Tag: Sámi studies
Kuka on saamelainen ja mitä on saamelaisuus – identiteetin juurilla [Who is a Sámi and what being Sámi means – looking for the roots of identity]
Kuka on saamelainen ja mitä on saamelaisuus – identiteetin juurilla
[Who is a Sámi and what being Sámi means – looking for the roots of identity]
Toim. [Ed. by]: Erika Sarivaara, Kaarina Määttä & Satu Uusiautti
Rovaniemi: Lapin yliopistokustannus (Lapland University Press), 2013. 182 pp.
This anthology updates one of the most burning questions, one which also has political consequences: who has the right to belong to an indigenous people, and who is entitled to define it? Of the approximately 100,000 Sámi – the only indigenous people in the European Union – around 7,000 live within Finnish territory. The writers represent Sámi research at the Lapland University, and they examine the definition of ‘the Sámi without a status’, i.e. people not included on the election list for the Sámi Parliament. The book questions the prevailing discourse, which characterises Sámi history as a withdrawal from the progress of civilisation; this is interpreted as a survival strategy, and the Sámi are not primarily regarded as the victims of colonialism and modernisation. The work also highlights the inner hierarchies of the Sámi and analyses both the reindeer-farming Sámi, regarded as elite, as well as the marginalia, the Sámi who engage in forestry and agriculture to make a living. Articles are sensitive, sometimes provocative, and they shine a spotlight on every ethnic group as well as the fundamental questions of the individual, the right to one’s own identity, language and history.
8 May 2013 | Reviews
Saamelaiset suomalaiset: Kohtaamisia 1896–1953
[Sámi, Finns: encounters 1896–1953]
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2012. 528 p., ill.
Luonnossa: Vuoropuhelua Nils-Aslak Valkeapään tuotannon kanssa
[In nature, a dialogue with the works of Nils-Aslak Valkeapää]
Helsinki: Maahenki, 2011. 288 p., ill.
The study of the Sámi people, like that of other indigenous peoples, has become considerably more diverse and deeper over recent decades. Where non-Sámi scholars, officials and clergymen once examined the Sámi according to the needs and values of the holders of power, contemporary scholarship starts out from dialogue, from an attempt to understand the interactions between different groups. More…
[Sámi research today]
Toimittaneet [Edited by] Irja Seurujärvi-Kari, Petri Halinen & Risto Pulkkinen
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (SKS), 2011. 449 p., ill.
€ 28, paperback
This volume examines the Sámi people, the only indigenous tribe living in the European Union, via writers representing fourteen different fields of research. It is an updated and expanded edition of Johdatus Saamentutkimukseen (‘An introduction to Sámi research’, 1995) and makes use of The Saami. A Cultural Encyclopaedia (SKS, 2005). This book defines what is meant by the terms ‘indigenous tribe’ and ‘Sámi’, as well as describing the Sámi people’s biological and geographical environment, their prehistory and history and a linguistic and genetic outline. It also deals with their spiritual and material culture, from folk beliefs to handicrafts and arts, as well as reindeer herding. The status of the Sámi people is examined with regard to human rights and land ownership rights and compared to the situation of other indigenous tribes. Currently between 70,000 and 82,000 Sámi live in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia, with around 10,000 of them in Finland. The Sámi population in Finland has remained constant for the past 15 years, but as many as 60 per cent of them now live outside the traditional Sámi homelands.
Translated by Ruth Urbom