Votes: Wikis


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Regions with significant populations
 Russia 73 (2002) [1]
 Estonia 9 (2000) [2]

Votic, Russian



Related ethnic groups

other Finnic peoples

Votes are people of Votia in Ingria, part of modern day northwestern Russia with is roughly southwest of Saint Petersburg,and east of the Estonian border-town of Narva. Their own ethnic name is Vadjalain (plural: Vadjalaizõt). The Finno-Ugric Votic language spoken by Votes is close to extinction. Votians were one of the founding people of Veliky Novgorod. The Votic language is still spoken in three villages of historical Votia, these are Jõgõperä (Krakolje) Liivtšülä (Peski), Luuditsa (Lužitsõ)[3] and an unknown number of fluent Votic speakers in the countryside. There are concerns to protect and desire to revive the Votic language from extinction.[citation needed]



Votic Coat of Arms in village of Luzhitsy, based on flag design by Aleksander Gurinov

Votes are the oldest known ethnic group in Ingria. They are probably descended from Iron-age population of north-eastern Estonia and western Ingria. Some scientists claim that they were tribe of Estonians, who became different peoples because of isolation from other Estonians. It is speculated that ancien Estonian county of Vaiga got it's name from Votians[3] . The Kylfings, a people active in Northern Europe during the Viking Age, may have been Votes. First mentions of Votes in literature are from middle-age Russian sources, where Votes are referred with name Voď. They were also called Chudes, and the Lake Peipsi-Pihkva near Votian homelands is called Tšudsko ozero in Russian, wich means "Lake of Chudes". Eventually Votes became part of Novgorod Republic.[4]

In 17th Century Sweden controlled Ingria and there were attempts to convert local Orthodoxes to Lutheran faith, this caused some of the Orthodox population to migrate elsewhere[5]. At the same time many Finnish peoples immigrated to Ingria. Religion separated the Lutheran Finns and Orthodox Izhorians and Votes, there weren't much intermarrying between these peoples. Votes mainly married other Votes, or Izhorians and Russians. They were also mostly trilingual in Votic, Izhoran and Russian.[4] In 1848, the number of Votes had been 5,148, (Ariste 1981: 78).[6] but in Russian census of 1926 there were only 705 left. From early 20th Centry on, the Votic language no longer passed to next generations.[4] During the World War 2, most Votes were evacuated to Finland along with Finnish Ingrians, but were returned to Soviet Union later.[7]

As a distinct people, Votes have become practically extinct after Stalinist dispersion to Soviet provinces far away — as 'punishment' for alleged disloyalty and cowardice during World War II. Expels were allowed to return in 1956 only to find their old homes already occupied by Russians[7]. In 1989, there were still 62 known Votes left, the youngest of whom having been born in 1930. In Russian census of 2002 there were 73 self-declared Votes. Of them 12 lived in St. Petersburg, 12 in Leningrad Oblast and 10 in Moscow. In 2008 Votes were added to list of Indigenous peoples of Russia, granting them some support to preserving their culture[8]. There has been some conflicts with Votic villagers and foresters, and in 2001 Votic museum was burned in village of Lužitsõ.[9] Another possible problem is port wich is being constructed to Ust-Luga. It is been planned that some 35,000 peoples would move there, just next to historic Votic and Izhoran villages.[10]

Votes in Latvia

Bauska Castle, built by Votic prisioners of war in 15th century

The Votes in Latvia were called krieviņi in Latvian, the word comes from word krievs, wich means "Russian". The historical sources inform that about 1445 the Livonian Order captured many people in Ingermanland during their attack there in 1444–1447, and moved them to Bauska, where a workforce was needed to built a castle. It is estimated that some 3000 peoples were transferred there. After the castle was built, the Votes did not go back, but were settled in the vicinities of Bauska and became farmers. Gradually, they forgot their own language and customs and were assimilated by the neighboring Latvians.[4] First mention of them in literature is from year 1636. First "modern" scientist to study them was Finnish Anders Johan Sjögren, but the first person to connect them with votes was Ferdinand Johan Wiedemann in 1872.[11] Latvian poet Jānis Rainis had some Votic roots.[12]


Historically most Votes were farmers. Slash and burn (sardo) was practiced until early 20th century. Most important livestock were cattle, horse and goose. Some got their living from fishing as well. Many primitive fishing habits survived a long time in Votic communities, such as fishing with club or spear. Seine fishing was practiced during the winter. Votians formed seine groups (artelli) and made fishing trips as far as Finnish outer islands like Seskar. During the trip the fishermen lived in wooden sled (pudka).[4] Hunting was never important source of income, because local nobility had reserved right to hunt to themselves. Since St. Petersburg was so close to Votic homelands, many of the Votes went working there. Men worked in factories and women as servants. This contributed to fast demise of Votic culture.[4]

Votes were quite poorly educated, and there is only one known Votic person, Dimitri Tsvetkov, to have ever attended and graduated from University. Ancient Votic religion is not known well, but it is assumed that it was similar to other Finnic-beliefs.[4]


  1. ^ Russian Census of 2002
  2. ^ Population of Estonia by ethnic nationality, mother tongue and citizenship
  3. ^ a b Eesti Rahva Muuseum: Vadjalased (Estonian)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Toivo Vuorela: Suomensukuiset kansat, Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 1960 (Finnish)
  5. ^ Mika Sivonen, Me inkerikot, vatjalaiset ja karjalaiset" - Uskonnollinen integrointi ja ortodoksisen vähemmistön identiteetin rakentuminen Ruotsin Inkerissä 1680-1702 (Finnish)
  6. ^ Paul Ariste 1981. Keelekontaktid. Tallinn: Valgus. [pt. 2.6. Kolme läänemere keele hääbumine lk. 76 - 82] (Estonian)
  7. ^ a b The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
  8. ^ Inkeri: Kantakansojen päivillä pohdittiin vatjalaisten ja inkerikkojen tulevaisuutta, (Finnish)
  9. ^ Vaikuttava Tietotoimisto: Sukukansojamme kohdanneet onnettomuudet (Finnish)
  10. ^ Laukaansuun suursatama uhkaa inkerois- ja vatjalaiskyliä (Finnish)
  11. ^ Marjo Mela ja Lembit Valba: Latvian historiaa ja kulttuuria. Rozentāls-seura. ISBN 951-986-71-1-2 (Finnish)
  12. ^ Ethnicity of the Latvian Vots - The Krieviņi

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to votes article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also votés





  1. plural of vote (formalised choice on administration or other democratic activities)



  1. third person singular of vote





  1. Plural form of vote.



  1. Second-person singular present indicative of voter.
  2. Second-person singular present subjunctive of voter.




votes (infinitive: votar)

  1. informal second-person singular () negative imperative form of votar.
  2. informal second-person singular () present subjunctive form of votar.

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