University of Oulu

Lehtola, V. (2017) Vanishing Lapps, progress in action. Finnish lappology and representations of the Sámi in publicity in the early 20th century. Arktika i Sever, 27 (), 94-116. doi:10.17238/issn2221-2698.2017.27.94

Vanishing Lapps, progress in action : Finnish lappology and representations of the Sámi in publicity in the early 20th century

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Author: Lehtola, Veli-Pekka1
Organizations: 1Giellagas Institute, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Northern Arctic Federal University, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-11-24


The article examines how the representations of the Sámi were constructed in Finnish studies on Sámi in 1920 and 1930s. The role of racial studies in the Finnish lappology remained a short-period influence, while the dominant scientific field of interest, the Finno-Ugric research, had it’s own hierarchies concerning the Sámi, implied in the multi-disciplinary field from linguistics to folkloristics and ethnology. This branch was challenged by the human anthropological or cultural geographical position, emphasizing the cultural adaptation to the environment as the guiding force formulating Sámi societies. Besides purely scientific knowledge, the article studies the extensive field of other Sámi descriptions, which spanned from travel guides to newspaper articles. It suggests that this mixture of scientific and political interests together with stereotypical representations of the Sámi forms the context for the poor reputation of lappology among the later researchers.

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Series: Arctic and North
ISSN: 2221-2698
ISSN-E: 2221-2698
ISSN-L: 2221-2698
Issue: 27
Pages: 83 - 102
DOI: 10.17238/issn2221-2698.2017.27.94
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 616 Other humanities
Copyright information: All journal issues are available free of charge (CC BY-SA) in Russian and English at the webpage of the journal. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.