Saamentutkimus tänään [Sámi research today]

30 June 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Saamentutkimus tänään
[Sámi research today]
Toimittaneet [Edited by] Irja Seurujärvi-Kari, Petri Halinen & Risto Pulkkinen
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (SKS), 2011. 449 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-220-6
€ 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

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