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Votia (Russia)

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by valentin poposki
Keywords: vaððamaa | vod | votia | votic | cross: arrow pointed | gurinov (aleksandr) | efimov (sergeĭ) | efimova (tatâna) | zernov (vladimir) | cross: scandinavian (green on blue) | valoczy ferenc |
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Vaððamaa / Ваддьамаа | Vaddhamaa

Votian flag
image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 22 Feb 2008
See also: External links:
  • Virtual Votia
  • Vatland.RU, with much detailed informations about the Votes and their culture, but in the Russian language only.
    reported by Chrystian Kretowicz, 22 Feb 2008

Description of the flag

The Votic symbols, flag and coat of arms, were born on December 15, 2002 The designer: Aleksandr Gurinov — poet, artist. Consultants: Sergey Yefimov — co-founder of the Votic Museum in Luzhitsa, Tatyana Yefimova — co-founder of the Votic Museum in Luzhitsa, Vladimir Zernov — heraldist from Sankt Peterburg.
Explanation of symbols:

White Wedge
symbolizes the Land of the Votes - Vatland
Blue Triangles
waters of Lake Peipus (Paipsi Järv - Chudskoye Ozero) and the Gulf of Finland between which the Land of the Votes is located.
Red Cross
symbol of the memory of the ancestors, heroism in defense of their land, symbol of eternity, reminding us that the ties between the generations should never be broken, symbol of the unity of things material and spiritual. Since the ancient times the crosses were erected in the Votic villages around which the people would gather in prayer on the Holly days.

Source: Votic newspaper Maya Vyachi 2, Summer 2005 I do have 3 or 4 photographs of the coat of arms and flag being actually displayed in Votia.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 22 Feb 2008

Valoczy’s proposal (early 200ies)

Votian flag
image by Mikko Hämäläinen, 25 Aug 2000

This flag was designed by the renowned linguist and expert on ugro-finnic tongues (also a frequent FOTW contributor in the past). It spread all over the World — appeared on Wikipedia, Viktor Lomantsov’s pages and on numerous other websites concerned with the Votic people. This flag is of an outstanding design, reflecting precisely the ethnic status and the geographical characteristics of the land of the Votes). But, unfortunately, it was not accepted by the Votes themselves and they went ahead and designed their own flag, all by themselves.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 22 Feb 2008

This flag is completely unofficial. I designed this flag for use on the website Virtual Votia (and, hopefully, elsewhere…) along with an orthography for the unwritten language. The colour blue of the flag should be the same as on the Finnish flag (on which the Votian flag is based). The green comes from other Balto-Finnic flags — the Vepse, the Karelian, the Livonian.
Ferenc Valoczy, 23 Jun 2003

I noticed the similarity between the Vepsian flag and the Votian flag. I guess the East Karelian flag is influential, too.
Theory: If the East Karelian flag is well-known in the area, the green colour could have the local connotation of Finnic peoples. And in that case, the similarity of the various flags is more or less to be expected. After all, how many different flags can you make, if you must use a green field and a Scandinavian cross?
Contra: The Ingrian flag is yellow, red and blue, and our page on pan-finnic colours seems to be mostly about shades of blue…
Ole Andersen, 26 Aug 2000

What struck me with the Votian flag, was that it rather much looked like the Swedish flag, not only in design but also in one of the colours. If this is intentional or not, I don’t know.
Elias Granqvist, 26 Aug 2000

This image, as any other, is just one of a wide range of variation seen on many related sources.
António Martins, 16 Jun 2001


  • Southern group of the Baltic-Finnic languages
  • closest to Estonian
  • Population estimate: 62 (50% native speakers) 1989
  • Around mid XIX th Century they numbered ca. 6,000
  • several villages between Estonian border and Sankt Peterburg
  • presently only five villages have Votic population, (in the Kingissepp district of the Leningradskaya Oblast’ ): Kukkusi, Rajo, Jagopera, Liivchula & Luuditsa.
  • Estonian ethnographer Dr Paul Ariste done most to preserve Votic language and folklore in the last few years.
Soviet census stopped including Votics (as a separate ethnic group) in 1939 and almost managed to wipe them out completely. The people, who were the original settlers of the area, with the history going back to, at least XI Century, were declared summarily «enemies of the people» just because of ethnic ties and proximity to Finnish border and deported, scattered across 11 time-zones. Only Khrushchev allowed them to come back, but they found their homes taken by others, who didn’t even know of their existence. In the new Russia, people of good will, mainly from Estonia, Hungary and Finland were able to preserve the Votic language and whatever is remembered of folklore of the vanishing nation.
Chris Kretowicz, 08 May 2001

I checked the map on line and it seems that all the votic population is in Russian territory.
Dov Gutterman, 29 Aug 2000

The Votic people obviously lives in Ingria. What is the difference between the Ingrian and the Votic languages?
Elias Granqvist, 25 Aug 2000

Vote is the earliest of the Baltic-Finnic languages; Ingria’s variegated population has included also Ingrians, Estonians, and above all, Finns. Vote has almost died out; there remain a few tens of speakers, mostly elderly, the youngest being middle-aged. In the middle of the last [i.e., 19th] century there were still five thousand or so, but they have assimilated to the Ingrians, Finns and Estonians.
Lewis Nowitz, 25 Aug 2000,
quoting from Maailman kielet ja kielikunnat, by Jaakko Anhava

The Votian language is the most archaic of the Balto-Finnic languages. There is a dictionary of the Jõgõperä dialect available from the Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura in Helsinki (Lexica Societatis Fenno-Ugricae volume 25: “Vatjan Kielen Joenperän Murteen Sanasto”). There are a few other books available on Votian, notably Paul Ariste’s Grammar of the Votic Language (Uralic and Altaic Series volume 68, Indiana University). The language is basically the bridge between Estonian and Karelian, and has a very large number of borrowings from Russian, not only lexically but grammatically as well. Do not confuse Votes with Wotjak/Votyak, a name which refers to the Udmurts. In Russian, Votian is водьский, in Novgorod times they were called чуді.
Ferenc Valoczy, 23 Jun 2003

Remnants of the original Finnish population are the Ingers (Inkerikot) and the Woten [Votic] (Vaddjalaiset). The first (13.800), named by the Russians also Ishortsy, after the Ishora river, a tributary of the Newa, spread in olden days up to the southern end of Lake Ladoga; now they live spread along the coast between Oranienbaum [Lomonosov] and Narwa and south of that. The Woten (1000) live only in the municipality of Kattila near Narwa; before the immigration of the Ingers they ruled Ingtermanland and took part in the foundation of the Varinger-realm of Novgorod. Their language is archaic and forms the transition from Finnish and Karelic to Estonian; while the Ingers speak a Karelic dialect mixed with Russian elements. Both peoples used to be Lutheran, but are now members of the Russian Chrurch.
Jarig Bakker, 25 Aug 2000,
quoting from Die Völker Europas, by Georg Buschan, c. 1910