GANANDER, Christfried

GANANDER, Christfried. Haapajärvi 21.11.1741 — Rantsila 17.2.1790. Finnish Clergyman, Folklorist and Lexicographer. Son of Rev. Thomas G. (d. 1751) and Helena Hidén. Studies at Turku (magister 1766). Ordained 1763. Worked as curate in Vaasa and Laihia. From 1775 until death vicar of Rantsila in Ostrobothnia. Married 1767 Magdalena Sinius (d. 1784) and 1787 Helena Elisabet Gutzén (d. 1833), ten sons and five daughters. Among his other scholarly interests he was the very first student of the Finnish Romani language. The glossary he collected in 1779 has disappeared, but the study of the origin, customs and language of Romanis brought him the silver medal of Swedish Vitterhets-Academien (but nevertheless remained unpublished).

Publications: Religious writings, practical manuals for farmers, smaller folkloristic publications.

Undersökning om De så kallade TATTARE eller Zigeuner, Cingari, Bohemiens, Deras härkomst, Lefnadssätt, språk m.m. Samt om, när och hwarest några satt sig ner i Swerige. Manuscript of 46 p. 1780, preserved in the archives of Vitterhets-Academien (analysis by Joki).

Mythologia Fennica eller Förklaring öfver De nomina propria de astrorum, idolorum, locorum, virorum &c. eller Afgudar och Afgudinnor, Forntidens Märkelige Personer, Offer och Offer-Ställen, Gamla Sedvänjor, Jättar, Troll, Skogs- Sjö- och Berg-Rån m. m. Som Förekomma i de äldre Finska Troll-Runor, Synnyt, Sanat, Sadut, Arvotuxet &c. samt än brukas och nämnas i daglige tal, til deras tjenst, som vela i grund förstå det finska språket, och hafva smak för finska historien och poësin, af gamla runor samlad och uttydd. 8+112 p. Åbo 1789, 2nd ed. 1822, facsimile ed. Helsinki 1960.

Nytt Finskt Lexicon. Manuscript of c. 2900 p. 1787, facsimile ed. Porvoo – Helsinki 1937-40 (Finnish-Swedish-Latin dictionary, 30,000 words).

Sources: A.J. Joki, “Kristfrid Gananderin mustalaistutkielma”, Virittäjä 60, 1956, 1-27, republ. in his Kaukomailta ja työkammioista. Castrenianumin toimitteita 29. Helsinki 1988, 35-62; *P. Meile, 1957. ”Un tsiganologue finnois du XVIIIe siècle”, Études tsiganes 3:2, 2–?; J. Vahtola, “Ganander, Christfried”, Suomen Kansallisbiografia 3, 2004, 171-173; Wikipedia (more in Finnish version).

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