Odds and Ends
Via our Store
A Big F You
30 11, 9:28pm
No, humon is correct. First of all, it is meaningless to ask questions like "who were first to settle the Nordics" as the entire concept of "Nordics" is relatively modern and cannot be projected 1000 years to the past. It's like asking, who are native people of Russia? Well, the Russians are natives on their own country. But the Russia also encompasses dozens, if not hundreds of indigenous peoples. What is known that the Saami once inhabited an area much larger than current 'Sapmi homeland' and thus, it is correct to portray them as indigenous people supplanted or colonized by invading population, even if the Swedes and Norwegians are also native within their modern borders (which is not the case with USA, Canadians etc).
Second, it is certainly true that the Sami were, to a degree, protected by strong laws and privilegies prior to 1800's. However, they were also taxed very heavily by their neighbours, to the point that the villages sometimes were abandoned to avoid tax collectors. Also, there are darker aspects such as Sami being treated as legal property, and tax collectors (the Birkarls) 'persuading' Sami women to perform sexual favours to them. In addition, the once huge Sami lands were gradually eroded by settles and invaders - by 1700 it was only like half of what it had been 400 years earlier. Sure enough, it actually got worse during the 19th century when nationalism ideals dictated forced assimilation of 'lesser cultures'. Particularly in Norway, and lesser extent in Sweden and Finland. Curiously, in Russia Sami were relatively well off until WW1, then it became LOT worse.