When going to visit Årstidsfolket, you will travel along winding roads through miles and miles of forest. Here, you will cross the line between past and present, old-growth forests meet newly felled ones, and old Forest Sámi myths and traditions meet with Swedish society.
With his white beard, inquisitive eyes and warm smile, one first impression you might get of Lars Eriksson, surrounded by Rudolf and the other reindeer, is that of a good-natured gnome, wearing a kolt, a traditional Sami costume. This year’s calves peek curiously out from behind him. All over the farmstead, chiming bells tell us that more reindeer are moving nearby. One is looking out from inside the firewood shed. Another greets the visitors with great interest.
A welcoming smoke rises from the rugged log fireplace, and the coffee pot is put on to boil. Then, Lars begins telling his stories. You can feel your pulse slowing down by the crackling fire, as you sip your pot-boiled coffee, which always tastes best when boiled over an open fire.
Lars Eriksson was born and raised in a Forest Sámi family that had been herding reindeer in the same place for generations. To him, as well as to his brothers, the choice to carry on the tradition of reindeer herding was an obvious one.