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Qvarnström, Elin (2006) "De tycka emellertid av gammal vana att det smakar gott, och tro dessutom att det är bra för hälsan". Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

Meat and fish was the most important food for the Sami people in northern Scandinavia until the beginning of the 20th century. It is not so well known that the Sami people also used a lot of wild plants as food and medicine although that kind of food was relatively common among them until the end of the 19th century. The purpose of this master thesis has been to describe which plants the Sami people used in general and also which plants were the most commonly used, and when and how these plants were harvested. I also wanted to measure the quantities of Angelica archangelica and Rumex acestosa within traditional harvest sites. Furthermore I wanted to find out if the plant use differed among Sami groups geographically. My last issue was to find out if there were any similarities between the Sami people and other circumpolar people's when it comes to plant use. For this purpose I have used old and new literature, ethnological material, field studies and interviews. According to my studies (and other research) it seems like the Angelica archangelica has been the most valuable and most used plant among the Sami people. The causes for that can be the fact that the plant is easy to use and vary. The whole plant is usable and it has also been used as a medicine. It is also easy to harvest the plant. The Angelica was also valuable because boiled stalks could be mixed with reindeer milk, which preserved the milk. One could also dry the plant. This made it possible for the Sami people to have plant food year-round. It is possible that the Sami people have cultivated the Angelica (since they also harvested the flowers were all the seeds were it could have led to a shortage of the plant). If they cultivated Angelica that made it easier for them to have the plant more close to their homes and also to get greater amounts of the Angelica. Pine bark was another important plant for the Sami people. It was possible to dry the bark and therefore that plant could also be preserved yearround. I have not found anything particular that shows that there have been great dissimilarities between Sami people in different parts of Sweden. There could be some differences between Forest Samis and Mountain Samis though. My field studies showed that the Angelica did not take any harm of regular harvest. The amount of Angelica plants were largest at the places were Dagny Skaile had harvested Angelica for a long time. There were 200 kilos of Angelica root per hectare and 120 kilos of Angelicas stalks per hectare in that place. The Rumex harvest was a lot smaller, only 2, 5 kilos of Rumex leaves per hectare at site1 and 1, 6 kilos per hectare at site 2. The Sami people have during thousands of years used a lot of different plants for their daily needs. They have harvested, planted, preserved and favoured plants. The methods they have used for this purpose have been more developed and refined during the years. The plant which contains a lot of fibres, vitamins and minerals has also helped the Sami people not being affected of deficiency diseases. The same plants have been both food and medicine for the Sami people. Their diet can be described a sort of prehistoric functional food. The Laplander's plant use has a lot of similarities with other people in the circumpolar area. These peoples way of living and way of using the nature did not differ more than the fact that they have used different plants although many of the plants are from the same plant genus. Harvest, preparation and preservation have thereafter been done after the conditions and supply that has been available in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: etnobotnik, samer, skogshistoria, Norrland
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Forest Sciences > Dept. of Forest Vegetation Ecology
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Kristina Johansson
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:46
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1397

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