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The meaning of «kuhmo»

Kuhmo (known as Kuhmoniemi until 1937)[6] is a town and a municipality in Finland and is located at the south-eastern corner of the Kainuu region. The municipality has a population of 8,027 (31 March 2021)[2] and covers an area of 5,456.78 square kilometres (2,106.87 sq mi) of which 649.97 km2 (250.95 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 1.67 inhabitants per square kilometre (4.3/sq mi). It has a borderline of 120 kilometres (75 mi) with Russia (Finnish-Russian border). Neighbour towns are Hyrynsalmi, Lieksa, Nurmes, Ristijärvi, Sotkamo and Suomussalmi. A neighbour city across the Russian border is Kostomuksha. Vartius, one of the border crossing points between Finland and Russia, is located in northern Kuhmo.

Kuhmo´s eastern border is located at a drainage divider and town area belongs to drainage basin of Oulujärvi.

The first inhabitants arrived in Kuhmo after the last ice-age, around 8000 BCE. Proof of Stone Age habitation has been found around Ontojärvi and Lammasjärvi. Sami people inhabited Kuhmo area until migration from Karelia and Savonia pushed Sami people up north. The influence of Sami culture is still found in the placenames. Wide spreading water routes are known to have attracted hunters, raiders, merchants and tax collectors since the 9th century.

In the Treaty of Nöteborg, the settlement between Sweden and the Novgorod Republic on August 12, 1323, the Kuhmo area belonged to Novgorod. Yet hunters and tax collectors kept on penetrating to the area from west. Swedish interest was to push the border further east.

Permanent habitation settled to the area after Gustav I, king of Sweden, had promised tax relief to peasants who would move north. Almost all the habitation was destroyed in the Russo-Swedish war between 1570 and 1595. In the Treaty of Teusina, the region of Kuhmo was annexed into Sweden. In the following centuries, this area was continuously raided in a number of wars and quarrels.

In 1809, Finland was annexed from Sweden to the Russian Empire as the Grand Duchy of Finland. For merchants from Karelia and Russia, Kuhmo became a trade route and a place to sell their goods. As a memorial of those merchants, on the market of Kuhmo there stands the statue “Laukunkantaja” (in English, "The Bag Bearer"). In this era, Elias Lönnrot, compiler of the Finnish National Epic Kalevala made his poem-collecting trips via Kuhmo to Karelia. Lönnrot made some of the editing in Kuhmo. Reconstruction of the hut where he has staying can be seen in the Kalevala village. Publishing Kalevala in 1835 fueled birth of Karelianism, which became a major trend in culture spheres towards the end of 19th century. Akseli Gallen-Kallela, who is considered one of the founders of Karelianism, spent his honeymoon in Kuhmo. During their stay Gallen-Kallela painted some of his works at Lapinsalmi, lake Lentua. Scenery to lake Lentua based the background of the middle picture in his work Aino triptych.

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