When sun goes down after shining non-stop for almost 3 months, herds of reindeer begin they journey back inland, where they will spend winter – somewhere between Sweden, Norway and Finland. Reindeer that spent the summer on Kvaløya, Finnmark must first swim to the mainland and then walk for weeks. Their owners from Sara family follow them all the way, trying to get some control over this wild animals.
This is a short story of getting reindeer through the sea and picking the ones that will be send to slaughterhouse and letting the rest live for one more year.
Big thanks to Goggen Hansen from Hammerfest and Aslak Ante Sara (and whole Sara family) for help and letting me take part in this event.
Pictures were taken with Canon 5D Mark II, Tamron 16-28, Canon 50mm and Canon 24-105. All rights reserved: Zbigniew «Ziggi» Wantuch
5. Few days after swimming through the sea-water, reindeer are gathered in the mountains to be marked, send further, send to slaughterhouse or killed to own use by owners. Big heard is divided into smaller groups, who are let inside big wooden fence when owners are waiting.
10. Three man holds the reindeer down to cut his horns. This animal will be transported to big slaughterhouse together with others, in trailer – if they had horns they could hurt each other. Reindeer used to be slaughtered on the open air wich was less stressful but new legislation prohibited it – says reindeer owner Aslak Ante Sara.
20. Male reindeer being skinned by a young woman from Sara family. Skin is peeled of the muscles with hands – it does require some strength but it’s easier to do this way the with a knife. Using knife would also damaged skin that has many uses – from cushioning sledges and lavo floor to providing extra income from sells to the tourists.