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Sami Raninen

In the Iron Age the winter was the time for hunting. Squirrels were killed with bows and arrows. Common otters were lurked for by unfrozen areas, because their fur is at its best in early winter. Wild reindeer and elks as well as lynx were hunted by crowds of hunters on skis. Black grouses were caught in the sleeping holes that they had dug in the snow and bears were slain in their lairs. Traps were also set for foxes and hares. Ringed seals were caught in the seal nets in early winter even though the best season for seal hunt was late winter. At that time ringed seals were lurked for on ice near their air holes and nesting holes in the Saaristomeri sea. In the Middle Ages hunting was not of great importance anymore except for sealing.

Fishing was also possible in winter. In January and February spawning were caught with traps and hooks placed under the ice on a river. People started to seine probably already in the Middle Ages which yielded large catches of Baltic herring. Fishing nets and seines had to be fixed in winter, too, so that they would be ready right in the beginning of spring.

Domestic animals were kept in outbuildings and they were fed with the feed gathered during the previous summer. There was usually a shortage of feed and its nutritive value was low. Therefore, the cattle suffered from undernourishment. Feeding the cattle was mainly a job for women.

At this time of the year thread for nets and fabrics was spun. Wood for building and other purposes was cut. It was easiest to bring the wood to the abode with a sleigh.


  • Vilkuna 1935.
  • Vilkuna 1990.
  • Vuorela 1975.


summer fall winter spring

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