Viggo Lundberg
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Field notes: reindeer herding

I was invited to visit the Ruvhten Sijte saami village as they gather their herd of some 10.000 reindeers. The reindeers roam free all year, but twice a year the families in the saami village have to round up their animals for calf marking and to choose wish reindeers that is suited for slaughter.

The reindeer corral can at a first glans look a bit rough on the animals, but after spending some time in the field its clear to me that there is no greater respect than the one showed by a saami reindeer herder and the animals.

Reindeer herding in Sapmi is characterised by the long migration between different foraging areas, from mountain to forest. It's hard work, from early morning to late night.

The ancient ways of the saami people builds a profound connection to and understanding of nature that continues to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sadly climate change, mining and agressive tourism expansion is a growing threat to this uniqe tradition and way of life.

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Viggo Lundberg