The Appreciation of Reindeer: Rock Carvings and Sami Reindeer Knowledge

Perspectives on Differences in Rock Art - Jan Magne Gjerde

Marianne Skandfer [+-]
Tromsø Museum – The University Museum, UIT - The Arctic University of Norway
Marianne Skandfer is Associate professor in archaeology at Tromsø University Museum, UIT - The Arctic University of Norway. Among her fields of research is spatial and temporal variations in Stone Age house-pit dwelling.

Description

On the Stone Age rock carving panels at Jiepmaluokta, Alta, Norway, more than one third of all the known figures, over one thousand, are classified as reindeer. A recent comparative study of Fennoscandian rock carvings suggests that variation in amounts of different animals depicted at each site refers to differences in relations between people and the specific local environment, including local species (Gjerde 2010). Taking this as a starting point, it is suggested that the Jiepmaluokta panels refer to meetings between humans and animals, here primarily reindeer. The depictions are interpreted as expressions of a hunter-gatherer ontology with close human-animal relations. This paper is based in part on a dialogue at the site regarding the depictions of reindeer figures between a Sámi reindeer owner with summer grazing for his herd in the Alta region as well as being a scholar of traditional reindeer knowledge, and the archaeologist author.

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Citation

Skandfer, Marianne. The Appreciation of Reindeer: Rock Carvings and Sami Reindeer Knowledge. Perspectives on Differences in Rock Art. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Nov 2020. ISBN 9781781795606. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=31925. Date accessed: 21 Sep 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.31925. Nov 2020

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