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Name origin of Imandra lake

Currently there is no reliable data from where Imandra lake name came from. There are several theories of its origin. Famous geographer Nikoly Poppe believed that name of the lake coined from word «Imatra» as it has the same root. Probably the name is of really ancient origin as indigenous Lappish people called lake «Aiverjavr» but it is not used anymore. Although local people claim that «Aiver’» is not of Lappish origin as there is no such word now in their language.

Name origin of Imandra lake

But it is entirely possible that the word has ancient Lappish roots which history hasn’t survived till present days. There I a popular belief that initially the name spelled as «Avv’-eur’» that means open lake. In Finalnd some maps of early 20 century, e.g., SuomenJleiskarten map of 1901 shows Imantero lake but the western part of it called «Akilaiwer» - present Babinskaya Imandra.

Based on opinion of Vasilyev S.B. primarily the lake was named Innmandera. Prefix «Inn» in Lappish means ice, «mandera» - continent. Thus name meant ice continent. Later due to Russian settlers the name has been modified for better spelling and remained till nowadays. This hypothesis is most probable as the lake for Lappish people had a large transport importance, in particular, during winter time.

One more theory of A. Kazakov relates Imandra lake name with local people Saami. They called in such a way lake waters of large sizes, with rugged shore line, numerous islands and many of parallel oriented bays.

There is also a legend related to lake name origin. It says that some day a hunter lived near the shore of small lake. He had a daughter Imandra. The girl was beautiful, of high tinkle of laughter that reflected in the sleepy mountains. The father taught his daughter to hunt, the girl was skillful. On the other mountain slope lived a young man. He was also a hunter and one day he heard the laughter of Imandra. He followed the nice sounds and saw a beautiful young girl.

Her beauty stroke him, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. He forgot that he was in the mountains with large lins and continued his travel and got into gorge. Imandra asked the gods to make him alive but there were no answer. Young girl often came to that place and cried. Once Imandra saw changes in the rock where she recognized the features of her beloved but it was only stone. She was filled with despair and she jump from the cliff to the lake. At that moment the water made way and the lake became huge.

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