hair (Data S2). This is in line with previous suggestions that light skin pigmentation alleles reached high frequencies in Europe only recently.” ref



“We show that a component of possibly Siberian ancestry was added to the gene pool of the Eastern Baltic during the Bronze to Iron Age transition at the latest. This component is present in the autosomes and chrY of many northeastern European Uralic-speaking populations today but arrived in the Eastern Baltic probably later than 3,500 years ago (ya), when it reached Fennoscandia. Considering the archaeological context of the individuals, this seems to have followed the so-called southwestern route from the Volga-Ural region. Notably, the Bronze to Iron Age transition period also coincides with the hypothesized arrival of westernmost Uralic (Finnic) languages in the Eastern Baltic, supporting the idea that the spread of these languages was mediated by IA migrants from the east. The EstBA individuals of this study, as other Baltic BA individuals, display more WHG ancestry compared to both earlier CWC and modern Estonians. Interestingly, we do not detect this change in their uniparental lineages. However, half of the admittedly small EstIA sample and over one-third of modern Estonian men share a hg N3a chrY—common in other Uralic-speaking populations living much further east and not found in the Eastern Baltic earlier—although the autosomes of EstIA individuals only show 3%–5% Siberian ancestry on average. Furthermore, phenotypic characteristics often associated with modern Northern Europeans (light eyes, hair, and skin pigmentation, and lactose tolerance) can be traced back to the Bronze Age in the Eastern Baltic.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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“The shaman is, above all, a connecting figure, bridging several worlds for his people, traveling between this world, the underworld, and the heavens. He transforms himself into an animal and talks with ghosts, the dead, the deities, and the ancestors. He dies and revives. He brings back knowledge from the shadow realm, thus linking his people to the spirits and places which were once mythically accessible to all.–anthropologist Barbara Meyerhoff” ref

Possible diffusion pattern of N1a2a-F1101 in the past 9,000 years
“A bottleneck period of 5,000 years was observed early in the evolution of N1a2a-F1101. Similar lengthy bottleneck periods were observed in downstream structures of N1a2b-P43, N1a1-M46. Archaeologists have suggested that the elements may have spread from northern boundary of China through the Eurasian steppe.” ref

Early history between 9,300 and 4,400 years ago

“As the only two downstream clades of N1a2-L666, the geographical distribution of N1a2a-F1101 and N1a2b-P43 is very different from each other. Ancient DNA studies have identified early branches of N1a2a-F1101 and N1a2b-P43 in sites in the Baikal region (de Barros Damgaard et al., 2018; Kilinc et al., 2021; Ma et al., 2021). The most recent branch of N1a2-L666 is N1a1-M46, the main paternal type of the Uralic population (Ilumäe et al., 2016). The first two early branches under N1a1-M46, N1a1b-Y149447, and N1a1a3-F4065, are mainly distributed in northeast China (https://www.yfull.com/tree/N/) (Hu et al., 2015). Therefore, we speculate that the initial spread of haplogroup N1a2-L666 may have been in the southwestern part of northeastern China (Figure 3).ref

“The researchers proposed that this region is also the initial diffusion center of N1a1-M46, while the diffusion of N1a1-M46 (>12,000 years ago) happened earlier than that of N1a2-L666 (<9,300 years ago) (Hu et al., 2015). In the early Holocene (about 11,200-8,000 years ago), with climate change and the rise of early agricultural populations in northern China, a part of the descendants of the ancestor group, representing by sub-lineage N1a2b-P43, spread to the high latitude region of Siberia, eventually becoming part of the Ural-speaking populations. The other part, representing by sub-lineage N1a2a-F1101, remained in the local area and participated in the formation of the northern Chinese populations in the later historical period (Figure 3).ref

“A bottleneck period of 5,000 years was observed early in the evolution of N1a2a-F1101 (Figure 1Supplementary Table S1). Similar lengthy bottleneck periods were observed in downstream structures of N1a2b-P43, N1a1-M46, and Q1a1a-M120 (Ilumäe et al., 2016Sun et al., 2019). This evolutionary pattern is very different from the expansion pattern of ancient agricultural populations in East Asia, which continued to expand since the beginning of Neolithic age (Yan et al., 2014). The differentiation of the downstream clades of Q-M242 and N-231 presents a similar structure, i.e., downstream clades with high-frequency distribution both in East Asia and Siberia, respectively. Therefore, we speculate that in the bottleneck interval, ancient populations with Q1a1a-M120 and N1a2a-F1101 as the main paternal lineages are likely to exist in the form of prehistoric hunter-gatherer populations in the border between the eastern Eurasian steppe and the northern-northeastern China. The drought and harsh natural environment of this area had a great influence on the evolution of the two paternal lineages in later historical periods.” ref

Expansion during the chalcolithic age and bronze age

“During the Chalcolithic age (about 4.5 kya-4.0 kya) in East Asia, copper, cattle, and wheat were introduced to the East Asian heartland (Liu and Chen, 2003; Liu, 2004; Liu and Chen, 2017). Archaeologists have suggested that the elements may have spread from the northern boundary of China through the Eurasian steppe. However, the demographic context of this important cultural process is very ambiguous. Around 4,000 years ago, the Bronze culture arose in the agro-pastoral region of northwestern China and later spread across East Asia and Southeast Asia. The mixing of the bronze culture of agriculture and animal husbandry with the people of the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River contributed to the establishment of three dynasties of the Bronze Age in ancient China, namely the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties (Liu and Chen, 2003; Liu, 2004; Liu and Chen, 2017).ref

