The Search for a Past: The Prehistory of the Indigenous Saami in Northern Coastal Sweden
 link to homepage link to introduction link to research team link to objectives link to hypotheses link to fieldwork page link to ritual sites link to viking period link to medieval period link to miscellaneous image gallery link to selected bibliography link to offsite weblinks page

Hypotheses page





The ancestors of the Saami occupied the north Swedish coast during prehistoric times.



These Saami were displaced from the region in the fourteenth century by Swedish settlers, the Church, the State and Hanseatic fishing and mercantilism.



They moved inland where they were forced into a greater dependency on reindeer and, through State intervention in the 16th century, nomadism.



These people were the ancestors of the Ume-Saami speaking people.

Saami reindeer herders with sleds and reindeer in the snow

Reindeer traction is of greater antiquity than herding. Only 10% of the Saami herd reindeer.

top of page



©2004 Smithsonian Institution