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Transcript of Sami project
This spread of cultural artifacts and the fact that the languages of the Sami can be traced back to the Urals leads some archeologists to believe that the people of the Komsa and Fosna culture may be the ancestors of the Sami. Stone Age Viking Age During the Viking Age there was a large amount of trade along the Gulf of Finland and Bothnia, with Scandinavian, Finnish, and Russian merchants coming to the area. During this time the Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns pushed northward and the area of Sapmi decreased. It is during this period that the Sami and Viking merchants began trading with each other. This contact was beneficial to both groups and the two groups often intermarred and exchanged language. The Sami were becoming highly respected for their craftsmanship. The example of a Norwegian king who hired a group of Sami craftsmen to build him a fleet of boats shows the relationship between the two groups:
"It was pleasant in the earth-dwelling when happily we were drinking, and the son of a King merrily could walk between the benches. There was no lack of fun at the merry drink. Men rejoiced with each other as anywhere else." Middle Ages By the Middle Ages the Sami had more contact with other cultures and many problems
with immigration, colonization, and religious persecution. Cultural Change: Important Dates 1542: Gustav Vasa, the Swedish King, declares that "All unused lands belongs to God, us, and the Swedish Crown.
1603: The first church is built in Lapland, Finland.
1673: Beginning of colonization in Sami lands. Settlers are encouraged to move to the north by giving them land, water rights, and tax allowances. The settlers hunt in the area and bring several species to near extinction, nearly destroying the Sami way of life. The Sami experience widespread starvation.
Beginning of religious persecution, burning of Sami shaman drums, and the destruction of Sami religious sites.
1720-1729: The King of Sweden proclamates that every Sami found in Västmanland, Kopparberg, and Gästrikland are to be gathered and deported to the "Lappish administrative region."
1755: Bible is translated into the Ume-Sami language. Immigration Many people emigrated to Sami lands because of the bountiful resources. The fishing industry along the Finnmark coast in Norway attracted many immigrants.
The Scandinavian kingdoms also encouraged many of their citizens to emigrate to the Sami lands. For example, in 1673 the Swedish crown proclimated the Lappmark Proclamtion, which stated that anybody who settled in Sami lands would be granted tax exemption for 15 years and would not be required to serve in the army. In 1695 this proclamation was renewed and Sami people were forced to retreat further north. 19th - 20th Century The 19th - 20th centuries would continue the colonization and religious persecution of the Middle Ages. Border Disputes The old issue of border disputes was brought back during the 19th century. The cause of this was the reindeer grazing periods of the Norwegian and Finnish reindeer. For 8 months of the year the Norwegian reindeer would graze on Finnish land, while the Finnish reindeer would graze on Norwegian land for only 4 months a year. The solution: close the borders to each other. This became a problem for the Sami herdsmen because it meant the reindeer could no longer graze freely without borders. This was a major disruption in the Sami way of life. As a result, many families were forced to move from their homes in Utsjoki to the Inari region so they could have access to the Finnish border. Certain areas became overpopulated with reindeer which resulted in mass slaughters.
The border closures also meant that the Sami of Finland were cut off from the fish in the Arctic Ocean and the Skolt Sami of Patsjoke lost the western portion of the Patsjoke River. In the 20th century the Treaty of Tartu between Soviet Russia and Finland, which confirmed the border between Finland and Soviet Russia after the Finnish civil war and Finnish volunteer expeditions in Russian Eastern Karelia, caused a cut in ties between the Skolt Sami and the Nuettjuar Sami. The Laestadius Movement Laestadianism is a conservative Lutheran religious movement. The name of the movement comes from Lars Levi Laestadius, a Swedish - Sami preacher. In 1844 Laestadius met a Sami woman who told him about her spiritual experiences and her journey with Christianity. After the meeting, Laestadius felt that he had understood his faith better and his sermons acquired a, "new kind of colour." People began to catch on and the movement spread in Scandinavia and especially among the Sami.
Laestadius's strict puritan version of the Lutheran teachings resulted in a religious awakening for many Sami and led to riots in the municipality of Kautokeino in Finnmark, Norway in 1852. The minister was nearly beaten to death and several locals were killed. Some of the leaders of the riots were put to death and others were imprisoned. Norwegianization Originally, the teaching of the Sami languages were encouraged in both schools and churches. However, with the rise of nationalism in Norway in the 1860's, the use of Sami languages was discouraged and by the 1900's the Sami languages were banned in schools and churches.
