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Runne-Beana: dog herds ethnographer

By M. Anderson

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Saami society in Lapland (now often called Saapmi), particularly the seasonally-nomadic reindeer-breeding sector, is predicated upon mobility and autonomy of its actors. Runne-Beana, a talented reindeer-herding dog, exhibited both mobility and autonomy when allocating to himself a peripatetic ethnographer, on the first day of five years of doctoral dissertation fieldwork in arctic Norway in 1972. That family's and the wider community's reactions to Runne-Beana's behavior, and mine, highlight the tensions when mobility and autonomy compound with ideologies of ownership and control. At the same time, his companionship profoundly shaped all field relationships, engendering an understanding of dog culture as it is manifest in the herder/herding dog/reindeer triad and in the interpenetration of assumptions concerning child/dog enculturation.

Publication Title Ethnobiology Letters
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 32-40
ISBN/ISSN 2159-8126
Language English
Author Address Department of Anthropology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Behavioral research
  4. Canidae
  5. Canine
  6. Carnivores
  7. Children
  8. Deer
  9. Developed countries
  10. Dogs
  11. Europe
  12. Finland
  13. Humans
  14. Mammals
  15. Men
  16. Movement
  17. OECD countries
  18. Ownership
  19. performance
  20. Pets and companion animals
  21. Primates
  22. Psychiatry and psychology
  23. Relationships
  24. Ruminants
  25. Social psychology and social anthropology
  26. ungulates
  27. vertebrates
  28. Working animals
  29. Zoology