This will probably be my last post before Christmas as I leave for England next week.
On Wednesday I was invited to an important event in the reindeer herders year. It’s called Renar Skiljning which basically means that after the reindeer have spent the summer together, at this time the animals are herded into a handling facility and each Sami family removes their own animals from the herd to feed and care for during the winter.
We were there well before first light for coffee and breakfast
(the light in this picture is provided by a powerful floodlight which allows the herders to work after dark)
The reindeer (about 7000) had been herded into a large enclosure from the local area the day before.
Here is my representation of the handling facility.
The reindeer are herded in about 150 – 200 at a time to the centre, from the right and the gate closed behind them
They run around and around
and the herders pick out their animals
Each family have their own pen around the outside of the circle (our section is shown in red in the drawing) and via a small gate
the animals are moved to the separate pens
where they are given food
It took 10 hours to process all the reindeer and my job was to keep a hot fire burning and keep the coffee cooking
Here are a few more pictures…..