Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lapps, a main division of the Baltic Finns [Finns], who are thinly spread over all the northern parts of Norway and Sweden, and north-west Russia (Kola Peninsula). The national name is Same, a dialectic variety of the Finnish Suomi, and occurring also in the national name of the kindred Samoyedes. But they are called Lapps (a word of unknown origin) by the Russians and Swedes, and Finns by the Norwegians, whence Finmarken, the name of the region occupied by them in Norway. According to their pursuits they are classed as Sea Lapps (fishers), Forest Lapps (hunters and trappers), Mountain Lapps (reindeer nomads), and River-Lapps (husbandmen settled on a few riverine tracts). Since the last century all have been Christians - Lutherans in Sweden and Norway, "orthodox Greeks" in Russia - and most of them are educated sufficiently to read and write their own language (a member of the Finnish-group), although little use is1 made of the accomplishinent. The fundamental type is distinctly Mongolic -- low stature (about 5 feet), highly brachycephalous (round) head, small slightly oblique black eyes, large mouth, small nose, long glossy black bair, broad flat features, yellowish complexion. The deviations from this type are due to contact with the surrounding Aryan (Teutonic and Slav) populations. Morally the Lapps are described as indolent and even lethargic, though subject to sudden fits of rage and religious excitement, cunning, spiteful, and of extremely coarse-habits. They are not dying out, as is commonly supposed, and have even increased by 2,000 or 3,000 during the present century, numbering at present about 26,000, of whom 16,000 are in Norway, 7,000 in Sweden, and 3,000 in Russia. The reindeer have also increased from about 100,000 head in the 17th century to over 400,000 in 1890. (E. Rae, The Laplanders, etc., 1875; A. H. Keane, The Lapps, 1885.)