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Title: Reindeer herding as a high-level buffering mechanism : the role of climate change in a multi-causal model of the emergence of reindeer herding among the Sami of northern Sweden
Author: Flint, Abigail Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 3333
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis takes a critical examination of current theories of the emergence of reindeer herding, during the sixteenth and seventeenth century, amongst Sami communities in northern Sweden. This period coincides with the latter part of the Little Ice Age, a period of extremely variable climate in northern Europe, which has not been addressed in current theories of the emergence of herding. Using a bottom-up approach, gathering evidence of the nature of the environmental change and its impact on reindeer, human populations, and subsistence activities, it is suggested this had a profound effect on subsistence strategies. These impacts are considered in context to provide a multi-causal model of cultural change during this period. The evidence suggests that reindeer herding did not represent a radical and large-scale cultural change, and that Sami subsistence strategies do not fit neatly into categories of hunting or herding. The intensification of reliance on domestic reindeer emerged, from the preceding mixed economy, as a high-level buffering mechanism to cope with increased local environmental variability and a disruption In the wild reindeer popUlation, and was facilitated by interactions with the Swedish state through trade and taxation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available