The official government policy carried out by the Norwegian government was called "Norwegianization." The goal was to assimilate all non-Norwegian-speaking native people, including the Sami, into Norwegian society as one culturally and ethnically uniform population.
In the 1980's this policy was discontinued and the Norwegian government has made reparations and in 1997 the King of Norway made an official apology. Religious Conversion A major aspect of the nation state's assimilation policies was religious conversion. Until about the year 1700, there were relatively few attempts to convert the Sami. It was not until this time that the attempts became more aggressive. In the 17th century a law was enacted that required that the Sami get rid of their shaman drums and traditional religious idols and instead attend church. Many Sami hid in the mountains, but many were also coerced into attending church. Robert Bosi in his book, "The Lapps," writes that,“The old magicians who claimed the power to speak with the Spirits of the lakes and of the great rivers were burned alive–with their drums.” 1685: Boarding Schools Boarding schools were another major aspect of the assimilation policies of the Scandinavian nations. Sami boarding schools began in the 19th century and did not allow the use of any Sami language. Originally, the policy was the Sami languages should be used for education purposes, but when boarding schools started, each countries language was used instead of Sami. In 1773 that law was that only Dano-Norwegian was to be used in schools, but in 1830 a clergymen named Niels Vibe Stockfleth convinced the government to allow the use of Sami languages. In 1879 progress was made when a law mandated that instruction should be given in the native language of the child. This law, however, was ignored entirely. In 1880 the law decreed that only Norwegian was to be used, except in religious instruction. In 1936, the use of Sami languages was banned altogether. Finland, Russia, and Sweden also banned the use of any Sami language, and, in 1937 in Russia the government decreed that all textbooks printed in a Sami language must be reprinted using the Cyrillic alphabet and Russian. Taxation During the Middle Ages the Scandinavian kingdoms began to tax the Sami. The Sami were excellent hunters, so this proved to very lucrative. In the 13th century the King of Sweden forced the Sami to pay taxes on anything they traded with the Swedish birkarls, or traders. Soon after, the Norwegians, Karelians, Novgorods, and Muscovites did the same, forced the Sami to pay taxes. The Sami often had to pay taxes to multiple states simultaneously.
Additionally, tax collectors could also fine any Sami who he thought had payed taxes to one of his competitors, which resulted in many Sami families leaving their homes to escape this excessive taxation. Sami Languages The term Sami is a general term that encompasses all of the Sami dialects spoken by the Sami people. The Sami languages are part of the Uralic tree. Of the estimated 100,000 Sami around the world, only about 25,000 - 35,000 people speak a Sami language. Classification and Extinction Within the Uralic family the Sami languages are most closely related to Finnish and Estonian.
The Sami languages can be divided into two groups: eastern and western. Furthermore, they may be divided into subgroups and then individual languages from there. Of the 11 Sami languages, three of them are extinct and many are close to extinction with only 20 speakers, and in the case of Ter Sami, there were only 2 speakers left as of 2010.
Inari Sami (300)
Kemi Sami (extinct)
Skolt Sami (420)
Akkala Sami (extinct)
Kildin Sami (500)
Ter Sami (2)
Kainuu Sami (extinct)
Southern Sami (600)
Ume Sami (20)
Pite Sami (20)
Lule Sami (200)
Northern Sami (27,000) History The Proto - Sami language is believed to have developed around the Gulf of Finland between 1000BC and 700AD, descending from a common Proto-Sami-Finnic language. During the Iron Age, the language is believed to have expanded west and north into Fennoscandia (Finland, Karelia, Kola Peninsula) and then into Scandinavia from there. Sami Culture Norway, Sweden, and Finland are making efforts today to build up Sami cultural institutions and promote Sami culture and language. Reindeer Herding A major aspect of Sami culture is reindeer herding. The Sami have been reindeer herding for thousands of years and entire herds were domesticated. Today, only about 10 percent of the Sami people practice this tradition. Based on the reindeer herd's annual cycles, the Sami divide the year into 8 seasons: Springwinter, springsnow, presummer, summer, preautumn, autumn, prewinter, and winter.
