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Open AccessArticle

Familiar Places: A History of Place Attachment in a South Sami Community

Centre for Sami Research, Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Genealogy 2019, 3(4), 54;
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 28 September 2019 / Accepted: 7 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Perspectives on Genealogical Research)
In contrast to situations in most other countries, Indigenous land rights in Sweden are tied to a specific livelihood—reindeer husbandry. Consequently, Sami culture is intimately connected to it. Currently, Sami who are not involved in reindeer husbandry use genealogy and attachment to place to signal Sami belonging and claim Sami identity. This paper explores the relationship between Sami genealogy and attachment to place before the reindeer grazing laws of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I show that within local Sami communities the land representing home was part of family history and identity while using historical archive material, narratives, and storytelling. State projects in the late 19th century challenged the links between family and land by confining Sami land title to reindeer husbandry, thereby constructing a notion of Sami as reindeer herders. The idea has restricted families and individuals from developing their culture and livelihoods as Sami. The construct continues to cause conflicts between Sami and between Sami and other members of local communities. Nevertheless, Sami today continue to evoke their connections to kinship and place, regardless of livelihood. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sápmi; kinship; place; taxation lands Sápmi; kinship; place; taxation lands
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Brännlund, I. Familiar Places: A History of Place Attachment in a South Sami Community. Genealogy 2019, 3, 54.

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