The Votians in Estonia

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The Votians are one of the closest kindred nations of the Estonians and during the ancient times the Votic language could have even been considered the dialect of the Estonian.

No specific data exist on the scope and time of creation of the Votic settlement in the southern part of Alutaguse in Virumaa. The tumuli for burying the dead in Alutaguse were built from XI or Xii century up to the end of XIII century which are called the Votic-like tumuli due to the similarity with the tumuli found in Ingermanland. The direct relation of these tumuli with the Votian nation is not clear.

The origin of the name of Vaiga, i.e. Vaiamaa ancient parish has been also related to the Votians, but even when the name is related to the Votians, this does not mean that the Votians had surely lived on this area. The written sources mentioned that in 1215 a number of Votians migrated to the west due to the famine across River Narva.

On the photo: Votian-like tumuli in Jõuga, Alutaguse.


Aivar Kriiska, Andres Tvauri. Eesti muinasaeg. Avita 2002;
Jüri Viikberg. Eesti rahvaste raamat. Eesti entsüklopeediakirjastus: Tallinn 1999

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