The Sami people develop a very close relationship to their reindeer and always use as much of it as they can. All parts of the animal was used, even the intestines, which they ate. The tendons were used for making a Lavvu, or tent. The Sami still use reindeer skin to make clothing today. Duodji Duodji is the traditional handicraft of the Sami and is thousands of years old. To the Sami an object must primarily serve a purpose, being decorative is secondary. Clothing Gákti: The gákti is a traditional piece of clothing worn by the Sami. It can be worn for both ceremonial purposes and just for everyday life. The colours, patterns, and jewelry on the Gákti can signify if the person is single or married and where the person is from. If the buttons on the belt are square it signals that you are married, if they are round it signals that you are not married. If a couple separates the ex-husband can where the Gákti made by his ex-wife to show that he still wishes to be married. Luhkka: The luhkka is a piece of clothing that covers the top torso of a persons body, similar to a poncho. It is traditionally worn over top of the gákti and the beaska.
Four Winds Hat: The Four Winds Hat is a traditional hat man's hat. Like the gákti, the Four Winds Hat can signify where a person comes from. Beaska: The beaksa is a heavy coat made of reindeer fur. Music Joik: The term joik is often used in English as a term that encompasses all Sami song styles. A joik, however, is only one type of Sami music. According to some music researchers, joik is one of the oldest musical traditions of Europe. Joiking can be deeply personal or spiritual. It can be dedicated to a human, animal, or place. While the singer can dedicate the joik to these things, it is not about them, instead, it is more about singing of the essence within these things. As an example, one could joiks their friend, not about their friend.
Lavlu and Vuelie: A lavlu is a song sung with words, and a vuelie is a song that is meant to tell a story about a person or an event but with chanting and no words. Sami Religion The traditional Sami religion was shamanistic, polytheistic, and animistic. Today, most Sami people follow Christianity. Shamanism Noaidi: A noaidi is the shaman of the Sami people. The noaidi are healers and protecters, but also acts as a sort of bridge between humans and spirits. The noaidi would communicate with the spirit world, asking what sacrifices must be made in order to return someone to good health, have a successful hunt, or just have good weather. The noaidi invoked assistance from the spirit world by using a shaman drum and made sacrifices to return balance between the mortal world and the spirit world. The Sami distinguish between the "free soul" and the "body soul." The "free soul" is able to travel out of the body, while the "body soul" is not. The noaidi were also sought out if someone needed wisdom and often accepted payments for their services.
During the 17th and 18th centuries many of these practices died out from religious persecution. These practices were often referred to as "witchcraft" or "sorcery." Sami shamanism has many beliefs that are similar to the Siberian cultures. Animism The Sami believed that in everything, there was a spirit. Every animal, plant, rock, tree, etc., was alive and possessed a soul. Every natural object was said to be aware of it's surroundings. Like many indigenous cultures in North America and north Eurasia, including the Haida, Nivkh, Ainu, and pre-Christian Finns, the Sami worshiped the bear. Siedi A siedi is a Sami offering site. It can be a natural formation, such as a cliff, rock, lake, etc., or it can be a carved wooden figure made by someone. Fish oil, fish entrails, meat, blood, or small metal objects could be offered to the siedi. For special occasions, reindeer was the most used offering. The reindeer was sometimes eaten and only the bones were offered to the siedi. Other times, the reindeer was buried and only the antlers were left above the ground. Some sources claim that women were not allowed to go anywhere near the siedi. To attempt to destroy any part of the siedi was considered extremely heinous and was met with severe punishment. A siedi in Balsfjord, Norway. Sami shaman drums Sami knife Sami chest Guksi, drinking cup Burial Customs Although there were several types of burials, scree burials were the most common. The dead were laid in a scree, a rocky area at the base of a mountain or cliff. Arrows, tools, jewelry, animal bones, and shells were taken into the grave as offerings and to aid them in the afterlife.
The oldest Sami graves found are in Varanger, Norway and date back to BC times.
