This article combines views of economic and legal anthropology in its exploration of Skolt Sami reindeer ownership. The Skolt Sami culture and its key form of livelihood, reindeer herding, have adjusted to the modern industrial society fairly well so far, but it is getting more obvious that the aims and practices of a modern industrial economy endanger the continuity of Skolt Sami reindeer ownership. This article present accounts of Skolt Sami reindeer ownership in different time points, which indicates that we are witnessing a historical turning point in Skolt Sami culture. The centralization of reindeer ownership changes Skolt Sami culture in many ways, for example, by shrinking the traditional way of combining different forms of livelihood as a means of survival. The vulnerability of Skolt Sami reindeer herding has increased as a result of the changes. Therefore, this article develops questions and reasoning that could make it possible to increase the protection of Skolt Sami reindeer ownership. Anthropological researchers have stressed the importance of the social cultural whole of the community next to the economic features of culture. The emphasis on cultural continuity places sustainability before profitability in economic aims of reindeer husbandry.
- Kotieläintiede, maitotaloustiede