“We Do Not Eat Luxury Food”: A Story About Food and Health in an Old Sami Woman’s Everyday Life in Norway

  • Trine KvitbergEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 22)


This chapter is reflecting on the relationship between traditional food, health and the body in the context of an elder Sami woman’s effort to maintain a traditional lifestyle threatened by an encroaching state politics and experts. The research approach is medical anthropology and sensitive listening in an ethnographic interview. The study findings shows that the meaning of health in everyday life to an elder Sami woman in rural North Norway was a silent struggle for corporal freedom, a struggling with nature, and the freedom to have control over own body and life. Consumption of food harvested direct from nature and a moderate diet and lifestyle is a way to give voice to the silent struggle. Within the context as a member of the religious Laestadian movement in the north, food emerges as a way to rehabilitate everyday life and express subjectivity and resistance towards suppressive politic.


Luxury food Old Sami women Experience Struggle Finnmark Anthropological Resistance North Norway 



I acknowledge and thank the Sami women in Finnmark who shared their personal food biography. I thank Rune Flikke for his cooperation, suggestions and critical comments in the writing process. I also thank Jon Øyvind Odland, Jens Ivar Nergård and all those who have contributed with comments on earlier drafts.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Faculty of Health ScienceArctic University of Norway (UiT)TromsøNorway

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