Norway: Sophus Tromholt
This is Sophus Tromholt. In 1881-1882 he went to study the northern lights. Whilst there is became fascinated with the people who lived there. They were called the Sami. he took extraordinary photographs. 231 glass negatives survive. 189 of them were printed. HE later sold them to a local photographer called Knud Knudsen, who used some of them to make postcards. To see Tromholts photographs click here. He also made a yum-yum puzzle.
What was special about this mission? The Polar year of 1882-1883 was the first international "coordinating scientific approach, with observers making coordinated geophysical measurements at several locations during the same year. This would permit more views of the same phenomena, allowing more valuable interpretation of the available data. Tromholt was monitor of the aurora borealis observation post in Kautokeino during the first polar year of 1882 - 1883 as part of a string of circumpolar observation posts.
Due to technical problems he coudl not carry out the work he intended to do. At th same time he got interestedin the local people, called the Sami. So interested that he travelled all throuhg their hom. The Sami people homeland stretches from the coastal district of Norway, through inland plains of Norway, Finland and Russian Boris Gleb, and parts of northern Sweden. The grazing grounds of the Sami's reindeer traditionally followed no national borders. Even after the laying down of the borders, there is a strong Sami cultural community across the area.
To Tromholt, these were not just "Lapps". Each person had a name and was an individual.
For a film about a Sami who tried to recover the head of one of his ancestros executed by the Norwegian Government in 1854, see this.