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4 Colonization, Contacts and Change, 1200–1550

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on how Sámi areas were integrated into economic and political networks that were controlled by powers outside of northern Fennoscandia and seen how Sámi society reacted to these new conditions. The rise of reindeer herding is one of the most discussed issues in Sámi cultural history. The explanations of the origin of reindeer pastoralism that have traditionally found most favor in Nordic research have stressed external factors such as taxation, colonization, increased trade contact, and missionary activity. The chapter approaches the cultural interaction from a different and more concrete angle by looking at a remarkable settlement structure that appeared along the northernmost coast of Finnmark during the Middle Ages, the 'multi-room' houses. It also looks at religious articulations as revealed locally in some of the Sámi communities.

Keywords: colonization; Finnmark; Middle Ages; multi-room houses; Nordic research; northern Fennoscandia; reindeer pastoralism; Sámi societies; trade contact

10.1163/9789004252554_005
/content/books/b9789004252554_005
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