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No. 11 (July 1955)
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The Last Nomads of Europe

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He tangata ahau i rite ki nga taitamariki tane katoa o Wiwi, te ngakaunui te korero i nga pukapuka o nga korero-paki mo nga haere me nga takanga whenua, i mua ke atu i taku mohiotanga, tera ahau a tetahi ra e tae ki nga whenua o tauiwi. No te tau 1951, ka whiwhi ahau ki tetahi

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Cradles are important to the Lapps. Made of a wood frame covered with skins, they are carried on the back by women. During the summer migration, reindeer carry them. The cradles can float and mothers push them when crossing the innumerable mountain streams. (Unesco—Photo by Jean Hardy.)


Like every young Frenchman, I had been a voracious reader of tales of travel and exploration, long before I ever dreamed that I would some day be able to visit foreign lands. My chance came in 1951, when I received one of the Zellidja Scholarships, which permit 250 teen-age boys every year to undertake voyages of adventure. The Scholarship had made it possible for me to visit the United States and Canada. After my return, I was lucky enough to meet the famous Greenland explorer, Paul Emile Victor, and to have him autograph one of his books for me. He wrote, ‘To Jean Hardy, hoping his wishes will soon come true’.

The wishes did come true, when my second Zellidja Scholarship permitted me to undertake a trip to the European Arctic—to visit the people of Lapland.

It was a real exploration, for nothing had been written in France about the Lapps. I chose a district, worked out a route, with the help of a few sparse maps and started off with a friend. Gerard Coppell, one morning in July 1952.

The real adventure came later, after we had walked for hundreds of exhausting miles across the tundra and over mountains, when we were accepted as members of a Lapp family, adopted as sons, by one of those households which seem so closed to strangers. We took part in the Lapps'

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karahipi e karangatia ana ko te Zellidja Karahipi, e ahei ai etahi 250 taitamariki tane i ia tau, ki te haere ki te kitekite whenua. Na te Karahipi nei, i tae ai ahau ki te kite i te Kotahitanga o Amerika me Kanata. I muri i taku hokinga mai, i tupono ahau ke te tutaki ki a Paul Emile Victor, he tangata pokai-whenua rongonui no Greenland, a nana i tuhituhi tana ingoa ki roto i tetahi o ana pukapuka, maku. I tuhia e ia, “Ki a Jean Hardy, me te tumanako o te ngakau tera e rite Wawe ona hiahia.”

I tutuki aua hiahia i taku whiwhinga tuaruatanga ki te Zellidja Karahipi, i tae ai ahau ki te Tuawhenua o Iuropi e tauria tuturutia ana e te huka, e te hukapapa—kia kite i nga tangata o Raaparana.

He tino pokaiwhenua taua pokaiwhenua, i te mea, kahore ano kia tuhia ki te pukapuka i Wiwi, nga korero e pa ana mo nga Raape. Katahi ka tohungia e ahau tetahi rohe, ka whakatakotongia e ahau he huarahi, a, he ruarua nei nga mapi hei arataki i a maua ko taku hoa, ko Gerard Coppell, ka timata atu maua i tetahi ata i Hurae o 1952.

No muri ke mai te haerenga tuturu, i to maua haerenga mo etahi rau maero, whakawhiti i nga mania, a i nga maunga, a i to maua rironga hei mema mo tetahi whanau Raape, ka taurimatia e tetahi whanau ano nei e kore e uru atu he tauhou. I mahi maua i nga mahi a nga Raape: i whakapakari maua i a maua kia taunga ai ki nga tikanga uaua o aua whenua hou; he maha nga mea i matua matatau maua i kitea ai kei hea te oranga.

He uaua te ki, i timata pu a i mutu pu a Raaparana ki hea, i te mea ko ona “rohe” e whai ana i nga hekenga o nga kahui renitia, koia ra te

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Elder, dressed in traditional costume, works reindeer bone. Note particularly the cap with long red hairs sown to the front: he takes particular pride in these. (Unesco—Photo Jean Hardy.)


