The Road to the North: Sámi and Finn Encounters in the Inari and Teno River Areas as Depicted in Poetry and Oral Tradition

Terhi Vuojala-Magga

Abstract

This article presents a critical examination of Sámi/Finn encounters in Lapland as depicted in poetry and oral tradition during the past decade. Utilizing a background created by feminist discourse this analysis extends the discussion of cultural encounters from a theoretical discussion into the more versatile world experienced by the local people, both Sámi and Finn. I approach the topic from the conceptual construct of anthropology, employing Tim Ingold’s approach toward the “ecology of life” and Michael Jackson’s methodology of radical empiricism. The encounters described here can be examined on two different levels—on one hand I discuss stories of the encounters between Sámi people and Finns, on the other hand the encounters between Sámi researchers and Finnish researchers as they interact on levels of analytical research.

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