When I think of reindeers prance, dancer, and Rudolf are the first things to come to mind. The only “contact” I have had with the animals was in Norway this past semester. I went to a Christmas market and reindeer burgers were being sold along with moose and fish burgers. The thought of domesticating these animals seems strange and it was interesting how the novel couldn’t really determine how the process occurred either. I also thought it was interesting how the wild reindeer found today were thought to be impossible to domesticate, even when bred with a domesticated female. Have we changed the genes so much that the division between wild and domesticated is irreversible? This novel reminded me of goat song when it talked about the nomad lifestyle and how reindeer became commodity like animals within this time period. Is this just a natural part of the domestication process? The change from animal to commodity? The story told an interesting perspective of a domesticated species in a Communist political structure as opposed to the goats in a capitalist one. “This was my first inkling of the self-reliant and anarchic spirit that coexisted with the delicate discretion of traditional Eveny culture as well as with the nervous fear under Communism of doing anything that was not officially authorized.”
The relationship in the native cultures and the animals is far different than that of our domesticated species today. The hunters would say, “I obtained” some animal instead of glorifying the kill. Additionally, each part of the animal was used and distributed based on the family relationship. “If I deny a guest a share, that is the worst offense of all” The community aspect and the respect they had for the animals differs greatly from how we treat domesticated food animals.