The name means Sheep Islands. They are islands in the North
Sea or North Atlantic mid-way between Denmark and Iceland, first
settled by Irish monks about 700 AD. The Vikings arrived about
800. The people became Christian again in 1000 when missionaries
came from Norway. They were a Norwegian province from 1035. Norway
itself was ruled by Denmark from 1380 and so were the islands.
From 1709 they were made part of the Danish kingdom. The local
parliament, Lagting, was reinstated in 1852 as a first step towards
Britain controlled the islands during world war two. In 1948
they gained self-government under Denmark. Their population was
44,800 in 1984. Their foreign affairs and defense are handled
by Denmark but otherwise they have internal self-government.
They are not members of the European Union.
Their language is closer to Icelandic than to Danish and shows
the features of ancient Norse.
Some of the islanders off the coasts of Britain, especially
on Shetland and Orkney, look to Faeroe as a possible model for