Domestication, Reindeer Husbandry and the Development of Sámi Pastoralism

Ivar Bjørklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


A recurrent topic in ethnographic, historical and archaeological research has been the origins of Sámi reindeer pastoralism. The article discusses how prevailing theories have been influenced by general conceptual schemes, apriori constructed models and an extensive use of taxonomies. The debate has centered around how and when domestication took place, presupposing a paradigmatic change from hunting to pastoralism. However, there has probably never been an abrupt change; hunting and herding have both been parts of a multifaceted adaption existing up to the nineteenth century. What did change was the social organization of herding when a pastoral economy became the norm at that time. Such a change also had qualitative consequences in terms of new values and economic strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-189
Number of pages16
JournalActa Borealia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2013


  • domestication
  • reindeer husbandry
  • pastoralism
  • Sami culture
  • Rangifer tarandus
  • Northern Norway
  • siida


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