Hanna Snellman: The Era of Timber Floating in Northern Finland

Finnish text here
This is a short presentation in finnish of one of the participating projects in the nordic project Cultural Processes in Nordic Woodland Communities:

This article focuses both on the lumberjacks of Finnish Lapland and on the last hundred years of log floating in the Kemi River area. In 1950, more than half of Finnish Lapland's rural male workforce was seasonally occupied as floating and forestry workers. Logging camps were meeting places for a heterogeneous group of men, many of whom were born beyond the borders of Lapland, a large territory in itself. Men with a variety of social and cultural backgrounds spent months in isolated logging camps in the wilderness of Northern Finland.  The background and character of lumberjacks was so heterogeneous that a single portrait of them cannot be painted. Instead, one must conceive of lumberjacks as viewed in a room full of mirrors which constantly reflect a series of complex images.
 The relationship between lumberjacks and the surrounding communities shifted over time. At the turn of the century, they were despised, but from the 1930s onward, lumberjack culture was accepted, even glorified. This article also analyzes the ways in which forest history helped to shape the identity of the inhabitants of modern Lapland.

Hanna Snellman:
Address: Department of Ethnology, Box 3 (Fabiankinkatu 33), FIN - 00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: +358 9 191 22622
Fax: +358 9 191 22653
e-mail: hksnellm@cc.helsinki.fi
This page was updated on July 11, 2000