Forest paths and roads as ways of perceiving the environment: the Sámi case in Finnish Lapland
(University of Lapland)
In this presentation I shall focus on the importance of the notion of movement in the perception of the environment among the Sámi people in Finnish Lapland. Despite numerous technological changes have affected the ways in which the Sámi move about in the environment, their relationship is still remarkably different compared to that, for example, of the Finnish residents. I shall argue that the differences are based on a cultural background that lies on nomadic pastoralism for the Sámi and on farming for the Finns. Although in Finland both Sámi and Finns practise reindeer herding, their fundamental styles are based on two different worldviews. With the construction of roads, started in the early sixties, we can see a diverse influence on both Sámi and Finns. My aim is to explore these differences and the ways in which the symbolic aspects of movement guide people's understanding of their actions in the landscape.
Thinking about roads, movement, and environment