Tver Karelia (Russian: Тверска́я Каре́лия; Karelian: Tverin Kariela) is a number of territories of the Tver Oblast, an area of compact settlement of the Tver Karelians.
Refugees from the Korelsky uyezd of the Vodskaya pyatina settled on the palace (state) lands of the Bezhetsk upper and other parts of the Bezhetskaya pyatina, which were deserted due to the turmoil and oppression of the Time of Troubles; historically, these territories made up Tver Karelia. By the beginning of the 20th century, the largest number of Tver Karelians lived in Bezhetsky, Vesyegonsky, Vyshnevolotsky, Novotorzhsky, partly in Tversky, Zubtsovsky, Kashinsky uyezds. According to the 1926 census, the Tver Karelians numbered 140,567 people, of which more than 95% spoke the Karelian language.
Karelian villages of the Tver oblast
In 1930, according to the statistical collection of the Moscow Oblast Executive Committee (at that time the eastern part of the former Tver province was part of the Moscow region), Karelians lived in the following districts: Vesyegonsky - 13017 people or 25.08% of the total population of the district, Krasnokholmsky - 4420 people or 7%, Lesnoy - 3152 or 14%, Likhoslavlsky - 23,035 - 56%, Maksatikhinsky - 28,895 people. - 45%, Molokovsky - 1552 people. - 2%, Rameshkovsky - 24550 people. - 45%, Sonkovsky - 4027 people. - 8%, Spirovsky - 11181 people. - 33%, Tolmachevsky - 24469 people. - 95%. In total there were 150 617 Karelians in the region in 1930.
According to the censuses in the Kalinin region, there were Karelians:
- 1970 - 38,064
- 1979 - 30 387
- 1989 - 23 169
According to the 2002 census, there were 14,633 Tver Karelians in the Tver oblast.
The resettlement of the Karelians to the Tver land was carried out by the Moscow government in an organized manner, the places intended for the settlement of the Karelians were examined in advance, it was indicated how many families could be settled. The Karelians settled mainly in the wastelands (that is, in the place of desolate villages), the original Russian names were usually retained. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, new villages (settlements) and farms appeared.
Karelian villages predominate in the Likhoslavl region, constituting a significant part in the Maksatikhinsky, Rameshkovsky, Spirovsky and Vesyegonsky districts. Now in most of them the population is mixed or Russian.
The largest Karelian settlements are: Tolmachi, Mikshino, Kozlovo, Alyoshino, Nikolskoe, Trestna. The town of Likhoslavl emerged on the site of the Karelian villages of Ostashkovo and Likhoslavl.
Fragment of the Ethnographic map of European Russia by Peter von Köppen
, 1851. Areas of settlement of the Karelians are highlighted (No. 14).
The formation of Tver Karelia is associated with the mass resettlement of Karelians from their original places of residence on the Karelian Isthmus and in the Northern Ladoga area to the empty palace lands of the Bezhetsk upper in the second half of the 16th — first quarter of the 18th centuries. Deprived of ties with their fellow tribesmen in Olonets and White Sea Karelia, Tver Karelians eventually separated into a separate subethnos of Karelians, speaking a special Tver dialect of the Karelian language.
Karelian National Okrug
Karelian National Okrug on the map of Kalinin Oblast (modern Tver Oblast)
On July 8, 1937, on the territory of the compact settlement of the Tver Karelians, the Karelian National Okrug was created, consisting of three already existing and two newly created districts: Likhoslavl, Novokarelsky, Rameshkovsky, Maksatikhinsky, Kozlovsky. The capital of the district was the city of Likhoslavl. During the first year of the Okrug's existence, many Karelian cultural and educational institutions were created, but on February 25, 1939, it ceased to exist, and many activists of the Karelian movement in the Tver region were repressed.
Tver national-cultural autonomy of Tver Karelians
In 1997, the Tver national-cultural autonomy of the Tver Karelians was formed, which is a public association of citizens of this nationality on the basis of voluntary self-organization in order to resolve issues of preserving identity, developing their native language, education, and national culture. Includes six regional and one urban cultural autonomy.
- Глинка Ф. Н., О древностях в Тверской Карелии. Извлеч. из писем Ф. Н. Глинки к П. И. Кеппену — 1836.