Cultural Nature in Mid-Lappish Reindeer Herding Communities

Maria Lähteenmäki, Oona Ilmolahti, Outi Manninen, Sari Stark

Tutkimustuotokset: Kirjoitus kirjassa/raportissa/konferenssijulkaisussaLukuTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

33 Lataukset (Pure)


Our research task is to present and analyse features of the local human-nature and human-reindeer relations in the historical timespan of the twentieth century and in the context of cultural nature in the historical Forest Sámi area of Finnish Mid-Lapland. By cultural nature we refer to the different meanings and attributes groups and individuals give and have given to their surrounding natural environment with its fauna, flora, and waterways. The question is viewed through environmental changes and the meanings connected to reindeer roundups (corrals) and roundup places as an example of human-nature interaction. The reindeer roundups have historically been important social meeting places for subarctic communities, and the roundup events have traditionally been the highlight of the reindeer year. Our empirical focus lies in two reindeer herding cooperatives (Finn. paliskunta), Sattasniemi and Oraniemi, geographically located in the middle of Finnish Lapland ‒ mainly in Sodankylä, and partly in Savukoski and Pelkosenniemi municipalities ‒ and the reindeer roundup processes in these cooperatives. Our key source data consists of archival material, such as the minutes and reports of the Reindeer Herders Association and Sattasniemi co-operative. We have also utilised regional, local and occupational newspapers and magazines from the 1920s to the 2010s. In order to reach the voices of the contemporary herder communities we conducted a Cultural Nature Survey from 22 February to 30 March 2021. In the course of the twentieth century, Mid-Lapland faced enormous environmental changes. Intensive forestry, energy production and the mining industry have physically altered the landscape and disturbed reindeer herding based on natural pasture rotation. Continuity of livelihood and way of life are worrying issues in the region. The feeling of not being heard or understood also affects communities’ nature and reindeer relationships. The more the surrounding natural and cultural environments have changed, the more the Mid-Lappish communities have tried to revitalise the ‘original’ nature-human-reindeer relationship and the nostalgic stories of dense forests, free waterways and untouched wilderness. The locals emphasise their ‘authentic’ Lappish lifestyle, at least in terms of reindeer herding. This endeavour can be regarded as cultural use of nature. The article was prepared in cooperation between the University of Lapland and the University of Eastern Finland. It is part of the HISTECO project (2019‒2023) funded by the Academy of Finland and led by Sari Stark.
OtsikkoGreen Development or Greenwashing?
AlaotsikkoEnvironmental Histories of Finland
ToimittajatViktor Pál, Tuomas Räsänen, Mikko Saikku
KustantajaThe White Horse Press
ISBN (elektroninen)978-1-912186-77-8
ISBN (painettu)978-1-912186-76-1
TilaJulkaistu - lokak. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA3 Vertaisarvioitu artikkeli kokoomateoksessa


  • Historia ja arkeologia


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