Sami's in the far southeast
As little as 300 years ago, Sami's was found in present day Medelpad,
One reason (of several) that the Sami's managed to stay are that they got support and help in staying by the settlers, one of the earliest examples of civil disobediance against the administrative powers in this part of the world. And we have to remember that this was at a time before the Social Darwinism.
Even though we know the photographers name and that the pictures are taken June 14, 1878, we don't know the names of the Sami's or anything about where or how they lived. Yet the images provides some information, their clothes are a mixture of furs and more modern fabric that hints that their economy still was quite traditional. The cradle held by the woman on the left image also are of a traditional style used by nomadic Sami's (worn on the back when working or whilst moving to a new location). The style of the clothes also reveals the ethnic Sami group they belonged to, that they was Åarjel or Southsami's.
In the last 300 years the Sami's have been pushed back from those described areas, first by beforementioned deportations, later by a policy of assimilation where the Sami language was forbidden in the schools and outlawing the nomadic lifestyle. In the last part of the 20'th century we're faced with a new idea, that of evicting Sami's from the traditional lands by legal means via the courts. The ethnical cleansing continues in Sweden today!
Photographs by Axel Höijer.
Navigationbuttons for non frame browsers.
Last change to this webpage: Jan 2, 1999.