Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 July 2022
Saami reindeer herders, becoming pastoralists from reindeer hunters and fishing peoples from the 7th to the 13th centuries, remained largely free of European domination until the early Scandinavian kingdoms and states entered into market relations with them and, shortly thereafter, conscripted them and their reindeer for work in silver mines. This occurred simultaneously with the changing roles of reindeer in Saami households, from pets tended by women for milk to sources of value in markets for their hides and meat. Yet these processes were uneven across different Saami populations, demonstrating paths by which Saami could resist outside domination. The chapter draws on my own field experiences with the contemporary Inupiaq of Kotzebue, Alaska, who remain heavily dependent on wild resources – including the reindeer’s wild cousin, the caribou – as household income.