SAAMI HISTORY ON ALNÖ ISLAND -Fishing, Mountain, Forest, Coastal Forest Labour and parish Saamis on Alnön Island Pt I Saami History for Alnö, in English

Edited Feb 19, 2018, in a nostalgic non-sea icy mood

(This Series is not the same as in Swedish, there are some various aspects.
You will be able to read the rest in an edited version in the E-zine Saepmie Times)

Yesterday I ran into some thick descriptive sources who lived in shelters and small cottages around turn of the century 1900.

Fishing Saamis and labour Saamis seem to have intermixed with Parish Saamis, Forest and Coastal Forest Saamis and Mountain Saamis during the 1800s, and this picture remains until the 1920s.

Coastal Forest Saamis as well as the Sea Saamis are the core recruitement groups for the  first generations of the so called parish lapps (sockenlappar) or parish Saamis; which consist a handicraft-like profession. This is valid ca 1730-1840. From mid-1800s parish Lapps are vanishing as a group fairly fast; and left to recruit from is mainly the poorer segment by the Mountain Saamis. Alnö is also known for having had a non-Saami, Swede-born parish Saami. Not so seldom fired soldiers could slip into these eventually in the 1800s less and less attractive posts. From the beginning it was a guarantee not to get expelled; and most parish Saamis in this mega-county of Jämtland-Västernorrland-Gävleborg could practice a reasonable amount of nomadizing, although it was forbidden by actual law. This is why I use the word ”shelter” about this area.

Some Mountain Saamis wintergroups actually could travel further South along the winter; a few of them even to Norrala- Söderhamn. They often used Alnö Island or the Strait West of it as a gathering point after the Helsingian excursions during mid-winter.

Three main roads over the strait(-s); Northern Jämtland’s (and Vilhelmina) (mt.) Saamis went over Skäggsta, parish Hässjö; Westerns, Central and Southern Jämtland Mountain Saamis passed over Tuna by-Korsta to Gustafsberg. Härjedalen Saamis went over from Essvik.

The frequent Forest (semi-nomad or, at times, full nomad) Saamis are visible in parishes Tynderö, Skön, Njurunda, Selånger – and most likely they – and their close relatives the Fishing Saamis – as well as the Coastal Forest Saamis must have crowded Alnön Island the decades around 1700. And so we need to include the multi-subsistence group of Sea Saamis, hard to differ in the material from the exclusively fishing groups or Fishing Saamis. And the Mountain Saamis did actually start early with their winter pasturage for more or less huge reindeer herds (3 000 in the later part of the period of well documented winter grazing of 1718-1935).


”Såg vid såg jag såg, varhelst jag såg” (Approx. ”Saw by saw I saw, wherever I saw”). Some of the fishing Saamis could in some seasons work at one of the 15-17 saw mills on Alnön Island.
This is Nacka saw mill; my paternal grandfather’s childhood habitate. It is also a documented passaging point for a North-Eastern nomadic trail, over the winter way, on the ice that is.

EPILOGUE: I will try to find my old county museum-reports to post later in this series!

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