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Chapter Summary

In this book, the author has outlined some of the main trajectories and events in Sámi history until the middle of the eighteenth century, spanning more than two thousand years. The book takes us back to the last millennium before our era, a period when a number of social and economic conditions contributed to a crucial differentiation of the northern communities. The dawning economic and social dualism turns out to be decisive for the formation of the cultural and ethnic identities that are discernible in the archaeological and written material from the iron age onwards; in other words, for the formation of 'Germanic'/Norse and Sámi identity in the northern Fennoscandia. The last period treated in this book, from ca. 1550-1750, is also characterized by processes of colonization and political integration. The policy of direct control, in turn, opened the way for fundamental changes in the legal and the religious spheres.

Keywords: colonization; iron age; northern communities; political integration; religious spheres; Sámi history; social dualism



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