Reindeer Herding Language ~ Learn some basic concepts and words

Sleigh reindeer

Sleigh reindeer is a fully tamed reindeer who can pull a sleigh and works with travelers mainly during the winter season.

Learn more: Tourism 


Cooperative is a community formed by the reindeer herders. Every herder belongs to one cooperative. Cooperatives vary in the size of their land area, and number of reindeer. Every cooperative is independently responsible of the reindeer herding in its area.

In Finland, the reindeer husbandry area is divided into 54 cooperatives.

Learn more: Cooperatives

Ages of the reindeer

Vasa (Calf): first 0-10 months
Kermikkä: first late winter and second summer (about 9-15 months)
Urakka: Male from its second autumn to third summer
Vuonelo: Female from its second autumn to third summer
Vuorso: three years
Kunteus: four years
Kosate: five years
Maakkana: six years
Nimiloppu: seven years or more

Some colours of the reindeer

Korpinmusta: Raven’s Black, dark Black

Musikki: Black
Kalppinokka: white nose
Suivakko: blond 
Valkko: white reindeer
Rooki: blond spotted 
Kirjakka: dark and white spots
Pilkkinokka: blond spot on the nose
Ryssänvalkko: yellowish white
Luostakka: Blond sides
Poronvärinen: Reindeer colored, basic grey


Hirvas: Stag

Vaadin: Doe

Härkä: Gelding

Some actions

Roukua: Reindeer voice

Tolvata: Reindeer running fast

Nulkata: Reindeer running steadily, slower speed

Kaivaa: Reindeer digging food under snow

Keloa: Reindeer rubbing the skin off from its antlers


A doe not having a calf in the ongoing year (runo means also a poem in Finnish).


Reindeer without antlers, during “the bald season” 


Reindeer cloven hoof