Summary of Enbuske's thesis

In the realms of power in Old Lapland. Inhabitation and land use in the historical Kemi Lapland and Enontekiö region from the 16th to the 20th century


In this study there will be a determining of the phases of settlement and land use over a wide period of time in the historical Kemi Lapland and Enontekiö region. In the research tradition of Lapland's history, the Sami people have been studied particularly from the anthropological and ethnographic perspective, whereby the whole of Lapland's history has been highlighted as being primitively unchanging. The Sami people have been viewed as an evolutionary unevolving culture. The view is out-dated and without a basis on reality. As a consequence of the thought of the Sami being primitive, they have however been considered to represent "native people" and therefore have also been defined as being indigenous.

The central themes of this research, in addition to the history of settlement, is the use of land; or the phenomena dealing with the utilisation of the lands, forests, and waters around historical Lappish villages. The focus of clarification will also be administrative procedures, laws, officials, livelihood as well as taxation. The study will be conducted on a systematic approach plane, whereby with a unified thematic presentation over a long timeline, each of the slowly changing phenomenon's historical development can brought out in a natural manner. Local phenomena and their reasons will be also connected as a natural part of a comprehensive development, thereby many of the historical development features of Lapland "even out" to the equivalent of elsewhere in the Swedish Empire and during the autonomous period in Finland.

The research problem is composed of four thematic entireties: 1. How has central land use shaped living in the region? 2. How were different livelihoods practiced in the region over a long period of time? 3. In what way has administrative development, different regulations, decrees and laws as well as the procedures of officials affected land use and living in the region. 4. How has the collection of taxes been conducted in the region and how did the principles behind taxation change over time? In the study attention will also be paid to the methodology of history of inhabitation, where as explainable factors will be highlighted the existing inhabitation, development of population, societal living conditions and the circumstances surrounding nature. The initial starting point of broader research is the so-called New History school of thought, where the emphasis is on the discovery of long term historical narrative as well as the study of the common people and the periphery.

The historical Kemi Lapland area was formed into an administrative region quite late, only during the end of the 15th century or the beginning of the 16th. Instead, the initial existence of Lappish villages has been dated to the late Iron Age period. The formation of villages was in part caused by external pressure, when the farmer based exploration of the wilderness increased and the surrounding empires tightened their grasp on the North. Nonetheless, underpinning that of becoming organised was above all the internal needs of the communities. Lappish villages were areas defined by borders, which excluded other Lappish villages from governing the lands and the waters of the area. Inside of the villages there were lands owned by the villagers who paid Lappish tax as well as wilderness farmer usufructed lands and communally usufructed general lands.

The basis of inhabitation in Lappish villages was formed from the old Lappish families of the village community. Inhabitation during the midway of the 16th century was population wise was slight, albeit increasing during the end of the century. During the 17th century population development reached a static phase, until halfway of the 18th century the population of Lapland, and as a consequence the volume of inhabitation increased equally all the way up to the 20th century. Those who paid Lappish tax were still at the turning point of the 18th century strongly peoples of the Forest Sami culture, except for the individual pioneer families, who after the 1673 awarding of settler placation moved to Lapland. As a whole the region's picture of inhabitation during the 18th and 19th centuries were characterized by stability. The Finnish farm based wide-scaled settling did not happen in Lapland. The exception was Kuusamo, where from the 1680s a great many slash and burn peasants from Kainuu settled to.

The Kemi Lapland inhabiting families lived on their usufruct lands permanently and moved on their land according to the yearly rhythm of their livelihoods. The central place of the Lappish village, or the winter-village, was from a communal perspective that of a minor one. The dead of winter meeting was important for trade, taxation and for taking care of the general affairs of the village. During that time, for example the common deer hunting strategies of the families were discussed.

