Sami Reindeer Pastoralism as an Indigenous Resource Management System in Northern Norway: A Contribution to the Common Property Debate

Abstract

"Pastoralism is defined here as a system in which humanity mediates the relation between land and animals. The paper argues that the conventional idea of pastoralism as a pure relation between animals and land obscures indigenous resource management systems such as that of the Sami, with its seasonal variations in both labour and pasture. This management is exercised through flexible social groupings which mediate the relation between the size of the herd and the capacity of the pasture. The fact that there is no historical evidence of overgrazing in a general sense in Sami areas must be seen in connection with this management system."

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Keywords

pastoralism, grazing, reindeer, Sámi (European people), IASC

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