Finnish Burn Beaters

Finns along the Delaware River in the 1600s were slash-and-burn agriculturalists, something apparently still practiced in 1893 in Finland, when this painting was executed:



They lived in rough log cabins in New Sweden, and soon after settling there they could be found dressed in animal skins instead of European clothing, and shod in deerskin moccasins. Bailyn claims the Finns had "a greater affinity to the culture of the native Americans then did any other Europeans in North America" (The Barbarous Years, p. 276), and that it was the Finns who were initially responsible for what we think of as the American frontier style of life.

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