Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Located in the Baltic, Estonia was a part of the Russian Empire until it gained its independence in 1920. Occupied by the Russians, then the Germans, then again by the Russians, it was incorporated into the Soviet Union, only becoming independent again in 1991. With the majority of the population speaking Estonian, a language unrelated to others in the region, it has not been as heavily influenced by the Russians and Germans as other countries in the region. Culturally aligned to Scandinavia, many of the pastimes ofearly medieval Estonians had much in common with those of the Vikings. Many games involved practicing for prowess in battle such as axe-throwing, chopping wood, archery, running along ...