Sámi animal offering rituals in Fennoscandia: Religious change and local responses to colonial contact

Author(s): Anna-Kaisa Salmi

Year: 2017

Summary

The paper focuses on the archaeology of religious ritual of the Sámi, an indigenous group populating the northern parts of Fennoscandia. I will discuss how religious ritual, especially animal offerings, transformed in response to colonial contact with the Swedish and Norwegian settlers. The animal offerings, given to negotiate success in hunting, fishing, and reindeer husbandry among other things, reflected the shifting economic and religious importance of various animal species. I will argue that despite the general uniformity and continuity of the offering tradition across Fennoscandia and over centuries, there was also variation in the range of focal species, dependent on complex interplay of ecological and economic factors, individual site history, colonial history, and the community using the site. My aim is to emphasize local histories and strategies of the Sámi communities to cope with the pressures exerted by Church, state powers, and the changing economic and social environment.

Cite this Record

Sámi animal offering rituals in Fennoscandia: Religious change and local responses to colonial contact. Anna-Kaisa Salmi. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435280)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 19.648; min lat: 59.807 ; max long: 31.582; max lat: 70.089 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 124