IP-04 Sweden KVHAA

IP-04 Sweden KVHAA – Households, technological change and the use of space in Swedish Sápmi

Project Leader:  David Anderson
Principal Investigators of the Swedish group: Per Axelsson and Hugh Beach

Landscape over the Sámi community of Saxnäs (Photo: Per Axelsson)

The Sami are one of many indigenous peoples in the North living in Sápmi, an area covering the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Both the study of historical demography, and the study of Sámi use of space, have so far been neglected in the academic analysis of Sápmi. The Swedish IP will unite the efforts of a demographer and prominent ethnographer to fill this lacuna.

Activity One: Vernacular Architecture in Sápmi

The goal of this activity will be to demonstrate how social, economic, technological and political conditions are built within the architecture of Sámi households. The basic research will be conducted over two field seasons in Jokkmokk, Staloluokta, Puolemoive, Lillselet, Parka, as well as village sites along Stor Lule and also others within the Laponia World Heritage Site. The methods used are shared with the investigators working with the analysis of space in Canada and in Siberia. Much of the research done in this activity will also be followed up by investigators in Norway.

Activity Two: The Dynamics of Sámi Households

The historical and demographic activity of this IP will study the demographic experiences in a population marked by colonization. This activity, led by Per Axelsson, will use the Swedish census of 1890 to investigate individuals and households in the Swedish parts of Sápmi. The activity will mirror the work being done on the Norwegian and Russian censuses in other IPs. Statistics will be compiled from individual level microdata, combining the information in the census variables. This will for the first time give scholars a regional archive giving a coherent picture of the Sámi experience in various countries from the 19th to the 20th centuries. We propose to harmonise the variables between the 1890 census and the Russian and Norwegian data. We also wish to intensively study ethnic markers in Eastern Sápmi

Extract from a Swedish parish register giving historical demographic data on Sámis. (Photo: Per Axelsson)