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Lapp village, with sledge on foreground. (Unesco—Photo by Jean Hardy.)

activities; we struggled to adapt ourselves to the harsh life of those northern lands; we learnt a great deal before we became capable of ‘living’ in the full sense of the word.

It is hard to say exactly where Lapland begins and ends, for its ‘frontiers’ follow the migrations of the reindeer herds which are the basic livelihood for these 8,000 Northern nomads.

Thus, Lapland includes parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. For most of the year, the soil of Lapland is a frozen desert, but during the three summer months, the tundra awakens and there is life. It is a vigorous life, since it must be packed into so short a time. The nomads who have been sheltering from the severity of the long winter night in wretched, smoke-filled huts, half-buried in the snow, shake off their lingering torpor. Feverish activity reigns in the winter camp, for the herds of reindeer are moving away from the wooded districts of the taiga, where they have been subsisting on the scanty lichen hanging from the branches and on the bark of trees.

The first rays of the April sun are already shining with a pale gleam as the reindeer gradually emerge from the shelter of the forest and move toward the lowest of the mountain valleys. For the Lapps this means a slow, difficult journey. The herd stops of its own accord among the foothills of the mountain range, in the warm thickets of dwarf birch-trees, for this is the moment when the reindeer fawns are born. The births nearly all take place within a ten-day period, and the

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oranga pumau o te 8,000 o tenei iwi-mohoao o te Taiwhakararo.

Otira, ko Raaparana, e uru mai ana etahi wahi o Nowei, o Sweden, o Finland me Ruhia. I roto i nga marama e iwa o te tau, ko te oneone o Raaparana i penei i te koraha hukapapa te ahua, engari i roto i nga marama e toru, ka kori te tini o Tane-te-waiora. He ao kakama, no te mea, he poto te wa hei mahinga i nga mahi. Ko nga iwi-mohoao nei, i te huna ra i a ratou i roto i o ratou whare ki tonu i te paoa, a e tata hipokina ana e te hukapapa, i nga po roa, po kino o te hotoke, ka whakaeaea i te hongetanga o te moe. He maha nga mahi e mahingia ana i roto i nga puni o te hotoke, i te mea kei te marara haere nga kahui renitia, ka whakarerengia nga wahi e tupungia ana e te rakau, i reira ra ratou e kai ana i nga taru tupu aruarua e tautau mai ana i nga manga i runga ranei i nga hiako o nga rakau.

Kua puta ke mai nga hihi o te ra i Aperira, ka ata puta mai nga renitia i o ratou piringa i roto i te ngahere, a ka heke whakararo ki nga raorao. Ki nga Raape, he haere uaua rawa tenei. Ka tu noa iho nga kahui renitia i nga take o nga maunga, i waenganui i nga tawai, no te mea, koia nei te wa e whanau ai nga kuao renitia. I ia tekau ra, e whanau ana he kuao renitia, no ko te kahui

This story was sent to Te Ao Hou by unesco. the international organization set up by United Nations to make people understand more about other nations and their achievements. The Lapps, although Europeans, live more like the ancient Maoris than the Europeans we know in this country.

renitia, ka hurihuri noa iho kai haere ai i nga taru aruarua kua watea i te huka; he maha nga kai e puta mai ana i nga pihipihi, na reira e rua e toru wiki ranei ratou ki reira. Ka uru mai te wairua kakama ki nga whaerere, a kei muri i a ratou e whai atu ana nga kuao, ki tonu i te wairua kakama, nanakia hoki.

E okioki ana nga kahui nei i te taha o te roto i nga wa e pakaru haere ana nga hukapapa, no reira, ka ahei nga Raape ki te hi ngohi ki te rapu kai ranei.

