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L'élevage du renne (Rangifer tarandus L.) en Finlande: ses origines et son évolution récente

  • S.C. Lefrère (a1) (a2) and J.-J. Lauvergne (a3)

Résumé

Le renne, Rangifer tarandus, était chassé en Europe dès l'ère paléolithique et fournissait alors à l'homme vêtement et nourriture. Avec le recul des glaciers vers le Nord, sa répartition s'est vue cloisonnée. Les premières traces de domestication du renne sont tardives, elles semblent n'apparaître qu'au Ve siècle en Asie et après le IXe siècle chez les Finnois et Lapons, lesquels ont apprivoisé les rennes et les ont rassemblés en troupeaux. L'homme est ainsi devenu nomade pour suivre les rennes au fil de leurs migrations en Asie comme en Scandinavie, centralisant ainsi sa vie autour du renne pour moult usages. En Finlande cependant, l'homme du XXe siècle s'est sédentarisé, suite à la fermeture des frontières avec la Norvège et la Suède et l'instauration d'un système de coopératives. Le renne est donc en Finlande un exemple paradoxal de domestication du fait de son caractère partiel. La mutation de cette domestication a été étudiée au travers d'enquêtes et de recherches effectuées en Laponie finlandaise.

Despite the fact that reindeer were hunted in Europe in the early Palaeolithic period and provided clothes and food to humans, their distribution became confined with the glaciers receding north. The first tracks of domestication appear late, becoming apparent by the fifth century in Asia and only after the ninth century among the Finns and Lapps, who tamed and gathered individual reindeer among the herds. Man became nomadic in these regions in order to follow reindeer through its migrations in Asia as well as in Scandinavia, centralizing his life around reindeer for different purposes. In Finland however, 20th century man has settled down, following the closing of the Norwegian and Swedish border and the establishment of a system of cooperatives. Reindeer domestication is thus in Finland a paradoxical example, because of its partial nature. Mutation of this domestication has been studied through inquiries and research in Finnish Lapland.

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