Several labyrinths have also been found in Sami areas close to burial sites. These labyrinths may have been used as part of the burial ritual. Holy Mountains In all areas of Sapmi holy mountains are found.The Sami believed that the dead or divine beings inhabited these mountains. The mountains were also thought to be entrances to the sáivu, or afterlife. At the mountain there are often offering sites that can be found. Some sources claim that women were not allowed near the holy mountains or anywhere near the offering site. Tromsdalstinden, Troms county, Norway The Dead The dead go to their own separate world but they could also be called on to help those living. They could be called upon to help look after the reindeer herd or to tell pregnant women what the name of the child should be. The world where the dead go is called Jábmeáibmu and Jábmeáhkká is the goddess who lives there. Sáivu is also another place that the dead were believed to inhabit. Rohttuáibmu is also a place where the dead lived. This world was gloomy and dismal. The god of sickness and death, Rohttu, ruled over this world.
If the dead missed their relatives who were still alive, they could take their free soul. This was believed to make that person sick. An important task of the noaidi was to bring the soul back to that person. Sami Politics and Government Nomadic Times The Sami were originally a semi-nomadic people, moving their settlements with the changing of the seasons.
Dálvvadis: During the winter months several groups of Sami would join together to create one larger community called a dálvvadis. Finnekonger The Norse saga, Heimskringla, and the Norse poem, Volundarkvida, both mention finnekonger, or "Sami kings." This has been interpreted to be wealthy Sami who were possibly also chieftains. Little is known about the finnekonger, and the name may be misleading as some sources claim that the concept of nobility has never been part of Sami culture. Siida A siida is a term that refers to a group of people who travel together and share a seasonal settlement. Goods and land were shared among the siida, although certain areas were private. A meeting of all the household leaders, called a norraz, would serve as the parliament, government, and court. Ukonkivi Ukonkivi, or Ukko's Rock in English, is a siedi located on the island of Ukonsaari in Lake Inari, Finland. Ukonkivi is one of the most important seidis to the local Inari Sami. Possibly as recent as the 19th century, Ukonkivi was used as a sacrificial site.
Two seidis have been discovered at Ukonkivi. The first one was discovered by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans when he discovered a sacrificial cave. At the entrance to the cave there was a half circle reindeer antlers. Evans also found a fragment from a woman's silver headband that was worn around the temple. The second seidi was discovered in 2007 by Finnish archaeologists. Problems Facing the Sami Today Today, the Sami still face many issues. These issues are similar to many that of many indigenous cultures around the world. Discrimination Religious discrimination: The Sami have been subject to discrimination for nearly one thousand years and began with religious discrimination. In the middle ages the Sami were thought to be sorcerers and practitioners of witchcraft and magic. Demons were believed to live inside of the Sami shaman's drum and the shamans themselves were believed to be able to predict the future and cast evil spells that could be carried by the wind over long distances. Although this religious discrimination has lessened recently, some of these stigmas still exist in the Scandinavian countries today where many people do not understand the traditional Sami religion. Like the religions of many indigenous cultures, it was, and is, misunderstood, maligned, romanticized, and misappropriated by outsiders.
Lapp: The Sami see the term Lapp as a discriminatory name. It means something like, "low-base, low in stature, greedy, nomad, sledge-folk, cave-dwellers, uncivilized and dumb." It would be similar to using the term "redskin" for native americans or "half-breed." The Environment Because of where the Sami live and their way of life, climate change has huge impacts on them.
In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded and caused nuclear fallout the the Arctic regions. This nuclear fallout poisoned fish, meat, berries, lichen, and moss. During the winter the reindeer eat the lichens and moss. As a result of the poisoning, 73,000 reindeer had to be killed because they could not be eaten by humans.
Also, radioactive waste and nuclear fuel has been dumped in the waters in the Kola Peninsula close to where the Sami live. Tourism Finland's tourism industry has received criticism for exploiting Sami culture and turning it into a marketing tool. It promotes the chance to see and experience "authentic" Sami culture. Non-Sami people, usually ethnic Finns, dress in fake replicas of traditional Sami clothing and gift shops sell poorly made replicas of Sami handicraft.
Crossing the Arctic Circle is a common "ceremony" that will take place. This has no significance at all to any Sami and means nothing in Sami spirituality. Sami Cuisine Traditional Sami cuisine was made up of mostly fish, game, reindeer, and berries. Berries are an important part of Sami cuisine because other types of vegetables and fruits are not available during winter.
Reindeer, game meat, and fish are a staple of the Sami diet. Reindeer meat is used in most dishes, though sheep and moose are also eaten.
In Sapmi, fast food places offer reindeer hamburgers.