“As discussed above, ancient populations with Q1a1a-M120 and N1a2a-F1101 as the main paternal lineages may have played a mediating role in the spread of the Copper and Bronze cultures from the eastern Eurasian steppe to the central East Asian region, due to their area of activity in the junction zone. Due to the same reason, these two paternal lines experienced a very significant spread during the Bronze Age, becoming important patrilineal lineages that occupied an upper political position in the Bronze Age, and were frequently detected in the tombs of chiefs and nobles of the time (Zhao et al., 2014; Sun et al., 2019; Ma et al., 2021; Wei et al., 2022). An interesting thing is that the significant expansion of N1a2a-F1101 occurred after 3,300 years ago, significantly later than the major expansion period of Q1a1a-M120 (4.2 kya-3 kya, Figure 1).ref

“Nevertheless, several downstream clades of Q1a1a-M120, like F4759 and F4689, exhibit simultaneous expansion with N1a2a1a1a1a1-F710 (Sun et al., 2019). Ancient DNA data suggest that these two paternal lineages were concentrated in ancient populations in northwest China, and co-occurred in some tombs (Zhao et al., 2014; Ma et al., 2021; Wei et al., 2022). These ancient DNA studies also suggest that N1a2a-F1101 is likely the paternal lineage of the royal family of the Zhou Dynasty, while Q1a1a-M120 is the main paternal lineage of the Rong-Di populations (Means “Barbarians” in ancient Chinese). Both paternal lineages became the main paternal component of the Chinese group in later generations. In conclusion, we speculate that Q1a1a-M120 and N1a2a-F1101 together constitute the main paternal lineages of the populations that worked as farmers and pastoralists in northwest China during the Copper-Bronze Age. They played a key role in the emergence of bronze culture, early states, and early civilizations in the central region of ancient China.ref

Bronze age globalization in East Asia

“As, discussed in the Introduction section, Bronze Age globalization has led to the mass replacement and mixing of populations in multiple parts of Eurasia (Allentoft et al., 2015). In East Asia, however, the situation is quite different. Ancient DNA shows that during the Copper-Bronze Age, the populations in the central East Asian region did not experience large-scale replacement, and the genetic components from Indo-Europeans are nearly absent. Based on previous literature and the results of this paper, we suggest that the Gobi Desert on the border between China and Mongolia may have hindered the spread of the Bronze culture and Indo-European-related populations. The hunter-gatherer communities that originally operated in the north and south of the Gobi Desert relied on their familiarity with the environment and long-distance material exchange networks to spread relevant cultural elements as intermediaries. In later historical periods, they became the main founders of the bronze culture populations in northwest China.ref

“These demographic histories led to the spread of Bronze culture into central East Asia as a form of cultural diffusion, unlike what happened in other parts of Eurasia during the Bronze Age period of globalization. In summary, we constructed a high-resolution phylogeny for Y-chromosome haplogroup N1a2a-F1101, one of the main paternal lineages of modern Chinese. We explored the demographic of this paternal haplogroup in the past 9,000 years. We also discussed the activity of ancient populations with this lineage and their role during the appearance of Bronze Age culture, the formation of early state and early civilizations in the central region of China. The newly-discovered sub-branches and variants will assist in exploring the formation process of gene pool of Chinese populations and their cultural traditions.ref

I’ve stumbled on Greatness

“I’ll try to keep this short, in my search for information on the Sami peoples, I stumbled upon you and your site. The unbiased viewpoints you offer about prehistory astounds me, a mere young adult who too has been abused in some form or matter. The information you offer is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the fanatics I have stumbled on in my search for “answers”. I’ve come to denote that you are the most conscious person I’ve stumbled upon, and that has piqued my interest in the need to ask you a few questions in hopes that you might be able to offer some clarity in matters that I can’t find on your website. One being the Gnostics and all the sects contained under that umbrella term, although it may be a part of history, the eradication of their peoples and text makes it very difficult to grasp the information contained within since it is an assimilation of the mythologies from the prehistory Greek thinking, Greek/Roman mythology, and the Egyptians mythology. Although I’m not religious, something drew me to that certain topic, and I cannot stop my searching. Since I plan to stay updated with your website, I humbly ask, could you look into the information and provide your viewpoints on what you think of it. at your own leisure, and create a post for it? If that is not possible, no worries, just know I truly enjoy the content you provide, and I know I have lots to catch up on. Hope you are well, and I hope you continue with the work you are doing. Thank you for everything, and all to come.” – Collin M (Ram of Khaos) (From an email)

My response, Hi Collin, I appreciate your kind acknowledgments and support. I focus on mainly prehistory from 1 million to 4,000 years ago, I am less educated on more modern stuff. I am only somewhat aware of the Gnostics, and as such I am not able to offer much but can see how their mythologies seem to adapt older mythologies into their faith. This is not uncommon in religious moments, in general. Thanks, Damien

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.” http://anchor.fm/skepticalleft

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

“Animism” is needed to begin supernatural thinking.
“Totemism” is needed for supernatural thinking connecting human actions & related to clan/tribe.
“Shamanism” is needed for supernatural thinking to be controllable/changeable by special persons.
Together = Gods/paganism

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

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