"As a young man American Hugh Beach went to live with the Saami reindeer hunters of Swedish Lapland. His personal story of trying to fit into the herding way of life is a rare insider's account of the Saami. In an afterword to this new edition of the book that was originally published in 1993, he revisits his old friends and looks at how Sweden is attempting to balance the conflicting needs of reindeer herders and environmentalists in the twenty-first century."--BOOK JACKET.
On his first visit to Swedish Lapland, in 1973, Swedish anthropologist Beach stayed 17 months. In subsequent years he returned to take part in every phase of reindeer herding and to observe the effect of modern technology on the herders' wilderness lifestyle. His account of time spent with the Tuorpon Saami (Lapps) in the Jokkmokk District embraces an awesome story of grueling work, adventure and friendship above the Arctic Circle. Beach lived in his own goattieh , a dome-shaped, turf-covered hut with a fireplace in its center. In addition to skis and dogs, the Saami use snowmobiles (``scooters'') and walkie-talkies to gather reindeer. In summer, the main activity is calf-marking; in autumn, dividing the herds. The annual moose hunt precedes slaughter of the bucks. Winter brings the arduous task of driving thousands of reindeer from the mountains to pasture in the southeast forests. Beach gives a memorable portrait of a vanishing way of life. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)