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Open Access 2022 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

3. Lule Lappmark and Sources

verfasst von: Jesper Larsson, Eva-Lotta Päiviö Sjaunja

Erschienen in: Self-Governance and Sami Communities

Verlag: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

In this chapter, we describe the study area, Lule lappmark, and the sources we used. We discuss how land use was influenced by differences in environmental settings and argue that empirical material from Lule lappmark in northern Sweden can be used to draw valid conclusions about general features regarding Sami land use and property rights in other regions as well. We introduce the reader to our interpretations of some important concepts necessary to understand the development of natural resource governance and argue that some earlier interpretations of the pre-modern Sami organization have led to misconceptions about that development.
In this chapter, we describe the study area, Lule lappmark, and the sources we used. We discuss how land use was influenced by differences in environmental settings and argue that empirical material from Lule lappmark in northern Sweden can be used to draw valid conclusions about general features regarding Sami land use and property rights in other regions as well. We introduce the reader to our interpretations of some important concepts necessary to understand the development of natural resource governance and argue that some earlier interpretations of the pre-modern Sami organization have led to misconceptions about that development.

Lule Lappmark

We chose Lule lappmark, in interior northwest Fennoscandia, as our main study area. Lule lappmark is located around 66°N latitude, literally on the Arctic Circle, and encompasses approximately 300 km from the eastern boreal forest to the mountains, the Scandes, in the west and 200 km from north to south. The climate is subarctic with long and typically very cold winters, and short summers with cool to mild temperatures. In the east, the landscape is dominated by boreal forest, known as taiga in Europe, Asia, and North America. It consists of a mix of Norway spruce (Picea abies), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and downy birch (Betula pubescenc), interwoven with innumerable bogs and lakes. The west has mountainous terrain. As in most of Scandinavia, the tree line is formed by arctic downy birch (Betula pubescens var. tortuosa), and as the terrain rises, conifers become rare and montane birch forest takes over. In Lule lappmark, the tree line sits at an altitude of 600–800 m. At higher altitudes, alpine tundra spreads out with a mix of montane grasslands, shrublands, rocky terrain, and glaciers. The highest mountain peaks rise just over 2,000 m. There were several reasons for choosing Lule lappmark as our primary research area.
Our research questions revolved around how users built institutions for governance and how the introduction of reindeer pastoralism altered access rights to land. Hence, we were looking for an area where reindeer pastoralism had developed early, since it would make it possible to study change during a longer period of time. One of the areas where the earliest transition from reindeer husbandry to reindeer pastoralism took place in Fennoscandia was the mountain area in interior northern Sweden, including Lule lappmark.1
The heterogeneous topography of Lule lappmark makes it possible to study how different ecologies impacted strategies in management of natural resources and the implications for livelihoods. With two distinctive ecological regions, mountain, and boreal forest, it is possible to study the dialectical interaction between humans and the environment. It is possible to study how people who used the different habitats built institutions for governance. What property-rights regimes were best suited for fishing, hunting, and reindeer pastoralism, and how did users respond to changes in the early modern Sami economy?
To succeed in this endeavor, we needed a place where we could study how people had practiced hunting, fishing, and reindeer pastoralism in detail and how institutions for governance of these activities were built and changed. The rules and norms that lay the foundation for the property-rights regime were negotiated at the micro level. Hence, we needed to study one area thoroughly and Lule lappmark had the right conditions when it came to sources and previous scholars’ work. With detailed knowledge about one region, it is possible to discuss the general features of development in the whole area where reindeer pastoralism emerged and grew. It is also possible to make comparisons with other pastoralists in different environments.

