You don't need an intellectual excuse to take a minute and a half to watch these arial shots of reindeer herding in action. Set to hypnotic music, the swirling of the herds here is sort of entrancing. But beyond that gut-level fascination, the video offers a glimpse at how reindeer herding works.
Norwegian photographer Jan Helmer Olsen took this footage with a hexacopter drone. The video comes from a region called Kautokeino, where traditional Norwegian herders called the Sami live and work. According to ReindeerHerding.org, a “virtual guide to reindeer and the people who herd them,” the Sami have switched from traditional herding techniques to more modern ones:
During the 1900’s reindeer herding becomes more extensive and meat production becomes increasingly important. In the 1960’s, the Sámi reindeer herders started to introduce new technologies – the so called snow mobile revolution in their work with reindeer. Later came other mechanical aids and today such tools are major feature of modern reindeer herding. This has had a variety of impacts on reindeer husbandry and as herders no longer ski or walk with reindeer, the relationship has changed somewhat. Today’s reindeer herding requires large areas, reindeer are often frightened and are forced to flee from natural pastures. Today’s reindeer are not watched year-round and reindeer wander freely during certain periods.
You can see in this vide the fences and fabric they’re using to move the reindeer from one pen to another. But it doesn’t seem to take much to get the reindeer to swirl like a storm. Even those who aren’t being corralled seem to be circling like a large, hairy group of fish.