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the name and self-designation of the descendants of early Russian settlers (mainly from Novgorod) who colonized the southwestern and southeastern (Letnii) shores of the White Sea from the 12th century to the early 18th. The term “Pomory” is sometimes also applied to the Russian population of the entire coast of the White and Barents seas. This group includes settlers from the Pomor’e and Letnii shores of the White Sea, as well as settlers from other areas of Russia, where migration began in the 16th century and continued for a relatively long period.
From the earliest times, the Pomory engaged in maritime industries (fishing, hunting sea animals), as well as in commercial navigation and shipbuilding. In their sailing ships (lad’i, kochi, and kochmary) they visited remote polar islands, and they were the first to reach Svalbard (Spitsbergen). They had a progressive influence on the development of the local northern peoples (the Karelians, Lapps, and Nentsy). The Pomory spoke northern dialects, and their culture (architecture, clothing, and customs) was typical of the Russian north. Byliny (epic folk songs) are common in their oral folk tradition.