a1 Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Schongauerstraße 9, 04329 Leipzig, Germany and Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, PL122, 96101 Rovaniemi, Finland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This paper refers to some aspects of the theoretical anthropological debate on the perception of time and I shall argue, following Ingold (2000) that amongst the Sámi people time is understood as an unfolding of interrelated tasks, rather than as a linear succession of standardised and arbitrary units. I also argue that the Sámi perception of time is not opposed to the western perception, but rather entails a different approach to the significance of clock time. The results of my fieldwork, conducted among the Sámi people in Finnish Lapland, lend support to the idea that the basis for a people's shared understanding and subjective experience of time lies in the interaction of skilful agents in carrying out diverse but interrelated tasks. It is not sufficient to live in a place, to belong to a particular ethnic group or to be engaged in the same subsistence activity to perceive time in a certain fashion. No matter how much we change the combination of actors, the perception of time is generated in each case through situated activity within the landscape.