Municipality and administration

Information about Muonio

The municipality of Muonio is located along the Muonionjoki in Fell Lapland. Nature is very diverse with fells, dangers, ridges and numerous waters. For thousands of years, Muonio has been located along important traffic routes. Artifacts from a residence dating back 7,000 years have been found in the municipality's territory, the oldest known prehistoric residence on the shores of Lake Nivunkijärvi.


Muonionniska is thought to have been named after its many rapids or a resident named Muoni; however, it is likely that the name comes from the Sami language. The first mention can be found in documents from the middle of the 16th century and a map of Sweden from the 17th century: Monanisk kyla, Mononiske, Muniosuij.


There have been Sámi settlements in almost the entire area of present-day Finland, but the Lapps had to slowly retreat from the path of resettlement. At that time, the border between the permanent settlement and the Lapland villages was defined. The transfer of the Lapinraja in 1584 from Sorva, which is located north of Pello, to Sonkamuotka, also enabled resettlement in the Muonionjokilaakso; Muonionniska became the northernmost new settlement in the interior.


Olli Ollinpoika Tulkki is probably the first peasant who settled here permanently, but the first settler was Tapani Klaunpoika Ähkynen (Ähkyinen) or his son Klaus. Tulkki settled in Muonionniska probably in 1575 on his family's fishing grounds, and in 1617, Ähkyinen founded the first tax house recorded in the land register at the mouth of Utkujoki at Tulkki's old fishing spot.


At that time, the congregation took care of many tasks that are now the responsibility of the municipality. In 1865, a decree was issued on the organization of municipal administration in the country, which was implemented in Muonionniska from the beginning of 1874, and the State Council decided in 1923 to change the name of the parish and the municipality to Muonio. The first actual office premises were rented by the municipality in 1943, and in June 1950 it was possible to move to the new municipal building.


The Sami history of Muonio and the Äkäslompolo area has been explained in the Vellikaara Vettasia (fi) publication, and Muonio's settlement history has been studied by e.g. Olavi Anttila, Erkki Kitkiöjoki and Martti Vuollo.

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