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“We are Reindeer People, We Come from Reindeer.” Reindeer Herding in Representations of the Sami in Russia
Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Tromsø.
2011 (English)In: Acta Borealia, ISSN 0800-3831, Vol. 28, no 1, 89-113 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reindeer herding, a tourism emblem of the European North, is also part of a long-lasting tradition of objectification of Sami culture in Russia. Sustained in the popular imagination by Russian ethnography, the dominant order's agent for legitimization of Soviet ethnic policies, in the 1990s the tradition of exoticization and “othering” was strengthened by Western anthropological and political engagement with the indigenous debate in Russia, transposing on the Sami the imagery and ideals of the global indigenous movement. Business aspirations to utilize the persistent imagery of exotic otherness gave birth to ethnographic tourism in the Kola Peninsula, Northwest Russia, which markets indigenous culture as an attraction. In this paper, I analyze how these diverse discourses equally reify and exploit the concept of Sami reindeer herding and the effects that such representational economy has on the community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2011. Vol. 28, no 1, 89-113 p.
Keyword [en]
representation, Sami, Russia, indigenous tourism
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-190914DOI: 10.1080/08003831.2011.575661OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-190914DiVA: diva2:584461
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Vladimirova, Vladislava
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