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Ecological Sustainability in Traditional Sámi Beliefs and Rituals


Mardoeke Boekraad

The book gives a detailed overview of relevant traditional indigenous Sámi myths, beliefs and rituals based on empirical findings. The author inquires whether and how they are related to an ecologically sustainable use of the natural environment. Her main sources are ancient missionary texts, writings by Sámi and contemporary interviews with Sámi individuals. The traditional value system included ecological sustainability as a survival strategy. Beliefs and rituals, transmitted via stories, incorporated these values and transmitted a feeling of a round life, despite the strict rules for right behavior and punishment for transgressions. The term round symbolized a sense of safety, interconnectedness, reliance on mutual help and respect, identification and empathy with all living beings.
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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Boekraad, Mardoeke, 1964- author. Title: Ecological sustainability in traditional Sámi beliefs and rituals / Mardoeke Boekraad. Description: 1 [edition]. | New York : Peter Lang, 2016. | Series: Moderne, Kulturen, Relationen, ISSN 1619-358X ; Band 20 | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2016004131 | ISBN 9783631665985 Subjects: LCSH: Sami (European people)–Religion. | Human ecology–Lapland. | Human ecology–Religious aspects. | Sustainability–Laoland. Classification: LCC BL980.L3 B64 2016 | DDC 299/.457–dc23 LC record available at

ISSN 1619-358X ISBN 978-3-631-66598-5 (Print) E-ISBN 978-3-653-05893-2 (E-Book) DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-05893-2

© Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Frankfurt am Main 2016 All rights reserved. Peter Lang Edition is an Imprint of Peter Lang GmbH.

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