Lappmark, Sami Village, and Siida

The Swedish lappmark is a vast area in interior northern Fennoscandia where the population into the seventeenth century was almost entirely Sami. It stretched from the border with the counties of Jämtland and Ångermanland in the south to the Russian border in the northeast. It included land in today’s Sweden, Finland (Finnish Lapland), and northern Norway (Finnmark). However, it is important to remember that not all Sami lived within the borders of the lappmark. There were Sami communities south of the lappmark in Sweden, in northern Norway, and in northwest Russia. In Sweden, Finland, and Norway, Sami also lived among peasants in settled areas (Fig. 3.1).2
The lappmark was an administrative area known from the Middle Ages (fourteenth century) that appears frequently in discussions about the organization of Sami land use throughout history.3 Some researchers say that divisions within the lappmark were established as part of an ambition to tax Sami and facilitate trade, and are thought to roughly correspond to indigenous Sami territories. Their locations and boundaries were defined by the large rivers that flow from the mountains and inland areas down to the Gulf of Bothnia. Each lappmark district had one or two major watersheds, and Lule River was the major water system in Lule lappmark.4 During the early modern period, there were six districts, listed here from south to north: Åsele, Ume, Pite, Lule, Torne, and Kemi (Fig. 3.2).5 The boundaries of each district have changed several times, and units within a district have been shifted to adjacent districts. Lule lappmark had the fewest changes to its outer borders; the border between Lule lappmark and coastal Lule parish was determined in the 1750s. The lappmark administrative division gradually lost its importance as other divisions of land made by the Swedish state and church became more important. However, the borders of the former lappmark districts are still valid as borders between many municipalities, and the concept of the lappmark is used in many historical studies concerning the early modern period.
Until the mid-sixteenth century, birkarlar (tradesmen from coastal farming communities) had a monopoly to trade with Sami in Pite, Lule, and Torne lappmark districts.6 For the right to do trade, they paid a low fee, or lease, to the Swedish king.7 Birkarlar also had the privilege to tax Sami in those regions. From the mid-sixteenth century the Swedish crown decided to be more involved in trade and taxation. The purpose was to tie the area closer into the Swedish realm. The birkarl system was gradually replaced with fogdar (bailiffs), employed by the King, who traded with the Sami and collected tax. The state’s ambition was to get better control of the lucrative and important fur trade. From this time, we have the first systematically retrieved sources, tax collections, that give detailed information of the Sami economy.8 The organization of tax collection and trade with the Sami was organized according to the division into lappmark districts.
Lule lappmark was divided into four Sami villages (Sw. lappby) from the time they first appear in the sources in the mid-sixteenth century to 1647. These four villages were Sjokksjokk, Jokkmokk, Tuorpon, and Sirkas.9 Sjokksjokk and Jokkmokk were located in the boreal forest region in the eastern part, and Turopon and Sirkas were in the west and had land in the mountains. Sirkas was particularly huge and covered a large area both south and north of Lule River. Hence, it was divided into two villages in 1647: Sirkas in the southern part and Kaitum in the north. Scholars have debated whether the Sami villages were established intrinsically by Sami or if they were tax districts created by the Swedish government, or perhaps the division was created by birkarlar and the king’s bailiffs took it over for tax and trade purposes.10
A problem with the village concept is that it has not been used consistently. In tax records, people are listed according to the village concept we describe, but in court rulings from the eighteenth century, the word village has two meanings. The first one is what we describe. The second meaning of village (Sw. by) has been used to describe a small group of households living part of the year in the same area. The men who lived there were described as village men, or hamlet men (Sw. byamän).11
This takes us to the next level of organization in Sami communities, user groups. Each village in the lappmark consisted of many smaller user groups, or local bands, called siida–households working, migrating, and residing together. A user group could consist of one to six households, but they usually were one to four households.12 However, the number of households in a siida could adjust according to the season. In reindeer pastoralism, the size of a siida could vary according to feeding strategies for the reindeer, larger in the summer and smaller in the winter. As with the word village, the siida concept has more than one meaning. The differences come from scholars, and some have used the word synonymously with Sami village. That makes it difficult to compare scholarly work; is the scholar talking about a small user group or a large village with numerous households?
To understand why siida has been used with different meanings, one needs to look into how scholars have understood the society they have studied. At the core of the word is local cooperation between households. In that respect, it has similarities to how scholars have perceived medieval and early modern cooperation between users in villages all over pre-industrial Europe. Those scholars who have focused on the Sami villages as a unit that worked together and shared a common responsibility have used siida in that meaning.13 Those who have viewed cooperation within small units of households as the foundation of Sami livelihood have used siida to mean smaller (subvillage) user groups. The latter has been the most common way to use the word, particularly for scholars focused on the modern and early modern periods and cooperation in reindeer herding.14

Winter Villages

If understanding how concepts like village and siida have been used is difficult, an even larger problem has been to interpret how Sami societies were governed before the early modern state took charge and organized taxation. Few sources can tell us how Sami organized their society. Nevertheless, a baseline for discussion and a starting point to interpret changes is needed. Such a baseline is found in Väinö Tanner’s work about Skolt Sami.
Based on field studies in the 1920s among Skolt Sami in Petsamo on the Kola Peninsula in today’s Russia, the Finnish geographer Väinö Tanner argued that their society represented an ancestral, pristine Sami organization.15 Large groups had gathered in permanent siida where they held meetings, local courts, and elected representatives. These places were located in the forest region and were what Tanner called winter villages. Tanner claimed that these siida groups were original Sami institutions that had been preserved into the early twentieth century through the region’s isolation from Tsarist Russia. According to him, equivalent institutions also had existed among Sami in Sweden and Norway but were destroyed in the seventeenth century when Sami society encountered strong central states, the kingdoms of Sweden-Finland and Denmark-Norway.
Tanner used the words village and siida interchangeably and claimed that members of the siida were spread out during summer and gathered in the winter, during the idle season. He argued that the locations of some of these winter villages are known since they are marked on maps made by surveyors Andreas Bureus and Olof Tresk in the first half of the seventeenth century.16 Moreover, he argued that the household was the most important social unit, while the siida was a political unit. The tasks of the siida were to ensure that households could take advantage of the rights they had as members and, at the same time, respect the rights of other households and the interests of the siida as a whole. In relation to other organizations, i.e., other siidas, the siida represented the collective as well as its individual members. To govern, senior members gathered and the siida was led by an elected president.17
Tanner’s model of pre-modern Sami society with an overarching Sami organization and gatherings of large groups in winter villages gained many disciples over the years. However, scholars have started to question Tanner’s model. Ethnologist Kerstin Eidlitz Kuoljok has convincingly showed that the Skolt Sami society of Tanner’s study period did not represent a pristine Sami organization but was the result of changes in Russian society after 1861, when serfdom was abandoned.18 Kuoljok believed the institutions that Tanner had thought where originally Sami were modeled after Russian village ordinances and governed under Russian laws. In addition, she argues that Skolt Sami were integrated in the Russian realm in many ways; for example, they lived under the same laws as the country’s peasants, participated in national and international trade, and were forced to give up major parts of their land to monasteries belonging to the Christian Orthodox Church. This research refuted Tanner’s theory that Skolt Sami society had developed in isolation from the Russian government and that it could be used as a blueprint for understanding pre-modern organization in other Sami districts. Furthermore, archaeologists have reinterpreted ancient remains of groups of hearths in the northern boreal forest in Lule lappmark that previously were interpreted as evidence of large Sami winter settlements. They are now understood as overlayered remains of dwelling places from different time periods that have been used by small groups of Sami.19 Wallerström has lately systematically tested the arguments for winter villages in the Swedish lappmark, and concludes, in accordance with Kuoljok, that Tanner’s theory must be rejected.20
If Tanner’s model is refuted, how was Sami governance organized in the Swedish lappmark before the seventeenth century? Since little is known and there are no signs of a court system, chiefs or other governance structures, it is most likely that the pre-modern Sami society basically lacked overarching institutions. Decisions regarding use of natural resources were made within small, self-organized, and functional user groups. They were called siida, which diverges from Tanner’s definition of siida. They were often based on kinship relations and describe small groups of two to four Sami families who gathered primarily to facilitate hunting, fishing, and reindeer herding, much like modern siida groups. Conflicts between siidas, or individual members of a siida, were solved by the parties involved. In the seventeenth century these small groups shared property rights to clearly defined resources, and the resource area used by one group was called skatteland.21
Even if we think one would apply the term siida to small user groups, for clarity we refrain from using the word, since there is an eminent risk of mixing it up with the other use of the word siida, a Sami village.22 We will instead call it what it was, a small user group. When we use the term Sami village, we are referring to the division of Sami made for tax purposes. Whether or not this division, in its origin, was intrinsically Sami will have to be solved elsewhere.
By defining these concepts, it is possible to discuss how the changes in economy came to impact small user groups and the division into Sami villages. A fundamental concept in the discussion about the origin of CPRs in medieval Europe is the transition from an economy based on family and kinship to an economy in which neighbor relations grew in importance. In this emerging economy, people started to make alliances with others who had a similar lifestyle.23 Accordingly, the question is how changes in early modern Sami economy toward more intense use of CPRs, with the expansion of reindeer pastoralism, required more collaboration between neighbors. Hypothetically, Sami households that developed reindeer pastoralism would thus have developed more elaborate collaborations with actors outside their kinship group . This discussion about reindeer pastoralism is continued in Chapter 7 and in the concluding Chapter 9.

