Skolt Sami Reciprocity and Actions of State Administration

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This report explores reciprocity and some other cultural features in the Sevettijärvi Skolt Sami reindeer herding community in Northern Finland and the community’s relationship to state administration. Altogether 19 positive forms of reciprocity were found. Work groups of several households who base their work relationships on balanced reciprocity and equality were shrinking in reindeer separations, and work groups of one main household were becoming more common. Even though reciprocity is still largely based on kinship, the meaning of non-kin reciprocity has slightly grown. In the culture of the community, both traditional and modern features support production. Moreover, additional sources of livelihood played an important part as well as owners of small individual reindeer herds. The state’s subsidy policy has supported the centralization of reindeer ownership and the state’s predator policy has reinforced growth in the number of predators. Most of the Sevettijärvi reindeer herders were critical about these policy aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalSuomen antropologi
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Social and cultural anthropology

Field of science

  • Social anthropology

Citation for this output