The Sami villages & reindeer farming
Within the area Funäsfjällen, three Sami communities have access to pasture for their reindeer, namely Mittådalen Sami village, Mittådalen, Ruvhten Sijte, Tännäs together with Handölsdalen Sami village. The reindeer-owning Sami are self-employed and organized under the local Sami community which is a cooperative economic association.
Reindeer farming follows the cycles of nature and the instincts of the reindeer. During the course of April, depending on the weather and snow-cover, the reindeer start heading towards their highland pasture areas. In May the does calve and come July, it is time to score the calves. The owners score the calves’ ears with their individual brand. During the autumn, before the reindeer start off towards their winter pasture, the villagers gather the herds to separate those going to slaughter. The work teams consisting of five to eight reindeer owners separate the respective reindeer before the winter shift in the forests. In January, the reindeer are once again gathered and counted with some sample slaughter so as not to exceed the maximum number of reindeer allowed per Sami village.
Reindeer farming is not merely an industry and a job but primarily a lifestyle, bridging the traditional Sami way of life with its long-standing history from the original hunting society, to today’s modernized form of reindeer farming.
When visiting the region you can sample Sami culinary and cultural experiences. There is both production and marketing of Sami delicacies and handicraft. For a glance at Sami culture, the village Mittådalen is well worth a visit.
The Sami culture is an essential part of Härjedalen’s identity. You are most welcome as a guest to Sápmi – Samiland.