Users in Mountains and Forests

Some early modern sources from the seventeenth century make a distinction between inhabitants in interior northwest Fennoscandia by dividing them into either Mountain Sami or Forest Sami.24 In Lule lappmark, this division was linked to the Sami villages Sirkas and Tuorpon, situated mostly in the mountains, and Sjokksjokk and Jokkmokk, situated mostly in the boreal forest. Hence, the members in the former villages were sometimes called Mountain Sami while members in the latter were sometimes called Forest Sami. These concepts primarily reflect the inhabitants’ economies and natural resource uses. This division is described in historical sources and, thanks to its apparent distinctness, can sometimes be helpful in analyses of different land-use processes. The concepts also have been much used in research that depict early modern or precolonial Sami livelihoods, especially regarding Sami land use in Ume lappmark.25 However, we have chosen to define inhabitants with different economic starting points in other terms, since we find the groups to be much more nuanced and open for interpretation than this twofold concept admits.
One argument for choosing other terminology is that practically all early modern indigenous inhabitants in Lule lappmark belonged to the same ethnic group, spoke the same language (Lule Sami), and shared cultural traits. The concepts Mountain Sami and Forest Sami were rather fluid in the sense that inhabitants could change their group from one year to the next, which is evident, for example, in tax registers. Also, the court rulings show how inhabitants were interconnected through kinship ties across these groups.26 Inhabitants from one group could be employed in households belonging to the other group. The court ruling from the häradsrätt (the local court) in Jokkmokk can tell us from which village some servants came and where they worked. That information was mentioned in passing during court proceedings to clarify who a person was.
A case from 1702 tells us that the maid Sigrid Larsdotter from Sirkas became pregnant when working with a male servant from Sjokksjokk in 1693. In 1702 she came in front of court again. The reason for the new trial was that she had given birth to a child in 1701. There were two potential fathers, a servant from Tuorpon and the reindeer owner’s son from Sirkas, and the court’s task was to find out which of them was the father. After some investigation, they discovered that the reindeer owner’s son was the father and that Sigrid probably became pregnant at the market or when they worked together in the boreal forest tending reindeer at night in late January.27 In 1707, a widow came to court in a case regarding her husband, a 45-year-old man, who had died when he worked as a servant for a reindeer owner. The male servant was from Sirkas and the reindeer owner was from Sjokksjokk. The servant had perished in May 1706 during the migration (rajd) of reindeer to the mountains.28 The two court cases are of value for us for several reasons. They show how servants worked in villages they did not belong to, that there were both female and male servants, that they could be unmarried or married, and that servants were not only young people. They also give insights to the practices of reindeer herding and interconnections between people.
The fact that people spoke the same language (Lule Sami) is a strong sign of a shared culture. The major differences between inhabitants in different parts of the lappmark had more to do with their respective economic focus, which is a much more dynamic and changeable factor than culture, although livelihood and culture are undeniably interlinked. Moreover, the majority of the historical sources that described inhabitants as Mountain Sami or Forest Sami were produced in the second half of the seventeenth century and the first part of the eighteenth century. As our book shows, this was a period with noticeable economic differences between inhabitants in the mountains and the boreal forest. We use the inhabitants’ access to resources in different areas as an explanatory factor: the mountains and boreal forests and how the economy for people using these areas came to impact decisions about natural resource management.

Sources

In common with the majority of indigenous peoples, the Sami produced virtually no historical records of their own before the twentieth century. Information about Sami history must instead be pieced together from a number of sources produced by others, chiefly different branches of the early modern Swedish state or organizations connected to the state, such as the Swedish church and scientific organizations. We have relied mostly on court rulings from the local court in Jokkmokk to cover the eighteenth century and early modern accounts from the mid-seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century. To cover the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century, when there were no records of court rulings and very few personal accounts are available, we used cadastral records (jordeböcker) and tax records as proxies for Sami land use. We also used many of the other printed sources, mostly tax records and other accounts from the Swedish state. However, for the time period from 1550 to the mid-seventeenth century we mostly relied on secondary sources.

