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"They Followed The Power Of The Plant'': Historical Sami Harvest And Traditional Ecological Knowledge (Tek) Of Angelica Archangelica In Northern Fennoscandia
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Forest Ecol & Management, Umea, Sweden.;Forestry Museum, Lycksele, Sweden..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Swedish Biodiversity Centre. Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Uppsala, Sweden..
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Forest Ecol & Management, Umea, Sweden..
2016 (English)In: Journal of Ethnobiology, ISSN 0278-0771, E-ISSN 2162-4496, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 617-636Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Native Sami people in northern Fennoscandia have used a wide range of native plant species for food and medicines throughout history. Plants and plant use are deeply embedded in the Sami traditions and subsistence in northern ecosystems. The overall aim of this study was to gain understanding of the Sami people's interaction with the herb Angelica archangelica in historical times and investigate if this use went beyond a pure opportunistic harvest of wild plants to include management of plants. To analyze this question, we combined studies of ethnographic information, an experimental field study, and discussions with a Sami woman with extended knowledge of Sami plant use. We suggest that the Sami people had a profound understanding of the complexity of the plant life-cycle. They dispersed seeds to favored areas and used harvest techniques intended not to deplete plant populations. The harvest experiment shows that it is possible to prolong the plant's life span by repeatedly harvesting infertile plants. A cross-disciplinary approach is needed to expand understanding of past plant use. Our results place overall Sami subsistence practices in a new light, as being cared for, managed, and sustainable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 36, no 3, p. 617-636
Keywords [en]
traditional ecological knowledge, experimental harvest, interview, northern Sweden, forest history
National Category
Horticulture Ecology Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308658DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-36.3.617ISI: 000386138600009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-308658DiVA, id: diva2:1050525
Available from: 2016-11-29 Created: 2016-11-29 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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