Why Rudolph's Nose No Longer Glows...Yet The Lapps Feel Left Out In The Cold

From Clement C. Moore's Dancer and Prancer to Tin Pan Alley's red-nosed Rudolph, Santa's reindeer are as symbolic of Christmas as evergreens and snow. But in the frigid Lapland region of northern Scandinavia and Russia, the reindeer--a hefty 300-kilogram near-relative of the caribou--is no symbol. It is, for most practical purposes, the economy: Transport, freight, clothing, exports, and food and drink are all supplied by rangifer tarandus.

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