Early Modern Accounts

Sources that describe Sami husbandry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries consist of accounts by missionaries to the lappmark. Six of these date from the seventeenth century, most of them prepared on behalf of the statesman Chancellor of the Realm Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie and forwarded to Uppsala professor Johannes Schefferus for his book project Lapponia.29 For various reasons, Schefferus did not use all of the accounts in his book, and the complete collection was edited and published, some of it for the first time, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.30 All in all, this compilation is made up of accounts by six missionaries: Samuel Rheen,31 Olaus Graan,32 Johannes Tornaeus,33 Olaus Petri Niurenius,34 Nicolai Lundius,35 and Gabriel Tuderus.36 In the early 1740s, another detailed description of Sami life and customs was written and published by the missionary Pehr Högström.37 Högström had become well acquainted with both Sami livelihood and language through his work as a missionary and priest in Lule lappmark. In his book, he refers quite often to Schefferus’ Lapponia, commenting on and correcting information that he considers to be wrong.
Even though missionary accounts provide many valuable insights into Sami history, they are also associated with source-critical problems. First, they are inevitably colored by the Swedish context in which their authors were raised and educated, and moreover by the ideals of the Christian Lutheran Church that sent them to the lappmark in the first place. In fact, only one of the missionaries, Nicolai Lundius, was Sami and thereby also part of the Sami context.38 The primary task of the many missionaries was to spread the Christian Lutheran faith and customs among the Sami through preaching and traveling in the Swedish lappmark. This would certainly have provided many valuable insights into Sami subsistence, and the missionaries would surely have developed a relatively close, albeit unequal, relationship with the Sami they described. As a result, the strength of the accounts as source material is that the authors actually interacted with the Sami of northern Sweden in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They thereby provide us with a unique window into Sami history, albeit with various problematic filters.
Second, another source criticism is that some missionaries seem to have copied parts of others’ texts, incorporating them into their own accounts. This calls for careful reading and analysis in order to identify each author’s independent contribution. The third problem concerns how well the priests and the Sami could communicate with one another, given that they spoke different languages. According to contemporary sources, some Sami, at least in the southern lappmark, understood Swedish quite well, and similarly some Sami in the eastern lappmark understood Finnish.39 These language skills are described as especially good among the Sami who took part in trade. Some accounts indicate there were plenty of interpreters in the lappmark whom priests, for example, could use when preaching sermons. In one account, the author actually mentions his interpreter, which clearly shows that not all priests could speak Sami, and that interpreters were used not only for sermons but also for other forms of contact between missionaries and Sami.40 All in all, it seems to have been quite possible for missionaries and Sami to bridge the language barrier by using Swedish or Finnish through an interpreter or more rarely speaking Sami.
Missionaries aside, a number of Swedish and foreign travelers in the eighteenth-century lappmark recorded their encounters with Sami. Most famous among these is perhaps Carl Linnaeus who, as a young man in the spring and summer of 1732, journeyed to the lappmark at the behest of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Uppsala. On his travels he visited both Ume and Lule lappmark making countless useful observations on Sami livelihood. He noted and illustrated many of his observations in a personal diary that was supposedly never intended for publication. His edited journal first appeared in English in 1811.41 The Swedish version, which has been edited and republished several times, was published most recently in three volumes by the Royal Skyttean Society in 2003.42
Almost a decade later, another young man, Arwid Ehrenmalm, traveled from Stockholm to Åsele lappmark on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. On his return to Stockholm, he wrote a book about his experiences, its final section describing Sami customs and habits.43 Both these travelogues contain detailed and useful information, allowing us to understand more about Sami subsistence. These accounts, however, share similar source-critical problems with the missionary accounts described above, some of which will be elaborated in the next section.
The prime objective of the journeys by Linnaeus and Ehrenmalm was to investigate the natural resources of northern Sweden, and to ascertain how the area could best be exploited from a Swedish point of view. As part of their task, the travelers also provided valuable insights into Sami subsistence. However, as with the missionaries described above, the travelogue authors came from a different context to the Sami they described. This sometimes shines through by way of derogatory descriptions, especially related to Sami beliefs, appearances, and manners, and more so for Ehrenmalm than for Linnaeus. Nevertheless, both authors were more objective and matter-of-fact when describing various aspects of Sami trade, reindeer herding, fishing, and their use of other natural resources. As neither of them spoke Sami, one suspects that a great deal of information, as well as the many nuances of Sami culture, became lost in translation. Ehrenmalm mentions using an interpreter, which Linnaeus does not, even though he too certainly would have been accompanied by one.
An increased scientific activity, and an interest in exploring Sweden’s natural resources, in order to promote the country’s economy impacted the publication of dissertations and scientific journals during the eighteenth century. This included topics and places from interior northern Sweden, and the authors often had lived in the area they covered. An example of that would be Jonas Hollsten from Lule lappmark, who wrote articles about three animals: beaver, wolverine, and wild reindeer.44 Table 3.1 contains an overview of accounts used with a biosketch of each author.
Table 3.1
Major early modern accounts used as sources, including biographical information of the authors; listed in alphabetic order by author
Author
Birth
Death
Background
Title (translated from Swedish)
Date written
First published
Arwid Ehrenmalm
1720
1745
Visited Åsele lappmark in 1741 at the behest of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (where he was notary public)
Journey through Wäster-Norrland to Åsele lappmark district
 
1743
Carl P. Fjellström
1732
1772
Defended a thesis on the possibilities to further cultivate the entire lappmark; he grew up in Lycksele in Ume lappmark, where his father Pehr Fjellström was priest
Thoughts about the possibility of cultivation in the Lappmark
 
1760
Pehr Fjellström
1697
1764
Schoolmaster and priest in the parish of Lycksele, Ume lappmark (1718–1764)
Short story about the Sami bear-hunt, as well as related superstitions
 
1755
Olaus Graan
1618
1689
Priest in the parish of Piteå , County of Västerbotten (1656–1689); wrote about Sami in Pite lappmark
Relation, or a complete description of the origin of the Sami, as well as their entire living conditions
1672
1899
Pehr Högström
1714
1784
Priest in the parish of Gällivare, Lule lappmark (1742–1748)
Description of Sami districts belonging to the Swedish crown
 
