Funnel shaped reindeer trapping systems for wild reindeer in southern Norwegian mountain areas – Sámi or Norse traditions?

During the summer of 2013, we inspected the three known funnel-shaped reindeer trapping systems in Hedmark County. This region also includes the southern part of the historic Sámi settlement areas. The funnel-shaped trapping systems are converging guiding fences, which end in a closed area where it is difficult for the reindeer to escape. These trapping systems are made for mass hunting. Systems that have been investigated in other parts of southern Norway have been dated from the Iron Age and the medieval period. However, written sources tell about use in historical time on the Varanger Peninsula, Finnmark County. While those constructions are considered to be of Sámi origin in the northern part of Norway, this is more debatable in the southern part. The similarities in these specific trapping systems in the different regions make it pertinent to investigate the origin of these traps in southern Norway.