I nga ra whakapaunga o Mei, ka timata ano nga renitia te hurihuri haere, ka haere ano ki nga keokeotanga, i te mea, kua morake nga awhato, a, me rapu e ratou nga karaihe o nga wahi teitei ake.

Na ka puta nga Raape i o ratou whare Koanga, ka whakarerengia e ratou o ratou mokihi-waewae ma a ratou panuku ki reira. Ko nga wahia, nga kai, nga pou teneti me nga teneti, ka hereherengia ki nga tuarua o nga renitia, a ka timata ano te piki, waihoki, ka mutu tonu te wa e okioki ai ratou, i nga po, mo tetahi wa poto nei.

Ka tae ratou ki runga ki nga matarae, ka tohungia e nga Raape he wahi mo o ratou puni mo te raumati. Ko aua wahi, he whenua whanui tonu, a, kei nga taha, he maunga, he roto, he repo; ma


herd, suddenly calming down, roams round browsing on the fresh lichen just laid bare by the melting snow; the abundant feed provided by the sprouting twigs keeps them on the spot for two or three weeks. The females delight in their recovered agility, the fawns are already trotting after their mothers, full of energy and zest for life.

This pause often takes place beside a lake whose waters are thawing, and the Lapps spend their time fishing, and hunting a little.

Towards the end of May, the herd becomes restless again, and turns once more towards the peaks, for the lichen is now withered and they must seek the grass of the higher regions.

So the Lapps move out of their spring huts, leaving their skis and sledges inside. Supplies of wood and foodstuffs, tent-poles and tent-cloths are strapped to the backs of reindeer and the hard climb begins again, interrupted, when the herd allows, by short pauses at night.

Reaching the crest of the fiells, the Lapps choose a spot for their summer camp. The district usually consists of broad strips of land, surrounded by natural barriers, peaks, lakes or swamps, which limit the wandering of the herd.

In the summer camp, wolves are the chief danger, for they attack in the dark, in groups of half-a-dozen. Becoming conscious of the prowling beasts, the herd scatters, panic-stricken, and the

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Lapp housewife watching the fire, crouching in the traditional manner. (Unesco—Photo Jean Hardy.)

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konei ka kore ai e kaha te marara o nga kahui renitia.

He wuruhi nga mea kino ki nga puni raumati, no te mea, i nga po, ka puta ratou, e ono i ia roopu, ki te patu. Ka mohio nga renitia he kararehe kino kei te haere, i to ratou tino mataku, ka timata to ratou marara, na, ka arungia ratou e nga wuruhi, ka patungia nga renitia nunui me nga kuao, ka titorea nga korokoro, ka horomia orangia ranei.

Ka riria e nga Raape o ratou hoariri kino rawa me te mea nei, ma te makutu, na ko tetahi o a ratou karakia makutu e penei ana:—

“Haere atu i konei, wuruhi kino rawa,
“Kati to noho i roto i tenei ngahere,
“Haere atu, ki etahi whenua tawhiti,
“E mate ranei i te maripi a te kai-hopu!

E pau ana te tau i nga iwi mohoao nei me a ratou kuri, e whaiwhai ana i nga wuruhi me nga pea. Pai ke ki a ratou kia mau a tinana nga wuruhi i a ratou, ka patu ai ki a ratou naihi, kei maumau noa iho a ratou mataa utu-nui. He uaua rawa atu tenei tikanga mo te patu kararehe, na, he maha nga wa, e mau pumau ai nga nawe ki runga i nga kai-hopu—nga nawe ngaunga me nga nawe tihoretanga o nga ringaringa—engari ki nga Raape, he pai noa iho tenei tu momo patu; ki a ratou, ko to ratou ake kaha, tetahi o o ratou oranga.