1747
Jonas Hollsten
1717
1789
Priest in the parish of Jokkmokk, Lule lappmark (1757–1775)
Remarks on the beaver, castor
Remarks on the wolverine
Dissertation on the reindeer
 
1768
1773
1774
Carl Linnaeus
1707
1778
Visited Ume, Lule, and Torne lappmark in the summer of 1732 on behest of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala
Iter lapponicum
1732
1811
Nicolaus Lundius
1656
1726
Sami; born in Pite lappmark where his father was priest. Minister (Sw klockare) in the parish of Jokkmokk, Lule lappmark, at the time of his death; wrote about Sami in Ume lappmark; he might have attended the Skytteanska school in Lycksele
Descriptio Lapponiae
ca 1674
1905
Olaus Petri Niurenius
1580
1645
Priest in the parish of Umeå, County of Västerbotten (1619–1645); wrote about Sami in Ume lappmark
Lapland, or a description of the Nordic region inhabited by the Sami in the most remote parts of Scandinavia or Sweden
ca 1640
1905
Samuel Rheen
1615
1680
Priest assistant vicar (Sw komminister) in the parish of Jokkmokk, Lule lappmark (1664–1671)
A short story about Sami life and customs, superstitions, and in many cases severe delusions
1671
1897
Johannes Tornaeus
unk
1681
Priest in the parish of Nedertorneå, County of Västerbotten (1639–1681)
Description of the Sami districts and their conditions
1672
1900
The travelogues and missionary accounts are mainly descriptive in character and therefore not particularly suitable for quantitative analyses. However, since the descriptions derive from sources who depict different districts in the lappmark, it is still possible to make comparisons, which in turn strengthen the credibility of the descriptions as source material. One additional source is Anders Holm’s account that is part of a map drawn by surveyor Jonas Gedda covering Ume lappmark in 1671 and published by Norstedt in 2011.45 The map is divided into 37 skatteland (tax lands), and Holm systematically describes available resources on each portion of land.46

Court Rulings

The other major source material we used are court rulings from the local court (häradsrätt) in Jokkmokk in Lule lappmark. The early modern häradsrätt was an arena where users could bring unresolved conflicts regarding natural resource management to have them settled.
Scandinavian law is generally regarded as distinct from other legal families. Another name for Scandinavian law is Nordic law since it refers to the law of the five Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.47 The Scandinavian legal tradition goes back to the early medieval period when similar provincial law codes appeared in Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and last in Sweden. This intense period of legislation coincides with a period of political and ideological consolidation of the emerging states.48 In Sweden, the medieval law code was in place until 1734, when a new national law was introduced to include countryside and towns.49 However, the new law code did not radically break from legal tradition.50 The laws of the local community were written by and for the land-holding peasants.51 The long-term history of jurisdiction in Sweden relates to how the king and the state (the crown) gained increasing control over the process at the expense of local communities. Starting in the seventeenth century, the jurisdiction slowly became more professionalized.
The countryside was divided into judicial areas. The primary unit of jurisdiction was an assembly called ting. During the Middle Ages, it became an arena were rural communities convened to manage their legal matters. The court proceedings took place under the leadership of a judge who made decisions with a panel of twelve local men, the nämnd or tolvmanna, who served as lay-judges, nämnedmän. No official could sit on the nämnd. The nämnd represented the community and its knowledge of local people and circumstances. The participation of the community was essential for the legitimacy of the court. One explanation for the stronger influence of the Swedish peasantry compared to much of contemporary Europe was that peasants constituted one of the four societal estates of the Diet that was standardized in the sixteenth century.52 Another feature of the Nordic judicial system was that many cases were resolved by settlements in court, not out of court.53 The courts have been described as social arenas where the local community met the authorities and together “took part in the exercise of social control,”54 and as a place where local economic disputes and other relations were settled.55
A fundamental feature of the court was its lay dominance, where conflict resolution was a bottom-up process.56 Lay dominance was a cornerstone in the Swedish legal cultural identity at that time.57 Since the courts in the Swedish lappmark belonged to the same legal system as the courts in the rest of Sweden, we can assume that the legal culture there was analogous, albeit reflecting local practices in a Sami context. This assumption is reinforced by the fact that the häradsrätt in Lule lappmark, at least into the mid-eighteenth century, had twelve Sami lay-judges and one Swedish head judge, like the other local courts in the lappmark.58 The courts in Sweden were inclined to accept the economic reality in the local community and strived to maintain social stability.59
However, it is important to stress a few things to put the local court in perspective. The lay-judges were not randomly selected. They represented established taxpaying people. They all had a stake in natural resource management, i.e., reindeer herding, fishing, hunting. An eighteenth-century source described the lay-judge position in the lappmark as desired and the lay-judges as honorable, not different from the same position in an agriculture setting.60 While the court decision in the eighteenth century was a bottom-up process regarding land use where Sami customary rights were taken into consideration, not all cases brought to the court were. In criminal cases and religious matters, it was the Swedish state’s view that prevailed. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century it was the Christian Lutheran faith that showed if you were a Swede. Religion was the cohesive force and a glue in society, not the language, since Sweden was a multilingual country. According to Lars-Gunnar Larsson, even Sami-speaking people were seen as good Swedes as long as they confessed to the Lutheran faith, something that changed during the nineteenth century when the Swedish language came to define the country.61 When the court became aware that Sami had been practicing a pre-Christian faith, they investigated the circumstances meticulously and punished the practitioners severely.62 In cases regarding land use, the court acted the other way around, with inclusiveness that involved users.

