Sources of livelihood


Hunting, fishing and gathering were the only means to survive during prehistoric times in harsh conditions. The life of hunter-gatherers followed a rhythmic, annual cycle. They followed the regular events of nature and moved after the game and good fishing places. Cultural features of these small societies have been impacted by the most dominant source of livelihood. From at least the early Metal Age onwards, the organisation of societies gradually changed to the siidas (Sámi village or Sámi community). Change was mainly influenced by the development of reindeer herding and State administration. The members of siida shared means of livelihood and common land, and siidas had clearly defined borders which judicial systems of states also recognised. The siidas faded away by the end of the 1800s, or by the early 1900s, because of the gradual establishment of state borders and state legislation.