Human-Animal adaptations to the Arctic environment: natural and folk selection practices

Project Details


The Arctic Ark project studies animals’ adaptation to the Arctic as a complex human-environmental process. Old traditions of ‘folk selection’, rather than those implemented by institutions have been shaping Arctic animals’ valuable traits. Each of the ethnic groups studied in this project (Finns, Sámi, Nenets, Pomors, Russians, Sakha, Eveny) have myths and legends connected to orally transmitted narratives of domestication and selection of their animals.

This kind of cultural adaptation assistance is mostly due to symbiotic domesticity, an intimate human-animal partnership. As a result of natural and folk selection, reindeer and Arctic cattle and horse breeds show metabolic, morphological and reproductive adjustments.
Effective start/end date01.01.201531.12.2018


  • Research Council of Finland: €318,725.00


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