Solving Conflicts in Practice

How policy making regarding land use and grazing rights were shaped is hard to fully understand in an early modern setting, where the users have left no written evidence of how the process evolved. Natural resource governance was complex, and we can assume that users routinely interacted with each other to make policy decisions. These interactions are difficult to research today, but from the late seventeenth century, the local court became a trusted arena for policy discussion and decisions regarding natural resource management policy. To get a sense of how the court worked and the bottom-up perspective used, we present a few court rulings.
In 1732, Anund Larsson in Tuorpon complained to the court that Jon Larsson Hufwa and his father Lars Andersson Kock in the same village, had been fishing in a lake in the mountains. Particularly annoying for Anund Larsson was that they had been fishing in the part of the lake where the fish spawn each year. Since the court was not able to determine who had the right to fish in the lake, they appointed two lay-judges to do an investigation, Tomas Storm from Jokkmokk and Pål Andersson in Sirkas. The lay-judges were told to visit the lake with the plaintiff and the defendants and gather all information possible. The court only convened once each year and told the users to share the lake as they had been doing while they waited for a decision regarding the case. One year later, the lay-judges reported back to the court what they had discovered. Based on that information, the court eventually was able to make a decision in the case in February of 1733. The plaintiff and the defendants agreed upon a solution that the lay-judges had suggested and the lake was divided between them. A border between the two parties was determined, and Anund Larsson had the right to fish on the south side and Jon Larsson Hufwa and Lars Andersson Kock on the north, and most likely, both getting half of the spawning area.63
As the case shows, a lay-judge was a trusted man and was often appointed to resolve conflicts and suggest solutions to the court regarding disputes among users, usually after he had met the parties involved in the field. In this case, the Sami-speaking lay-judges met with the plaintiff and defendants in Tuorpon to find a solution that the court later confirmed. The lay-judges came to have an important role in determining the outcomes of conflicts regarding land use brought to court. The lay-judges could also be asked to determine if arguments put forward in court were plausible, as a case from 1743, about an oxren (ox reindeer) shows.
A week before Christmas, eight reindeer that belonged to Pål Eriksson had merged into Anders Anundsson’s reindeer herd. Seven of them had been retrieved, but an ox reindeer was still missing. A few days later, a thirteen-year-old boy, who had herded Eriksson’s reindeer during the summer, saw Anundsson slaughter a reindeer and he recognized it as the reindeer Eriksson was missing. When Eriksson was notified, he went over to confront Anundsson and took the reindeer pelt from the slaughtered animal as a proof. Anundsson insisted that the slaughtered reindeer was his own property. The discussion in court came to revolve around the reindeer pelt and if it had belonged to Eriksson’s reindeer or Anundsson’s reindeer. Eriksson displayed the pelt for the court and argued that his animal could be recognized because “hair” was missing at the neck where a trälg (collar) had been attached. When Anundsson told the court that he too had had a collar on his reindeer, the lay-judges pointed out that it seemed implausible that the reindeer could have lost so much hair since Anundsson had told them his reindeer had not worn the collar for a long time.
The discussion about recognizing a reindeer by the pelt or “hair” continued when Gunilla Pålsdotter took the stand. During the summer she had had Eriksson’s reindeer in her herd and she told the court that she känner således alla renar äldre och yngre, om de än vore ibland tusende främmande renar (recognize all reindeer, old as well as young, even if they were with thousands of unfamiliar reindeer).64 When the fur was displayed, Pålsdotter said she knew it was Eriksson’s missing reindeer from “the hair,” as well from the fact that part of the fur on the neck was worn away. The judge seemed to have a hard time judging Pålsdotter’s testimony, and he asked the lay-judges if it was possible for a caretaker of reindeer to recognize a single reindeer out of many. The lay-judges said that it was possible for a person who took care of reindeer to distinguish a reindeer by “the hair,” even if the number of reindeer in a herd were large and they look alike in color. Anundsson agreed but added that reindeer pelts could be quite similar.65
These two court cases show not only that the lay-judges played an important, and often instrumental, role in determining the outcome of a court case regarding natural resource management, but that the judge from the state often was clueless about how Sami economy and culture worked, especially when it came to the details. One way for the state to keep the faith in the court system was to leave important decisions in the hands of people who actually knew how the economy worked for local users. Since the court only convened once each year, a few days in January or February, and the judge did not live in the area, he had no time to visit contested places. This and the fact that the jurisdiction area was huge made it impossible for the state judge to know details about local circumstances. That district court existed until 1751, when its jurisdiction of approximately 36,000 km2 was split basically in half. After 1751, the local court in Jokkmokk covered around 19,500 km2.
Through the court rulings, we are enlightened by “hearing” the users’ own voices in their arguments and attitudes. The rulings were scripted by a clerk (probably non-Sami) who was appointed by the state; however, the written records present only summaries of what actually was said during the court proceedings. Most users spoke only Sami, which meant that an interpreter translated to Swedish all that was said in court before the rulings were recorded. For sure, all of this added the risk of information being lost in the process. The judges often worked for a long time in the lappmark and sometimes they knew a little Sami. When new judges were to be appointed in 1697, an argument for two candidates was that they were fairly good at the language.66