Na ka rangona te reo o Ngahuru. Ka timata te pupuhi o nga hau kopeke o ngahuru, ka pa ki nga taha o nga matarae, arai atu ana i nga hukapapa, kua timata ke ra te rere ki runga ki nga tahataha, ka timata ano te haere o nga iwi nei. Tae rawa atu ki waenganui o Hepetema, kua tae ratou ki tetahi wahi e takoto ana i waenganui i nga tawai me etahi


wolves seizing their chance to attack, fling themselves on grown reindeer and fawns, tearing them slitting their throats or devouring them alive.

The Lapps berate their worst enemies with magic spells and incantations such as:

‘Go away from here, accursed wolf,
‘Stay no longer in this wood,
‘Go away, to some far country,
‘Or perish under the huntsman's knife!’

With the help of their dogs, the nomads must keep up a steady, year-long pursuit of the wolves, wolverines and bears. They prefer to bring the wolves to bay and kill them with their knives, rather than use expensive cartridges. This is a dangerous form of hunting and often leaves permanent scars—fang-marks, lacerated arms—but the Lapps enjoy the sporting fight; it is a natural struggle which forms part of their life.

Then the voice of autumn is heard. When the first cold winds of autumn strike the fiell sides, forcing a retreat before the snow that is already beginning to sprinkle the crests, the caravans resume their tireless march. By about mid-September they are back again on the meandering boundary-line between birch-woods and open heath, in a landscape of purple and gold. The nights grow longer. After the summer days of midnight sun, the valleys are cool and pleasant.

The Lapps take up their quarters again in their spring-time huts. They must begin by sorting out

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Bone work: These are the traditional wedding presents to a Lap bride. From left to right: Match container, borach, knife, cutting tool for reindeer hide, sewing kit. (Unesco-Photo Jean Hardy.)

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atu momo rakau, ano, me te mea nei, he papura he koura te ahua. Ka roa haere nga po. I muri mai i nga ra wera o te raumati, kua matao, kua pai nga awaawa.

Ka timata ano te noho a nga Raape ki roto ki o ratou whare koanga. Ka timata to ratou wehewehe i nga renitia i marara ki roto ki nga kahui tinitini. Ka horingia nga taringa o nga kuao, na ko etahi o nga uha ka mirakatia, a, ko etahi o nga kararehe, ka patungia hei miiti, a, ko nga kiri, ka tiakingia mo te hotoke roa.

Na, ka timata ano te haere o nga iwi nei, ki nga wahi e tupu ururuangia ana e te rakau i te taha tonga-whakarawhiti, kei reira nei o ratou kota mo te hotoke, e huna ana. Ka tahuri nga tane ki te patu renitia; ko nga wahine hei tao i nga kai, he whakamaroke i nga miiti, he pakipaki i nga kiri, he ngaungau i nga kiri me nga uaua kia maroro ai hei tuituinga, a he mahi tiihi hoki. Ko nga tamariki, kei roto i nga kota nei e akoako ana i a ratou ki te paniora, a ko etahi kei te whai; e kore e roa ka mahue ratou ia o ratou whanau mo nga marama e whitu—e whitu marama e mawhehe mai ai ratou i te taitokerau—e whitu marama e hurahura ai ratou i nga pukapuka i roto i nga kura o nga iwi mohoao, e whitu marama e kore ai ratou e kite renitia.

E tu kau ana nga kota, e mo ratou paatu oneone, na ko te hotoke he tino roa.

Ko tenei mea ko te kota, he whare nohinohi, he porohita te waihanga, ko te tuanui he papaku, a ko nga papa o nga taha, ko te mutunga ake he keokeo a runga, na ko nga taha he mea taupoki ki te oneone matotoru. Kei waenganui e tu ana he umu, he mea mahi ki te kohatu. Kei te wahi teitei o te tuanui e tautau mai ana he tiini, a, e mau ana te kohua nui i runga, na kei raro ko te kapura e ka ana, me te kohua kawhi e koropupu ana i te taha. Kahore nga tangata o roto i nga kota nei e maharahara ki te paoa (haunga ia nga tauhou kahore ano kia tino taunga noa), a ka puta te paoa i tetahi pihanga kei runga i te whare.

