Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Reindeer and Its Domestication

Berthold Laufer - The Reindeer and Its Domestication (1917)

Open Library direct link
Open Library main page

The next Laufer work is a look at the history of domesticating reindeer.  According to this the earliest reliable accounts are from the 15th century in Europe though there are stray references earlier.  Laufer also traces some mentions in Chinese literature before briefly describing some methods of domestication and wondering whether the practice of using reindeer to pull sleighs derives from the similar use of dogs.  This pamphlet is a bit more focused than other Laufer posts (and also not published by the Field Museum) but it's likely none of us have thought about this topic before.