Rådjebalges/Gränsleden Guiding Course – Part 2

Here you are Johan ;>)

The second period was 1550 – 1860

At this time there were different groups of Sami living in Lapland, with different group names and identities (different styles and colours of clothing for example).  The Sami had developed their own legal system for dealing with disputes over land or Reindeer.

During this period the Sami started being taxed for the land they owned and payments were often in products rather than money.  Representatives from the Christian church were trying to convince the people to change from there own beliefs and religion to Christianity (they wrote about how dominant the women were in Sami culture and within the community) but at this time the Sami continued with their own religion, with some influence from Christianity.  Also at this time a Norwegian man called Thomas von Western began to educate the Sami.

When the borders were created between Sweden and Norway, the land was divided depending on whether the local Sami people were more Swedish or Norwegian and this in turn dictated the border line.  A new tax was also created called Lappa Skat or Sami Tax.  This tax was on the number of Reindeer owned.

The border running across the north of Sweden was created in 1751 and was defined by direction of water flow.

The third period was 1860 – 1980

During this period the Sami were viewed as people of lower value than white people.  More people from both Finland and the south of Norway and Sweden were now living in the area and from 1910 – 1940 the Sami people from the Karesuando area were being driven from there land moved into the Porjus/Ritsem area.  This led to some conflict as the two groups had different ways of herding, with the Karesuando Sami using a herd roaming system with less animals, compared with the local Sami who herded with more animals in their own specific areas for milking.

During this period the first hydro-electric damn in Sweden was built between Porjus and Ritsem, across the Lulea Alven, without consultation with the local people and it resulted in the water being raised 39 metres and much grazing land and settlements were lossed.

This combination of events made life very difficult for the local Sami.

From 1900 many Sami changed their religion to Christianity and were forced to give up some of their beliefs and traditions (as an example they were told if they yoiked/joiked it would bring very bad weather).

The final period is the time we are living in now and which I will be writing more about over the next few weeks, but if you would like to read more, take a look here; www.utexas.edu/courses/sami/diehtu/newera/gaski-newera.htm

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3 thoughts on “Rådjebalges/Gränsleden Guiding Course – Part 2

  1. Awesome information! Thank your for sharing! I have been reading from my phone through the email so I haven’t been able to comment! Very amazing life you have up there!

  2. Thanks for sharing. A great read. Very sad that the Saami were (and still are) being treated badly. I read a disturbing story about a major timber mill trying to scare them out so they can harvest the trees from their land. Makes you ashamed to be a human sometimes…. Regards, Charlie.

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