Reindeer skiljning

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…..


8 thoughts on “Reindeer skiljning

  1. Some cracking pictures Kevin, but it looks like it’s absolutely freezing!!

    Keep the blogs coming……and all the best for 2011.



  2. You really have captured the sense of movement Kevin.

    Have a great Christmas.


  3. Great photos. What an amazing experience. Is it the pathetic amount of snow here (and the subsequent chaos) that’s changed your plans?

  4. Fantastic atmospheric pictures – really felt as if I were there, in the cold with the reindeer speeding around me. good blog, we have been researching buying a place in north Sweden which is how we found your blog.

    Good luck with your venture and a very happy new year.

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