”Jokkmokk’s Market has a long history and is considered to have a four hundred-year unbroken tradition. Permanent marketplaces near the Sámi’s winter settlements were established by the Swedish crown at the beginning of the 17th century in all the Sámi Lappish territories on both sides of the Gulf of Bothnia. The purpose was to strengthen the state’s control of the population in the north as well as to collect taxes, hold legal court and spread the Word of God. Planning a market in the Lappish territories during the coldest time of the year had several advantages. The Sámi were gathered in their winter settlements in the forest area with winter grazing for their reindeer and the frozen waterways constituted magnificent roads for the merchants, state officials and men of the church.”
”Renrajden” is every year led by Per Kuhmunen and his family. It takes at least a year to tame the reindeer as much as needed to follow their leaders through the market place and let people touch them. At the Snow Scene in the middle of the market place, they sometimes let themselves be interviewed and photographed in the traditional Gákti. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A1kti
The Sámi people have always led a harsh life, and today they also have problems with the global warming that hits hard up north. As the weather wavers between warm and cold, the ground will get icy and the reindeer cannot find food enough. Last year some 30000 reindeer starved to death in northern Russia.
Per Kuhmunen and his family comes back every year to Jokkmokk’s Market. Today they are met by film cameras and ordinary cameras, radio and TV. But they seem to enjoy it.
Between Old and New.