The Oera Linda Book
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The Oera Linda Book

Universal Law

1. All free-born, men are equal, wherefore they must all have equal rights on sea and land, and on all that Wr-alda has given.

2. Every man may seek the wife of his choice, and every woman may bestow her hand on him whom she loves.

3. When a man takes a wife, a house and yard must be given to him, If there is none, one must be built for him.

4. If he has taken a wife in another village, and wishes to remain, they must give him a house there, and likewise the free use of the common.

5. To every man must be given a piece of land behind his house. No man shall have land in front of his house, still less an enclosure, unless he bas performed some public service. In such a case it may be given, and the youngest son may inherit it, but after him it returns to the community.

6. Every village shall possess a common for the general good, and the chief of the village shall take care that it is kept in good order, so that posterity shall find it uninjured.

7. Every village shall have a market-place. All the rest of the land shall be for tillage and forest. No one shall fell trees without the consent of the community, or without the knowledge of the forester; for the forests are general property, and no man can appropriate them.

8. The market charges shall not exceed one-twelfth of the value of the goods either to natives or strangers. The portion taken for the charges shall not be sold before the other goods. 1

9. All the market receipts must be divided yearly into a hundred parts three days before the Juul-day.

10. The Grevetman and his council shall take twenty parts; the keeper of the market ten, and his assistants five; the Volksmoeder one, the midwife four, the village ten, and the poor and infirm shall have fifty parts.

11. There shall be no usurers in the market.

If any should come, it will be the duty of the maidens to make it known through the whole land, in order that such people may not be chosen for any office, because they are hard-hearted.

For the sake of money they would betray everybody—the people, the mother, their nearest relations, and even their own selves.

12. If any man should attempt to sell diseased cattle or damaged goods for sound, the market-keeper shall expel him, and the maidens shall proclaim him through the country.

In early times almost all the Finns lived together in their native land, which was called Aldland, and is now submerged. They were thus far away, and we had no wars. When they were driven hitherwards, and appeared as robbers, then arose the necessity of defending ourselves, and we had armies, kings, and wars.

For all this there were established regulations, and out of the regulations came fixed laws.

1 The market dues were paid in kind.