South Saami Cultural Landscape Under Pressure
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Original versionThe Indigenous Identity of the South Saami, pp.171-186 10.1007/978-3-030-05029-0_9
This chapter will analyse the debate over the use and management of the South Saami cultural landscape where the construction of a large number of windmills in South Saami land has drawn the front line between the reindeer herders and commercial interests. More specifically, I will examine how culture and the indigenous people’s own history have been activated and are used to influence political decisions. For centuries, South Saami life and business have been integrated in their traditional landscape, where the relationships between people, economic activities and the landscape represent important core values for the South Saami community. The South Saami themselves point out that reindeer husbandry is an important prerequisite for the preservation and continuation of South Saami knowledge and traditions, and that language and culture are at stake if reindeer husbandry is threatened. The continuous use of the South Saami cultural landscape involves sources of knowledge, insight and identification because traditions and rituals are key cultural concepts and important identity markers in the modern South Saami self-understanding. Hence, this chapter seeks to shed light on how the South Saami society relates to the cultural landscape in this struggle, and how landscape, history and traditions act as an important point of departure in the historical and political negotiations with the majority society.