During the existence of the Swedish Empire, the Swedish central government tried to unify the provincial systems under a national administration, which would also include Lapland. In part the unification showed in Lapland in the settler placations of 1673 and 1695. Only after the 1673 settler placation was it possible to create farms in Lapland. On the Lappish taxed land the families who became pioneer settlers stayed as Lapps all the way until the change of 1763. At that time Kemi Lapland's inhabitants, with the exception of Inari, was transferred to the new farm tax. Instead, those who created their new farms outside of the old Lappish families' tax land were documented already in 1673 to the new farm tax.

The population of reindeer nomads also saw an increase from the end of the 18th century, but a powerful expansion crumbled away at the traditional family land system for large scale reindeer herding areas. From the perspective of inhabitation, extensiveness led to centralization and a few small reindeer villages, which fought for the space to live based on the lack grazing land.

The Swedish crown's inhabitation politics had been very linear from the early middle-ages, that of the inhabitation of Lapland had to be widened. A clear turning point was experienced halfway through the 17th century, when the government began to apply to private family lands of the Lappish villages, a comparable administrative model to that of farm land use. The development lead to the previously mentioned settler placations, the consequence of which the pioneer settlers who joined the farm system was at an advantage in comparison to the singular Lappish livelihoods of hunting, fishing, and reindeer husbandry. Equally the development led during the 18th century the lands of pioneer settlements to be in a better legal position then that of family lands under Lappish tax. This caused with the crown's purposeful administration, development of livelihood, and proselytizing, the moving of Sami from Lappish taxed lands to the sphere of the new farm system. A comparable phenomenon was after the middle of the 19th century, in the Fisher Sami inhabitation process in Inari and Utsjoki, where they too moved to become pioneer settlers to safeguard the traditional right of governance to their ancestral lands.

Livelihoods as shapers of the use of land


The primary livelihoods of the Kemi Lapland people were up until the 17th century hunting, particularly deer hunting, as well as fishing. Livestock became common at the end of the century and grew to one of the most important maintainers of the economy in the 18th century, but hunting and fishing also remained the most important part of financial management. The cultivation of grain began to have relevance only during the 19th century, and even then only after the great famine at the end of the century. Fishing though had its own special position in Inari and Utsjoki, where the entire Lappish culture was built around fishing. There, fishing waters remained in the hands of private Lappish families all the way up to the end of the 19th century. Elsewhere the waters moved to become communal at the latest by the middle of the 18th century.

The right of ownership of land based on the Reindeer Sami livelihood or taxation was not known in the 19th century. As a consequence of the social political pressures of the 18th century, the livelihood of the Reindeer Sami had gained a rather privileged position. According to officials, being Lappish meant reindeer herding. Well suited to the north, nomadic large scale reindeer herding spread quickly across the whole sub-Arctic region and slowly into the Arctic tree line. The privileged position of reindeer herding and its spread caused the Sami culture to become accentuated as nomadic. Wide scale reindeer herding destroyed the sub-Arctic region's old Lappish land tax system, because as the number of reindeer increased, there was a constant need for new grazing land. Due to rapid expansion there was lack of grazing space, and due to these problems, the first concrete result was the 1852 closing of the borders between Norway and Finland. In Enontekiö, the crisis of reindeer nomadism was at the end of the 19th century, when the amount of grazers strongly increased. A consequence of this was the closing of the Swedish Finnish border in 1889.

Some of the reindeer herders were Norwegian's from Kautokeino who had moved after the closing of the borders in 1852 to become citizens of Sweden. Their grazing land reached Kittilä and northern Sodankylä. At the end of the 1870s a group from Kautokeino and Reindeer Sami from Enontekiö settled permanently in Sodankylä and at the end of the 19th century also in Kittilä. Reindeer Sami moved to Inari from the 1850s. Large scale reindeer herding as a livelihood centralized in time into the hands of the few and at the same time there was ever increasing number of reindeer. The reindeer village was formed around a leading person or family, whereby the reindeer community not only became affluent but also closed. In practice, only in crisis situations were new reindeer herding communities created. As a livelihood, large scale reindeer herding was not primitive, but an economy extensively developed and well suited to the environment of Lapland.

