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Hunters in Transition: An Outline of Early Sami History.

9789004252547

Hunters in Transition: An Outline of Early Sami History

Lars Ivar Hansen and Bjornar Olsen

BRILL

2014

402 pages

$162.00

Hardcover

The Northern World: North Europe and the Baltic c. 400-1700 AD: Peoples, Economics and Cultures; Volume 63

DL42

The study of the Sami people--Lappology, as it used to be known--has always been an ethnographic endeavor rather than a historic one. The Sami did not have "history" before the colonizing powers of Scandinavia subjugated them. Of course, history existed, it just wasn't discussed or even written down. It is a great pleasure finally to see a work that attempts to remedy this problem. Written by two professors (medieval/early history and archaeology) at the University of Tromso, this book covers a period from the Migration Period and the institutionalization of barter by the Sami (with an introduction dealing with the Neolithic and the origins of Sami)--a beginning of history, so to speak--to about 1550 AD when the private contributions of the Sami to the Swedish birkarls were institutionalized as a governmental tax. In between, we go through lands of myth and legend, and the people whose past was erased and culture subjugated, and that are only now being tentatively reconstructed and given their due. The interaction of nomadic people with the state power forms the central theme of the book. Several useful appendices detail the relevant chronology, a table of relations provides a synopsis of important events, and an extensive bibliography and several indices, including personal and place names, are included.

([c] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Apr 1, 2014
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