Arctic Midsummer – party time with pagan roots

In the European Arctic Midsummer nowadays marks mostly the start of the summer holidays. But at the roots of this big holiday, celebrated on or close to the longest day of the year, are pre-christian traditions. Asking from the spirits for a good harvest and for protection from evil forces were at the centre of …

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Resurrecting a wolf for conservation?

Many herders, especailly in the Sub-Arctic, are threatened by the increased number of wolves, eating entire reindeer herds. In Australia they go the opposite way now: they try to revive a species of wolf that went extinct in the early 20th century, the last one from Tasmania in 1936. It's a genetics lab experiment that …

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If Santa Claus’ reindeer can fly, what about other reindeer?

It was more than ten years ago during our first visit to Santa Claus village – a tourist attraction in Rovaniemi in the north of Finland. My 6-year-old daughter asked Santa Claus why his reindeer can fly in the sky. Surely, this could not be true! Last summer, when she was in the Yamal tundra, she did …

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When a great ship asks for deeper water.

Harlingen's harbour is usually half-empty on normal days. There are a few tall ships standing alone in water and many private modern yachts. Suddenly, among them you can notice an unusual vessel that is very different from other ships. This is de Witte Swaen (the White Swan) a reconstruction of a ship of the XVI …

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Decolonising indigenous knowledge? Reading circle 12 May 2022 noon Finnish time

Indigenous knowledge, or better indigenous ways of knowing, have been key to anthropological debates on human-environment relations in the Arctic, even more so since climate change has increased the interest in this field of ours so much. Everyone is welcome if you like, to a discussion about a recent article in Current Anthropology on indigenous …

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Disaster anthropology talk 17 May 10 a.m: The role of culture in crisis:

collectivism and individualism in the coastal fishing after 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami This was once Arahama - the vibrant fishing suburb of Sendai, right by the coast. After the 2011 Tsunami the entire community was not re-built. Nature takes it back. Picture from Oct 3, 2013 (Florian Stammler) Our long term friend and collaborator …

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Calving started in Yamal reindeer herding

Our friend Eduard Khudi and his wife Valentina sent these photos today, of the first reindeer calf of the year, born the 27th April in the Yamal tundra in the camp of Sergei Serotetto's son Lev. The big wave of calving has not started yet, but since then around 5-7 calves have appeared in this …

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The influence of world politics in the forest of Northern Lapland

We all know that the current situation with Russia and Ukraine is rapidly changing a lot of the ways and values on which we have been relying in the past decades for our everyday lives. But recently I was surprised when discussing the impacts with Karoliina Majuri, a reindeer herder and colleague here at Lapland …

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New expert in knowledge integration: congrats!

A word of congratulations to the freshly baked Doctor Ayonghe Akonwi Nebasifu! He just now defended successfully his PhD dissertation with the title Knowledge Integration in Co-management: A Study on the People of the Mount Cameroon National Park. Thank you to Sabaheta Ramcilovik Suominen for a great 3 hour examination too. fresh Doctor Ayonghe Akonwi …

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Indigenous People against industry: theatre performance

Many of you may have heard about the resistance of Sámi people against the Alta-Kautokeino hydroelectric dam in the 1970s-1980s. Even though the dam was built, the Sámi resistance including hunger strikes was hugely influential not only for indigenous rights movement among the Sámi, but also worldwide. In a way we can trace the impact …

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