Provincial symbols of Satakunta

Where does the name Satakunta come from? According to the most widely accepted view, the name Satakunta is the Finnish equivalent of “hundari”, a concept known throughout the Germanic world. It refers to a sizable residential area that was able to supply a troop of a hundred men – or several troops – for warfare. In other words, the name Satakunta refers to the strong historical roots of the province.

Historical province

Satakunta is founded in a historical province that was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1331. This mention was included in the ecclesiastical records of Turku Cathedral, or Registrum ecclesiae Aboensis (REA), which is a compilation of medieval sources from Finland. Satakunta is mentioned in the 63rd issue of the REA. In the issue, a man from Närpiö announced that he had pledged farms in Piikkiö to the Bishop of Turku, and his letter was confirmed with the seal of Satakunta, as the man had no personal seal.  The letter was dated January 1331.

 

The Satakunta coat of arms

The provincial coat of arms is the official and most important symbol of Satakunta. The coat of arms of the historical province of Satakunta is included in the coat of arms that Gustav I of Sweden issued to his son John Duke in 1557. The colours of the province, blue and yellow, come from the coat of arms. They became the official colours of Sweden when John Duke became John III of Sweden in 1569.

In the Satakunta coat of arms, a black bear is standing up, holding a silver sword with a golden hilt. Standing against a blue and yellow background, the bear is wearing a golden crown and red pieces of equipment. The background has a seven-pointed star in the upper-right and upper-left hand corners. Crown: crown of the duchy.

Anthem of Satakunta

Kauas missä katse kantaa yli peltojen,
missä kaartaa taivon rantaa salo sininen,
siellä Satakunnan kansa tyynnä kyntää aurallansa maata isien.

Täällä muinoin töin ja toimin raatoi rauhan mies,
luonnon voitti loitsuvoimin, synnyt syvät ties.
Kasvun kotipelto kantoi, raatajalle onnen antoi lämmin kotilies.

Koska Suomen viljelystä uhkaa sorron yö,
häätämään käy hävitystä täällä kansan työ.
Nousee Satakunnan kansa, entisellä voimallansa karhun kämmen lyö.

First performance in 1912. Became the anthem of the region in 1948. Composed by Aksel Törnudd, lyrics by Aino Voipio.

Provincial bird: Eurasian blue tit

The energetic blue tit is yellow and blue, which are the colours of Satakunta. Its song is a clear, high-pitched warble. The Eurasian blue tit thrives in lush hardwood forests and mixed forests and occurs in relatively high numbers in the Satakunta region.

© Tuomas Heinonen

Provincial flower: sea-buckthorn

Sea-buckthorn is highly valued because of its aromatic taste and the high vitamin content of its berries. It is a thorny bush with silvery leaves that produces orange berries. Sea-buckthorn thrives in open areas with ample light. This picture was taken in Oura in Merikarvia.

Provincial lake: Pyhäjärvi lake in Säkylä

Located in the regions of Satakunta and Finland Proper, Pyhäjärvi lake is part of the Eura river and lake system. With its area of 155.2 square kilometres, it is the 29th largest lake in Finland. Its average depth is 5.5 metres, and its deepest point is 26 metres. The lake has 99 islands. Because of the low number of islands, Pyhäjärvi lake is considered to have the second largest open lake area in Finland. Legend has it that the largest pike in the history of Finland was caught in Pyhäjärvi lake in 1905. The pike weighed 25.5 kilos. It was caught in Evänkari with a hunting rifle.

© Tuomo Hurme

Provincial fish: European river lamprey

The European river lamprey is not actually a fish. It belongs to a superclass of round-mouthed jawless vertebrates. It spends the first four or five years of its life as a larva in a river. After that, an adult European river lamprey lives for one to three years in the sea. In the autumn, they migrate to rivers to spawn. European river lamprey is usually eaten smoked or chargrilled.

Provincial animal: Eurasian beaver

The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is a species native to Europe. Around 1,000 Eurasian beavers live in Finland, mostly in freshwater areas in Satakunta. The Eurasian beaver favours still or slow-flowing water areas, but can also live in populated regions. It can grow to be more than one metre long and can weigh 15–25 kilos, or even more.

© Vesa-Kalervo Ekholm

Provincial stone: sandstone

The Satakunta sandstone formation is located in a rift where numerous rivers accumulated layers of sand, gravel and clay more than 1,300 years ago. Over time, these layers turned into red sandstone and claystone. The sandstone formation runs from the Bothnian Sea to Reposaari, Pori and Luvia, along the Kokemäki River to Harjavalta and from there toward Eura, Säkylä and Yläne. Luvia Church was built from sandstone.

© Marko Mikkola

Provincial costumes

The Satakunta women’s costume was introduced at Pori Old Town Hall on 18 June 1997, and the men’s costume was introduced at the Emil Cedercreutz Museum on 8 June 1999. The Satakunta provincial costume is the only provincial costume in Finland. Its main colours are red and white. The men’s costume includes dark trousers and a hat with a brim.

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