The oldest human traces found in Arjeplog so far were discovered by the small lake Dumpokjauratj. Two hearth pits that were used for cooking and heating, and one rubbish pit. Bone fragments, scrapers, slate knifes and grains of red ochre were also found. The site was built almost 10,000 years ago, and there were two homes. Plants and animals followed the path of the inland ice, and nature provided sufficient resources to support a people of hunters, fishers and gatherers. Early ancestors of today’s Sámi. People who knew exactly what they were looking for, and found an attractive place to live in Arjeplog.
The hunt for wild reindeer was important. The bear was believed to be a messenger of the gods and was therefore treated with great respect and its bones meticulously buried after slaughter. Pelts from all kinds of animals became an important commodity.
Parallel to the hunting and fishing, Sámi culture developed with crafts, music and religion.
Today’s reindeer herders still live close to the reindeer and in harmony with the greatly varying conditions that characterise the seasons, while also embracing new technology to facilitate the tough lifestyle.
Side by side with modern Arjeplog the prehistoric trapping culture remains among reindeer herders, hunters and fishermen.
There are linguistic varieties here spoken by only a few speakers, a preschool that teaches in Sámi and so many lakes, mountains and locations with Sámi names that the curious visitor will be tempted to go on a journey not only in space, but also in time. The names often describe the character of the landscape and give clues to what it looks like, or its significance – an exciting tool to bring when you spend time outdoors.