Illustration by Steffen Aronsen, 8 Seasons Hotel.
The Sami have eight seasons:
Winter- Springwinter- Spring- Springsummer- Summer- Autumnsummer- Autumn- Autumnwinter.
Dálvi- Giđđadálvi- Giđđa- Giđđageassi- Geassi -Čakcageassi- Čakca- Čakcadálvi.
The Sami have different tasks in the different seasons. The reindeer-herding Sámi have their tasks and the sea Sámi have their own, but there are some similarities between them. The eight seasons are most applicable to those who run traditional industries such as reindeer husbandry or farming/fishing. A task can be postponed until the next season if the work cannot be carried out exactly within a certain season. The division of the months is also divided in the middle of the months.
A reindeer herding Sami year:
Winter: December – February
Under a cover of twenty-four hour per day darkness, the Sami move the reindeer to the forest, the last place to find enough food to support the herd. Here, the reindeer will wait out the harshest period of the year until the sun returns and Nature urges them to return to the calving ground to begin the cycle again. The Sami are present in each of these seasons, but they are merely following the age-old cycle of the reindeer, of birth and death.
The reindeer are on winter pasture
Slaughter for sale and spring/summer supplies
Supervision of the reindeer herd all year round
Spring winter: February – March
The herd begins the migration from the forests to the calving grounds in the mountains. The pregnant females initiate this move and return to roughly the same area every year. Both the reindeer and the Sami move prior to the birth of the calves.
Gathering of the reindeer herd
Drying reindeer meat (Finnmark)
Spring: April – May
The temperature increases and the snow begins to melt. If the reindeer and Sami have not yet reached the calving grounds, travel will be very difficult as the snow turns to slush. During this time, the calves are born in the foothills of the mountains.
Drying reindeer meat (Troms)
Spring migration to the coast (Especially Finnmark)
Spring summer: May – June
The reindeer graze and the Sami have some time to rest and prepare for the earmarking of the calves. The calves are still very young and if food is scarce during this time the herd could be adversely affected.
Marking of calves
Duodji, leather tanning
Summer: June – August
Much of this season is bathed in twenty-four hour per day sunlight. During this time, the important task of earmarking takes place. All the calves must be carefully marked to denote ownership between Sami families and communities.
Duodji roadside sales
Duodji, leather tanning
Autumn summer: August – September
The Sami begin to prepare for the harsh winter by choosing the bull reindeer destined for slaughter. If the summer has been plentiful, the reindeer will be large and will make it through the winter. If they have not been able to put on substantial weight, the family may have to slaughter more reindeer in order to survive.
Kastrating of bull reindeer
Splitting of reindeer
Sedge grass is cut
Autumn: October – November
This is the season of rut. The reindeer mate prior to their return to the winter-grounds. This is also the season for fishing in the mountain- rivers. It will soon grow to cold to remain here in the mountains so the Sami and the reindeer prepare for the move.
Mating time for reindeer
Autumn winter: November – December
The herders lead the reindeer out of the mountains to the lowland bogs where vegetation still thrives. This is the last bit of light that the herd and the Sami will see until the
end of the next season. As the temperature drops, the lowlands
become equally inhospitable.
Slaughter of reindeer for provision
A sea Sami year. Same division as a reindeer herding Sami year.
Winter cod fishing
Drying of meat
Spring fishing for cod
Salmon fishing in the river
Fishing for cod, haddock, herring
Collection of duodji materials
Shearing of sheep
Small game hunting
The post THE SAMI, PEOPLE OF THE EIGHT SEASONS appeared first on .