Rulings from Lule Lappmark

Filip Hultblad worked more than thirty years on his dissertation Transition from Nomadism to Farming in the Parish of Jokkmokk.67 In his seminal work, he laid the foundation for other scholars working on settlement development in Lule lappmark.68 His aim was to understand the settling process, but it was only possible to do this as a study of the total development of settlements in the area. Hence, he became involved in Sami history. In order to understand the development in the southern part of Lule lappmark, Jokkmokk’s parish, he used the time-consuming method of studying the population person by person, a method he described as genealogical-topographic. He went through almost all available written sources (unpublished as well as published sources) from the early modern period to the end of the nineteenth century, and added some early twentieth-century sources.69 An important source Hultblad used was court rulings from the häradsrätt in Jokkmokk. The court rulings are from the end of the seventeenth century to the second half of the nineteenth century.70 From the late seventeenth century, it is possible to follow individual people through the sources. Hultblad estimates that he read approximately 20,000 pages of court rulings, an astonishing number. In his book he has a long section of abbreviated court rulings listed according to people involved.71 Each person was assigned a number, and in another part of the book he has a family register regarding families that were established in the area before 1880. He listed both court rulings and family members according to the Sami village the person belonged to. Settlers, mostly non-Sami, are listed at the farms where they lived or in other settlements. Since Hultblad studied settlement development and wrote a dissertation in geography, the list of court cases he published often involved names of places. Court rulings that are rich in place names are civil court cases regarding, for example, the right to use grazing land, fish, or hunt. Hence, they make up a large part of the abbreviated court rulings Hultblad published.
The court in Jokkmokk encompassed all of Lule lappmark from its inception in the first decade of the seventeenth century to 1751, when the new court was established in Gällivare in the northern part of Lule Lappmark. In Jokkmokk, the villages Tuorpon, Sirkas, and Jokkmokk and the southern part of Sjokksjokk continued as a smaller version of the original court. Hultblad was focused on Jokkmokk parish and excluded court rulings regarding Kaitum village and the northern part of Sjokksjokk that became part of Gällivare court’s jurisdiction.
We used Hultblad’s compilation of court rulings in Lule lappmark to systematically find cases dealing with reindeer herding, fishing, and hunting as well as other cases related to land use. To validate the cases, we compared a sample of his transcripts to the original court rulings, and our assessment was that they match well in regard to principal content. Nevertheless, his transcripts are abbreviations of the original records. When we needed more meticulous descriptions of court cases, we used the originals. In total, there were about 280 cases concerning land use between 1699 and 1780. The large number of court cases in a small population (more about population in Chapter 4) is evidence that users used the court to develop policy. The court was a collective-choice arena where policy decisions about rules that defined and constrained operational activities often were made.72 Decisions about the right to use grazing land and fishing waters were discussed in detail, and the court rulings make it possible to study the gradual changes in the institutions that regulated rights to graze reindeer, fish, and hunt.73
A classification shows that around 70% of 280 cases dealt with reindeer grazing or access to land in more general terms, around 24% dealt with fishing, and only 6% dealt explicitly with hunting.74 These proportions suggest that users were concerned mostly with the expanding reindeer pastoralism during the eighteenth century and that reindeer owners used the court to change policy about grazing rights. At the other end of the spectrum, conflicts over hunting rarely were taken to court. However, the percentages say less about what role hunting played in the household than the cases themselves. Although there are relatively few hunting cases in the court material, the ones that exist provide detailed information.
With fewer cases available, we turned more to the original court rulings to get more meticulous descriptions. In practice, this means that all court rulings regarding hunting have come from the original records. We read about one-third of the cases regarding fishing and about 10% of the rulings regarding reindeer herding. In addition, some court rulings mentioned reindeer, fishing, and hunting in passing, although they mainly dealt with another type of conflict, e.g., theft, assault. We used information from a few such cases, all retrieved from the original records. For hunting, it meant that we almost doubled the number of cases.
To get a sense of how the court worked in Lule lappmark, and to get a feeling of what kinds of other conflicts were brought to the court at the beginning of the eighteenth century, we read all court rulings from 1699 to 1708. They encompass about 130 court rulings and add valuable insights into Sami culture. The court rulings sometimes contain details about practices that can add to or corroborate information in other sources, specifically the priests’ and travelers’ accounts. Some of these cases are rulings concerned with reindeer herding, fishing, and hunting and are included in the number above. In total, we used around 400 court rulings.
The authors of accounts and court records used Swedish spellings when they transcribed Sami names of users, lakes and streams, grazing land, and other places. Sami language and Sami name traditions are fundamentally different from their Swedish equivalents, which vary considerably in historical sources, and it was probably difficult for contemporary interpreters and authors to get the names right. We transcribed the names in modern Swedish, although we are aware that Lule Sami orthography would have been more accurate and would have added context and familiarity for readers. However, to be useful, such a translation requires a rigorous and systematic approach, which was beyond what is possible to do in this book. An additional problem with place names in the court rulings is that some of them are grossly misspelled or have been misunderstood.75
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Fußnoten
1
Hultblad (1968, pp. 61–63) and Lundmark (1982). The topic is further developed in Chapter 7.
 
2
Tegengren (1952, pp. 248–268), Svanberg (1981), L.-G. Larsson (2018) and Elenius (2019).
 
3
Sommarström (1981 [19561978], pp. 320–323).
 
4
Elenius (2019, pp. 16–17). Råne River is also in Lule lappmark, but its watershed is much smaller than Lule River’s watershed.
 
5
Åsele lappmark is also called Ångermanlands lappmark, and Ume lappmark has been called Lyckselse lappmark. Since 1809, Kemi lappmark has been part of Finland. Into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a large part of Torne lappmark was in Norway and Finland (Norstedt 2018, p. 22).
 
6
Steckzén (1964), Luukko (1980 [19561978], pp. 594–597), and Bergman and Edlund (2016).
 
7
Lundmark (1982, p. 78).
 
8
Lundmark (1982) and Phebe Fjellström (1986). The first preserved tax record is from 1553, the same year a special “fur chamber” (Sw. skinnkammare) was established at the royal castle in Stockholm, where two scribes worked (Steckzén 1964, p. 322).
 
9
Tuorpon was in many early modern sources called Turponjaure, and Sirkas was called Sirkasluokta.
 
10
Hultblad (1968, pp. 68–69). Birkarlar will be further discussed in Chapter 4.
 
11
See for example, HRA (1704, p. 820; 1706, p. 49). The distinction between village and hamlet that is made in English is not made in Swedish. The Swedish word by could be translated to hamlet or village, depending on the context. A Swedish by can consist of as few as two households.
 
12
Bergman et al. (2008, p. 101).
 
13
See, for example, Tanner (1929), Vorren (1978) and Mulk (1994, pp. 10–11).
 
14
Pehrson (1964 [1957], pp. 92–93) and Ingold (1980, p. 268). In The Saami, a Cultural Encyclopaedia, the word siida is explained as a “lapp village,” a Sami community that had “common sources of livelihood and common usufruct territories.” With the development of reindeer husbandry, in the western Sami languages it has come to mean reindeer herding community, including grazing lands, herds, and camping places, while in the eastern Sami area it means a village community (Koponen 2005, p. 392).
 