The collapse of hunting deer was felt in the 19th century after the large reindeer herds of the reindeer nomads came to graze on traditional wild deer land in the forests of Kittilä, Sodankylä and Inari. The reindeer drove out the deer. With the lack of deer, particularly those from Sompio and Inari were left in a financial bind, but reindeer husbandry could compensate for the loss. The crucial initial step was taken when the reindeer owners' association system was created at the end of the 19th century to administrate reindeer husbandry. With it farmers could increase reindeer husbandry into one of the most important secondary occupations. At the same time it broke the nomadic system of large scale reindeer herding. For example in Sodankylä the reindeer owners' association system had been in operation since 1892 and it shown itself to be a most excellent of solutions. For example in the Kemikylä reindeer owners' association in Sodankylä, the number reindeer among farmers increased from the beginning of the 19th century to over 10,000 which was a noticeably larger amount than the number of reindeers owned by the Sami reindeer herders in the Sodankylä region.

When weighing today's land right questions in Lapland it is hard to see in the development of livelihoods in Lapland the affect caused by tradition in the differences between peoples; the definition of nativity according to livelihood is unhistorical. Comparatively, reindeer herding at no point in history has been defined as the singular right of the Lappish or Sami, rather it wished to be limited as a singular livelihood practice in mountainous regions of the empire and areas where there was no possibility for agriculture.

The administrative effects on inhabitation and land use in Lapland


Already in the middle-ages the wilderness of Lapland was understood to be land belonging to the crown, so the crown could also guide its habitation and land use. Also, all of the Swedish Empire's forest laws from the 17th century and later during the autonomous period of Finland of the 19th century, defined wilderness by extension to be crown lands. The crown also considered its right to solve disputes dealing with tax lands of the Lapps as well as guide in their possession. The crown also gave out land for taxes and waters for use by the inhabitants. Even though the crown's strengthened its administrative grip on Lappish land from the end of the 16th century, it can be interpreted on the local level as a negative matter, for such a long period of development also meant the strengthening of the individual Sami both judicially as well as administratively. The land use by the Sami and the administration of the lands received the same position as with the owners of provincial farms. A resident of a Lappish village could administrate their own lands and waters.

The Lappish villages of the historical Kemi Lapland did not collectively own the lands of the village. Instead, lands that were exploited by private families in exchange for tax, or Lappish tax land, which were the administrative equivalent to the rights of possession of the lands. Instead those no-man's lands inside the village were interpreted as property of the crown. The old family administered tax lands transitioned naturally through the pioneer settlement system to maintaining farms, while at the same time the practice of agriculture was emphasized in the actual holding of a farm. The reindeer grazing land in Enontekiö was also in the 19th century crown land.

The inhabitation programme formed by the Västerbotten's county governor Gabriel Gyllengrip, during the 1730s and 1740s became one of the decisive signposts of the inhabitation use of land in Lapland's history. The aim of the governor was to gain new settlers in Lapland, the settlement of the Lapps to be permanently living and the emphasis on the responsibilities of agriculture among pioneering settlers. The principles created by Gyllengrip also formed the framework of the third, the 1749 settler placation. The placation aimed at primarily the foundation of new farms and the practice of agriculture and it did not deal with Lappish livelihoods or Lappish tax. The foundation of new farms was also at the forefront in terms of Lappish livelihoods. Nonetheless, the old advantages of the Lappish village system were transferred to the pioneering settlers in those areas of Lapland where agriculture and cattle husbandry were the primary means of gaining a livelihood.

