With the Lapps in the High Mountains: A Woman among the Sami, 1907–1908 (Paperback)
With the Lapps in the High Mountains is an entrancing true account, a classic of travel literature, and a work that deserves wider recognition as an early contribution to ethnographic writing. Published in 1913 and available here in its first English translation, it is the narrative of Emilie Demant Hatt's nine-month stay in the tent of a Sami family in northern Sweden in 1907–8 and her participation in a dramatic reindeer migration over snow-packed mountains to Norway with another Sami community in 1908. A single woman in her thirties, Demant Hatt immersed herself in the Sami language and culture. She writes vividly of daily life, women's work, children's play, and the care of reindeer herds in Lapland a century ago. While still an art student in Copenhagen in 1904, Demant Hatt had taken a vacation trip to northern Sweden, where she chanced to meet Sami wolf hunter Johan Turi. His dream of writing a book about his people sparked her interest in the culture, and she began to study the Sami language at the University of Copenhagen. Though not formally trained as an ethnographer, she had an eye for detail. The journals, photographs, sketches, and paintings she made during her travels with the Sami enriched her eventual book, and in With the Lapps in the High Mountains she memorably portrays people, dogs, reindeer, and the beauty of the landscape above the Arctic Circle. This English-language edition also includes photographs by Demant Hatt, an introduction by translator Barbara Sjoholm, and a foreword by Hugh Beach, author of A Year in Lapland: Guest of the Reindeer Herders.
About the Author
Emilie Demant Hatt (1873–1958) became a prominent artist in Denmark. She helped Johan Turi write and publish his book, An Account of the Sami, which appeared in 1910 in an innovative bilingual Sami/Danish edition. Barbara Sjoholm is an award-winning novelist, nonfiction writer, frequent translator of Danish and Norwegian fiction and nonfiction, and cofounder of Seal Press. Her work also appears under the name Barbara Wilson. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
"A treasure trove of ethnographic and historical information for scholars of Sami and other pastoralists, especially those interested in gender dynamics, domestic life, and social relations. Sjoholm's introduction provides helpful biographical and historical information about the author, Emilie Demant Hatt, and the Sami, while Demant Hatt's ethnography is vivid and informative."—Dorothy L. Hodgson, former president of the Association for Feminist Anthropology
“Sjoholm’s translation excellently captures the humanity of Sámi culture at the turn of the twentieth century and tells a complex story of Sámi-Nordic political, economic, and ecological relations on Sámi terms. Such a story sheds light not only on past conflicts, but also on the realities and challenges that Sámi people face today.”—Scandinavian Studies