The Sami Peoples of the North: A Social and Cultural History

The Sami Peoples of the North: A Social and Cultural History

by Neil Kent


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The Sami Peoples of the North: A Social and Cultural History by Neil Kent

There is no single volume that encompasses an integrated social and cultural history of the Sámi people from the Nordic countries and northwestern Russia. Neil Kent's book fills this lacuna. In the first instance, he considers how the Sámi homeland is defined: its geography, climate, and early contact with other peoples. He then moves on to its early chronicles and the onset of colonisation, which changed Sámi life profoundly over the last millennium. Thereafter, the nature of Sámi ethnicity is examined, in the context of the peoples among whom the Sámi increasingly lived, as well as the growing intrusions of the states who claimed sovereignty over them. The Soviet gulag, the Lapland War and increasing urbanisation all impacted upon Sámi life. Religion, too, played an important role from pre-historic times, with their pantheon of gods and sacred sites, to their Christianisation. In the late twentieth century there has been an increasing symbiosis of ancient Sámi spiritual practice with Christianity. Recently the intrusions of the logging and nuclear industries, as well as tourism have come to redefine Sámi society and culture. Even the meaning of who exactly is a Sámi is scrutinised, at a time when some intermarry and yet return to Sámi, where their children maintain their Sámi identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849042574
Publisher: Hurst
Publication date: 08/15/2014
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 674,741
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Neil Kent is based at Cambridge University and the St Petersburg State Academy of Art, Architecture and Culture, specialising in European history and culture. His many previous books include The Soul of the North: A Social, Architectural and Cultural History of the Nordic Countries, 1770-1940 and Helsinki: A Cultural and Literary History.

Table of Contents


1. Ethnicities, the Law, Repressions and War
2. Religion
3. Health, Family, Sexuality and Education
4. Sámi Dwellings, Arts and Crafts
5. Literature
6. Music, Sport and Films
7. Reindeer Herding and Other Livelihoods


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