CFP: Saami Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics

Tiina Aikas informs about a forthcoming conference, “Máttut – máddagat – The Roots of Saami ethnicities, societies and spaces / places”, to held in Oulu, Finland, on the 4th-6th September 2008:

Máttut – máddagat is an international and multidisciplinary conference. The aim of the conference is to approach the subject of Saami “origins” from different perspectives including ethnisities, societies and concepts of places and spaces. Linguistics, archaeologists and genetics are asked to take part in the conversation. Other aim of the conference is to bring together experts from different countries. The conference is open for both researchers and students with an interest for Saami issues.

Presentations are wanted for the following sessions:

1. session: Ethnicities. The “origin” of Saami people has been much debated for centuries and the explanations have varied in different times and within different disciplines. This session will invite linguistics, archaeologists and genetics to share the recent knowledge on this subject and to discuss how the information from different disciplines can contribute to each other. One of the aims is also to study how relevant is it to discuss “the Saami ethnicity” or “Saami ethnicities”.

2. session: Societies. From historical times siida (lappby) has considered to be the basic form of the “traditional” Saami society but what were it´s early stages and what is the relation of the historical siida to the prehistoric societies and to the cycle of annual migration. And how did livelihood and connections to other peoples influence social system? How much can we generalize the forms of siida system considering differences in time (historical development) and and space (geographical circumstances)?

3. session: Spaces / places. This session will examine the spatial manifestations of changes in livelihood and culture. Landscape, language, dwelling places and hunting practices have changed and these changes have left their mark to the lived environment. Also human perceptions of spaces and places have altered. The alterations of mental landscapes can be reached from for example place names and rock art. In this session questions concerning tangible and intangible marks of cultural change in spaces and places will be raised.

For more information go here. The site is under construction and will be updated regularly.

Proposals for papers as well as an abstract of about 200 words should be submitted by the 30th of April 2008.

Feel free to forward this email to any colleagues who may be interested.

Best wishes,

Tiina Äikäs
Conference secretary

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