Hansen, Lars Ivar: The Sámi, State Subjugation and Strategic Interaction

Hansen, Lars Ivar: The Sámi, State Subjugation and Strategic Interaction

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Individual mobility within multicultural networks


During the second half of the 16th century, there were still no fixed borders drawn in northern Fennoscandia, but the surrounding states (Denmark-Norway, Sweden & the principality of Moscow) collected tax from the Sámi in a common taxation area. Merchants from the trading networks attached to these three states also met regularly with the Sámi, in order to buy demanded products from the Sámi, and furnish them with provisions. – How was this situation for the Sámi?

Focusing upon the Sámi residing along the coast of Finnmark in Norway, and in the northernmost Sámi communities in present-day Sweden, this book investigates the economic profile, the trade connections and the mobility of the Sámi. Through a detailed analysis of the preserved Swedish tax records (1551–1600), this investigation also displays the diverse strategies applied by the Sámi, and shows how they made the best out of their position, and took advantage of the different value assessments in the various trading networks. Various kinds of mobility or migrations are also displayed: 1) Permanent resettling in other communities than where the taxpayer is first observed; 2) Seasonal mobility, as well as 3) mobility with subsequent stays or intervals at various sites.

This investigation is a result of the international and interdisciplinary research project Early Networking in Northern Fennoscandia, hosted by the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, during the academic year 2008–2009.


Lars Ivar Hansen is a historian specializing in medieval and early modern history; professor emeritus at the Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology of the University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway.


Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture (IFSK), Series B: 170