For the development of Lapland's livelihood, the most administratively remarkable event during the Finnish autonomous period was the foundation of the forest administration in the 1850s. Also the responsibility of inhabitation was moved into the hands of forestry officials in 1877. In Lapland the surprisingly vivid foundation of new farms continuing still in the 1840s and 1850s, dried up nearly completely by the end of the century, because the economic interests were laid out in terms of the use of forests. At the end of the autonomous period, there was finally a general enclosure of land of the Kemi Lapland region, even though the question of charting lands, taxation and division of Lapland had been pertinent already in the 18th century. The Land Enclosure Statute did not involve any special questions dealing the use of old land, rather the excess land of the crown was broken down in a similar manner as with that of other general enclosures of land. Old tax lands were noted in the enclosing, and the government did not transfer privately owned lands into excess land. In this light the modern Sami demands of "the return of lands" to the Sami is unfounded.

Integral in the development of executive and judicial history has been that the traditional rights of the Lapps did not disappear as the Lapps moved from the taxed land to become pioneer settlers, rather they became a part of the farm system. The rules of taxation or settler placations did not also define the Lappish livelihoods - only for the legal right to a livelihood on Lappish land. In other words, they were not bordered off as purely the rights of the Sami. Also certain privileges of Lapps, for example not having to serve in the military, were not rights bound into the concept of being Lappish or into ethnicity. The new homesteaders of Lapland were in the same position as the Sami in both privileges as well as easements.

The long time frame of taxation of Lapland


One of the central focuses of this study has been the history of taxation of Lapland; this is due to taxation having been intimately connected with use of land since the dawn of time. Lappish tax had remained, in principle, unchanged over the centuries and still in the 18th century there was the collective tax of Lappish villages, to which belonged not only the Lapps but the pioneering settlers as well. In 1760, the Lappish tax divided permanently into two separate parts: the land tax of the farmer and the tax of the livelihood of the Lapp.

An interesting feature of Lappish tax was its remaining a certain sum, in a way a "medieval artefact" all the way up to the 1920s, even though tax collection over a long period of time had many forms. The crown also began to parallel the Lappish tax with that of tenant taxation after midway through the 17th century, when the unique Lappish tax land institution was founded. It could be called a kind of bureaucratic "key" of the government to the administration of the land use of Lappish villages. On the other hand, it did regularise private land ownership in Lapland in the sense that historical tenant ownership was understandable before the 1789 Act of Union and Security. After 1760 the need for a Lappish tax land institution ended.

Important tax collection renewals happened in Lapland in the 1830s and 1840s in connection to the creation of valuation lists of property. In 1830 the first valuation list of property in the autonomous Finland's Lapland was drafted, and it did not mention Lapps at all, because they did not pay land tax. Instead the actual land tax of Lapland's farms was formed in the similar manner as 19th century land tax from the different earnings of the land and special taxes. The Lapps in the 19th century paid in Enontekiö, Inari, as well as in Utsjoki personal Lappish tax, which was evaluated according to earnings from livelihood as parts of the sum of the village. The taxation amount of the reindeer nomads was marginally small in comparison to assets owned, which for example in Enontekiö at the end of the 1870s was under one per mil for the value of a head of 500 reindeer.

What is important in this research is that the Reindeer Lapps, neither generally the formed so called Mountainous, Fisher and Forest Lapps' in the 1840s tax was land tax, nor can they be for that reason be bound to indicate land ownership. It was not based on "tracts of land", as the matter was simply stated at the time.

If we evaluate the historical development of the old Lappish taxation system from the perspective of a basic juristic question: does paying taxes form a special basis to the rights to the lands and the waters?

The answer is that it does not have meaning in terms of historical development. The Lappish village had as its village community the administration of land under it, but the village was not the target of tax collection, rather it operated from those individuals responsible for the paying of taxes forming an administrative unit. The collective tax of the Lappish village was formed from the amount of those eligible for taxation and not from the area contained inside of the Lappish village. Therefore, Lappish villages were not independent land owning units, instead individual tax land of the Lapps formed properties comparable to hidages. With the comparison of tax land of Lapland to farms it must be noted that even though the tax only indicates the earnings from taxed land, it does not tell about the quality or size of the lands or the waters.

Translation from Finnish: Lauri Gardner