I nga ra o te hotoke, ko nga mahi a nga wahine he tuitui kakahu—ko nga kakahu nei ka whakapaipaingia e ratou ki te taniko o nga momo kara katoa na ratou ake ano i mahi, a, ko nga weuweu, ka tuituingia e ratou ki te tarete koura, kapa ranei—a, ko tetahi o a ratou mahi, he tuitui hu, na ko te mahi a nga tane, he mahi kohua hou me nga ipu, a, he whakairo i nga wheua renitia hei taonga mahi ma ratou (he naihi, ngira, me etahi atu). Na, ko tetahi mahi ano a nga tane, he hi ngohi i roto i nga rua e puare haere ana i runga i nga hukapapa e taupoki ana i nga roto nunui, a he patu wuruhi, he tiaki hoki i a ratou kahui renitia. Na, he tawhiti to ratou haerenga i runga i o ratou panuku ki nga wahi hokohoko, ki te hoko huka, kawhi, to te, paraoa—pungarehu, hei kinaki mo nga kai kua taunga ke ra ratou, nga miiti renitia, me nga ngohi maori, maroke ranei.

Ka tae ratou ki nga wahi hokohoko, ka hokongia e ratou a ratou kiri, nga wuuru, me a ratou taonga whakairo, mo nga moni hiriwa torutoru nei me nga pakete tupeka.


the reindeer, which have mingled in several flocks. The young reindeer are branded on the ear, some of the females are milked, and certain of the animals are slaughtered to provide meat and skins for the long winter.

Then the caravans make their way back to the wooded regions in the south-east, where the winter kottas are hidden. The men slaughter a few more reindeer, the women cook, dry the meat, scrape and prepare the hides, chew leather and sinews to make thongs and coarse thread, tan hides and make cheese. The children make the most of their last few days in the kottas, practising with the lasso and playing string games; soon they will have to leave their families for seven months—seven months cut off from the complete freedom of the far north, seven months of pouring over books in the nomads' school, seven months without sight of a reindeer.

And winter will drag on, outside the earth walls of the kottas.

The kotta is a small, low-roofed round hut, consisting of a conical framework of wooden poles, covered with thick sods of turf. In the middle is a hearth, consisting of a circle of stones. Hooked to a chain which hangs down from the highest point of the roof, a heavy iron pot is suspended over the blazing birch-logs, and the coffee-pot sings beside the fire. Nobody (except strangers still unaccustomed to it) seems to mind the thick smoke which winds its way slowly out of the ventilation hole at the top of the hut.

The women spend the winter making clothes—which they decorate with beautiful, multi-coloured braid of their own weaving and with embroidery in gold or copper thread—and sewing shoes, while the men make fresh pots and drinking vessels out of birch-logs, and carve reindeer-bones into engraving tools and instruments (knives, needles, etc.). The men go fishing, too, through holes in the ice that covers the great lakes, they hunt wolves and watch over their flocks. And they make long sledge trips across the smooth, white northern wastes, to trading posts where they find sugar, coffee, salt and flour, the now indispensable adjuncts of a diet which used to consist entirely of reindeer meat and fresh or dried fish. There they barter their hides, furs and carved bone objects for a few silver coins and packets of tobacco.

This reindeer civilisation is wealthy in its poverty. It is primitive but this does not detract from the worth or stature of the human being. In the barren, icy expanse of the tundra I met the most genuine, trustworthy and warmhearted men of my experience. (UNESCO).


Ahakoa te rawakore o nga iwi nei, he iwi rangatira. Ko ta ratou noho, no nehera ke, engari ko nga tangata, he rangatira. I runga i nga mania kore-take noa iho nei, ka tutaki ahau ki nga tangata pai, tangata humarire hoki, o nga tangata katoa kua tutaki ahau.