The exhibition tells the story of Finns who moved to uninhabited forests regions in Sweden and Norway in the late 1500s and 1600s to practice slash-and-burn farming. They maintained their unique culture and their own language amongst the native population for a long time. Later on, they melded into the main population.
The exhibition is based on items acquired for the National Museum of Finland by Astrid Reponen (M.A.) during a vocabulary collection trip in 1932. The objects have not been exhibited previously.
The exhibition tells the story of the residents of the 'Finn forests' (Finnskogar), the 'forest Finns' (in Swedish: skogsfinnar); why they left and what their life was like in their new home. In addition to the exhibits, visitors to the exhibition get to experience the old Finnish language spoken by the forest Finns, their Finnish-style place names and their beliefs and spiritual traditions.
The exhibition script has been written by linguist Paula Andersson from the University of Helsinki, name researcher and Associate Professor Emeritus Tuula Eskeland of the University of Copenhagenin in Denmark, scholar of religion and Adjunct Professor Marja-Liisa Keinänen of Stockholm University in Sweden and Curator Antti Metsänkylä from the National Museum of Finland.