15
Tanner (1929, see particularly pp. 345, 351, 388–389).
 
16
Tanner (1929, pp. 388–389). Bureus did not visit the area but created his map in 1611 (Wallerström 2018, pp. 38–39). Tresk’s maps, based on fieldwork, are from 1642 to 1643 and were published much later by Ahnlund (Tresk and Ahnlund 1928).
 
17
Tanner (1929, p. 345).
 
18
Eidlitz Kuoljok (1987, 2011). The article from 1987 is a short piece in which she launched the idea that Tanner’s model was wrong. Her article did not receive much attention; as a response, she published a book on the subject in 2011 where she thoroughly penetrated the question. See also Wallerström (2018).
 
19
Karlsson (2006) and Aronsson (2009).
 
20
Wallerström (2018).
 
21
Holmbäck (1922), Hultblad (1968), and Norstedt (2011). The concept skatteland is discussed in Chapter 2.
 
22
See also Wallerström (2018, pp. 43–44) regarding the use of the word siida.
 
23
de Moor (2015, p. 3).
 
24
Schefferus (1673), Graan (1899), and Rheen (1897). Some of the seventeenth-century sources use Gran Sami (Gran is Swedish for spruce) as a synonym for Forest Sami.
 
25
Marklund (2015) and Norstedt (2018, p. 60).
 
26
A few examples: In 1704 a man from Sirkas came to court and explained that he was missing his sister, who was married and lived with her spouse in Sjokksjokk (HRA 1704, p. 819). The same year, a man in Sirkas handed over his seven-year-old daughter to a frände (relative) in Tuorpon who promised to raise her. The relative and his wife had no children, and the girl would become their legal heir (HRA 1704, p. 825).
 
27
HRA (1702, pp. 530–531, 538, 542).
 
28
HRA (1707, p. 157). Two additional cases from the early 1700s involved a maid from Jokkmokk working for a reindeer owner in Tuorpon (HRA 1704, pp. 807–808) and a woman from Jokkmokk who had worked five years as a maid in a household in Sirkas (HRA 1705, p. 973).
 
29
Schefferus (1673).
 
30
The Royal Skyttean Society republished the accounts in compilation in 1983 (Fjellström et al. 1983).
 
31
Rheen (1897). Rheen’s manuscript was written in 1671.
 
32
Graan (1899). Graan’s manuscript was written in 1671.
 
33
Tornaeus (1900). Tornaeus’ manuscript was written in 1672.
 
34
Niurenius (1905). Niurenius’ manuscript was written in the early 1640s.
 
35
Lundius (1905). Lundius’ manuscript was written circa 1674.
 
36
Tuderus (1905). Tuderus’ manuscript was written between 1672 and 1679.
 
37
Högström (1747).
 
38
Lundius (1905, p. 3). Lundius’ background is depicted by K. B. Wiklund and is part of the Foreword to Lundius’ account.
 
39
Högström (1747, p. 77) and Rheen (1897, p. 52).
 
40
Tornaeus (1900, p. 61).
 
41
Linnaeus (1811a, 1811b).
 
42
Linnaeus (2003, parts I–III).
 
43
Ehrenmalm (1743).
 
44
Hollsten (1768, 1773, 1774).
 
45
Norstedt (2011).
 
46
Norstedt (2018, pp. 32–34).
 
47
Zweigert and Kötz (1998) and Malmström (1969). Scandinavian law tradition also includes three territories with a high degree of self-governance: the Danish Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Finnish Åland Islands.
 
48
Lindkvist (1997).
 
49
Sveriges Rikes Lag (1984 [1780]).
 
50
Lindkvist (1997, p. 216).
 
51
Korpiola (2014).
 
52
Korpiola (2014).
 
53
Österberg et al. (2000).
 
54
Österberg et al. (2000, p. 252).
 
55
Lindkvist (1997).
 
56
Ågren (1992), Korpiola (2014), J. Larsson (2016) and Österberg et al. (2000).
 
57
Korpiola (2014).
 
58
Högström (1747, pp. 240–241), Korpijaakko-Labba (1994, p. 113), Larsson and Päiviö Sjaunja (2020) and Marklund (2015, p. 83).
 
59
J. Larsson (2016) and Österberg and Sogner (2000).
 
60
Högström (1747, pp. 240–241).
 
61
L.-G. Larsson (2018, pp. 224–225).
 
62
Rydving (1995a. pp. 54–68).
 
63
HRA (1732, February 8, pp. 138–139; 1733, February 10).
 
64
RA SH (1743, p. 505).
 
65
RA SH (1743, pp. 504–507); see also Hultblad (1968, p. 426, evidence 1094a).
 
66
Göthe (1929, p. 338).
 
67
Hultblad (1968, p. 5). The dissertation Övergång från nomadism till agrar bosättning i Jokkmokks socken is written in Swedish and has an English summary on pages 436–439.
 
68
Lundmark (1982), Kvist (1989), Sköld (1992) and Mulk (1994).
 
69
Hultblad (1968, pp. 440–441). The investigation covered up to 1910.
 
70
Hultblad (1968, p. 41).
 
71
Hultblad (1968, pp. 354–435).
 
72
Ostrom (2005).
 
73
Streeck and Thelen (2005).
 
74
Some court rulings involved many activities, such as reindeer herding and fishing or reindeer herding, fishing, and hunting.
 
75
Hultblad (1968, p. 354). See, for example, Rydving (1995b, pp. 36–62), for more about Sami place names.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Lule Lappmark and Sources
verfasst von
Jesper Larsson
Eva-Lotta Päiviö Sjaunja
Copyright-Jahr
2022
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87498-8_3

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