chapter  18
13 Pages

Relationships between Sámi reindeer herders, lands, and reindeer

ByElina Helander-Renvall

There has been much interest in the reindeer-herder relationship but oftentimes it has involved ideas about how to manage reindeer herding and how to control a herd. Many researchers, such as Robert Paine (1994), Jan Åge Riseth (2009), and Nils Mikkel Sara (1993), argue that Sámi reindeer herders establish management units which mediate the relation between herds and pasture. In this chapter I would like to elaborate the relationship which exists between Sámi reindeer herders, the land, and reindeer. My interest is in how this relationship is intersubjectively experienced and organized. The aforementioned are involved in an interdependent relationship with each other. Sámi herders are closely tied in with land and their relationship to land is in many ways refl ected within herding activities through which these persons relate to reindeer inhabiting their environment.