Faroese people

Faroese people

Ethnic group
| group = Faroese

poptime = 80,000 - 90,000
region1 = flagcountry|Faroe Islands
pop1 = 48,322
ref1 = [ [http://www.hagstova.fo/portal/page?_pageid=33,316936&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Statistics Faroe Islands] , 2007]
region2 = flagcountry|Denmark
pop2 = 21,687
ref2 = [http://politiken.dk/indland/article166953.ece Politiken] , 2006 (newspaper written in Danish)]
region3 = flagcountry|Norway
pop3 = 500~1000
region4 = flagcountry|Iceland
pop4 = 500
langs = Faroese, Danish
rels = Lutheranism
related = Danes, Norwegians, Icelanders, Swedes, Scottish, and Irish

The Faroese or Faroe Islanders ("Føroyingar") are the people of the Faroe Islands in Northern Europe of Norse and Celtic origins. [ Highly discrepant proportions of female and male Scandinavian and British Isles ancestry within the isolated population of the Faroe Islands, http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v14/n4/full/5201578a.html, Thomas D Als, Tove H Jorgensen, Anders D Børglum, Peter A Petersen, Ole Mors and August G Wang, 25 January 2006] About 21.000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries. Particularly in Denmark, Iceland and Norway.

The Faroese language is a West Nordic language, closely related to Icelandic, and more distantly to western Norwegian dialects.


A viking colonization took place in the 9th century. Little is known about this period, thus giving room for speculation. A single source mentiones early settlement, The Icelandic Færeyinga Saga. It was written somewhere around 1200, and it explaines accordings taking place about 300 years earlier. According to the saga, many objected the Norwegian king´s unification politics and thus fled to other countries, including the new found places in the west.

Historians have understood from the beginning of Færeyinga Saga that the viking Grímur Kamban was the first settler in the Faroes. The Norwegians who fled must have known about the isles before leaving Norway. If Grímur Kamban settled some time earlier, this could explain the Norwegians knowing about them.

While Grímur is a Norse first name, Kamban indicates a Celtic origin. Thus he could have been a man from Ireland, Western Isles or Isle of Man, where the vikings had already settlements.Some place names from the oldest settlements on the Faroes imply that some of the settlers perhaps came from the Scottish islands and the British coast.

DNA analyses revealed that Y chromosomes, tracing male descent, are 87% Scandinavian. [The origin of the isolated population of the Faroe Islands investigated using Y chromosomal markers, http://www.springerlink.com/content/4yuhf5m7a22gc4qm/, Tove H. Jorgensen, Henriette N. Buttenschön, August G. Wang, Thomas D. Als, Anders D. Børglum and Henrik Ewald1, April 8 2004.] While mitochondrial DNA, tracing female descent, is 84% Scottish / Irish. [ Wang, C. August. 2006. Ílegur og Føroya Søga. In: "Frøði" pp.20-23]

= See also =
* List of Faroese people
* Demographics of the Faroe Islands
* Culture of the Faroe Islands
* Flag of the Faroe Islands
* Faroese American


Further reading

* Arge, Símun, Guðrun Sveinbjarnardóttir, Kevin Edwards, and Paul Buckland. 2005. "Viking and Medieval Settlement in the Faroes: People, Place and Environment". "Human Ecology". 33, no. 5: 597-620.

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