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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2022

A Sacred Tree in the Boreal forest: A Narrative About a Sami Shaman, her Tree, and the Forest Landscape

Bergman, Ingela; Ostlund, Lars


Since the early nineteenth century, forest landscapes and socio-economic contexts have significantly changed in northernmost Sweden. These processes include agrarian colonisation, the Christianisation of the indigenous Sami people, and the transfer of land tenure. We aim to analyse how Sami religious practice manifested itself in a time of dramatic social transition in northern Sweden by focussing on the life and religious practice of a Sami woman known as the shaman Guoksik-gummo, 'the Lady of the Siberian Jay.' We analyse a range of historical records and one specific sacred tree related to her to understand this period better and illuminate the changes in land-use religious practice and landscape transformation between the early nineteenth century and the early twenty-first century. We conclude that better documentation, more vital protection by law of Sami cultural traces in northern landscapes, and better consultation with Sami are needed in the future.


Sami shaman; Sacred tree; Forest history; Landscape archaeology; Sapmi; Northern sweden

Publicerad i

Human Ecology
2022, Volym: 50, nummer: 6, sidor: 1023-1033

      UKÄ forskningsämne

      Forest Science
      History of Religions
      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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