Karesuando

Last week we drove up to the Sami/Saami village of Karesuando, the most northern settlement in Sweden, which sites directly on the Swedish/Finnish border, to visit the graves of Teres’ grandparents and meet some of here relatives that still live there.

As we drove up there, a young Tengmalm’s Owl flew across the road and was struck by the campervan in front of us.  The owl sat in the middle of the road, so we stopped the car and I ran out to pick up the bird and check it was ok.  There was no sign of any serious injuries, so I placed it in the forest nearby where the parents could find it

Teres’ grandmother lived in the village of Mertajävi just outside Karesuando

and this is where we visited some of Teres’ relatives.  Here is the house where Teres’ grandmother grew up.

Here’s the lake at the back of the house where they fixed and collected water

From 1910 – 1940 the Sami people from the Karesuando area were being driven from there land and 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.

There are still families herding Reindeer in 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.

There are still families herding Reindeer in Karesuando, but many families are now farmers.

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