The Sámi Peoples of the North: A Social and Cultural History (Paperback)
There is no single volume that encompasses an integrated social and cultural history of the S mi people from the Nordic countries and northwestern Russia. Neil Kent's book fills this lacuna. In the first instance, he considers how the S mi homeland is defined: its geography, climate, and early contact with other peoples. He then moves on to its early chronicles and the onset of colonisation, which changed S mi life profoundly over the last millennium. Thereafter, the nature of S mi ethnicity is examined, in the context of the peoples among whom the S mi increasingly lived, as well as the growing intrusions of the states who claimed sovereignty over them. The Soviet gulag, the Lapland War and increasing urbanisation all impacted upon S mi life. Religion, too, played an important role from pre-historic times, with their pantheon of gods and sacred sites, to their Christianisation. In the late twentieth century there has been an increasing symbiosis of ancient S mi spiritual practice with Christianity. Recently the intrusions of the logging and nuclear industries, as well as tourism have come to redefine S mi society and culture. Even the meaning of who exactly is a S mi is scrutinised, at a time when some intermarry and yet return to S mi, where their children maintain their S mi identity.
Neil Kent is based at Cambridge University and the St Petersburg State Academy of Art, Architecture and Culture, specialising in European history and culture. His many previous books include The Soul of the North: A Social, Architectural and Cultural History of the Nordic Countries, 1770-1940 and Helsinki: A Cultural and Literary History.