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In-Between

Tradition and Modernity Collide in a Small Finnish Village

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In-Between - An OPOE Film Extra

The region of Karelia, Finland, has been inhabited since the end of the last ice age. Many Finns - known as the 'local people' - consider themselves decedents of these ancient tribes. 

“As long as we have been here, we have been hunting the moose,” says Tero Mustonen, head of Selkie village, and President of Snowchange Cooperative.  

Although members employ rifle scopes, GPS tracking, and use the modern roads that crisscross previously heavily forested territories, the community still hunts together. Teams track moose using dogs and the hunt is split among the hunters and the village at large, at the season's end Moose Feast.

"What makes this crucial for the village, is that it's a communal hunt," says Tero.

That "crucial" aspect is the communal practice - the coming together. Before the arrival of the Swedish, Russians, and finally, globalization, Finnish communities had distinct songs, oral histories, cosmologies, and unique hunting and fishing practices. For hundreds of years, those traditional practices mirrored the community's close relationship with nature, but much of that is now gone.

The moose hunt is both a link to the past and an important practice in the present. And as we look for ways to maintain and renew our connections with our damaged natural world, supporting practices that keep people on the lakes, picking berries, hunting moose, are essential. 

 


Learn more about the village of Selkie, climate change, and the restoration of their watershed in Our Place on Earth Season 1

In-Between follows the hunters of Selkie for an afternoon as Tero Mustonen, head of the village of Selkie, discusses how the practice of hunting - of being in the bush - is a key toward recapturing and revitalizing our relationship with the natural world. 


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