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Lule Lappish Territory

The land in the north was divided into five areas already from the days of king Gustav Vasa: Ume, Pite. Lule, Torne and Kemi Lappish territories. In the Lule Lappish territory the inhabitants belonged to four villages, namely Sjocksjock, Jockmock, Sirkas and Tuorpon. The Sámi lived mainly by hunting and fishing and moved between different fishing lakes. Reindeer were used as draft animals and as a lure for hunting the wild reindeer.

The population in Lule was small. According to tax records from the first decades of the 17th century, it consisted of 150-200 households. The tax collectors, and the merchants from the coastlands of Norrbotten traded with the Sámi and had, until the middle of the 16th century, the right to collect taxes. For this privilege they paid a lease to the crown. The tax collectors contacted the Sámi where they were settled during the winter, but there were also marketplaces for the Lule Lappish territories farther down the river valley, in areas around Harads and Bredåker. Probably their market was held in mid-winter as well.

Tax and trading articles which left the area were skins and leather goods made from animals which were hunted as well as reindeer and dry fish. The crown was interested in live reindeer. Both the reindeer and reindeer herders, preferably women, were taken south for a period of time. Articles which were imported were things like salt, butter, flour, silver, homespun, broadcloth and iron goods.

When permanent market and church locations were to be established, they looked for areas which could be reached in the wintertime and which were near areas in which the Sámi grazed their reindeer. The village of Jockmock had had winter grazing for a long time in the forest area by the little and the big Lule rivers. The ridge which runs east to west above a marshy area (present day Talvatis Lake), was chosen as the location of the first church in Jokkmokk. The Sámi name was Dálvvadis, which mea