August 22, 2012 8:11 AM   Subscribe

maadth-saemie reprasentin! In Scandinavia, there's been a recent upswing of Saami culture, from Designers[2] to Art & Musicians. Once upon a time the land of the Saami, Sapmi existed in the north of scandinavia, stretching between Norway, Sweden & Finland, now it's reffered to as the heartland. The new consciousness relating to the Saami struggles[2][3][4] is much Thanks to artists such as Inga Juuso and Sofia Jannok who exist in the greyarea between politics and melody.
posted by xcasex (10 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome. The Sami Cultural Center is one of the coolest buildings ever.

I often admire the creativity of people who are stuck indoors during long, dark, cold winters, and wonder whether I could jump-start my own artistic tendencies by doing the same, but I'd probably just go crazy.
posted by Graygorey at 8:58 AM on August 22, 2012

haha well we're seldom stuck indoors graygorey, however. There's a lot to be said for the distinctive style. :)
posted by xcasex at 9:51 AM on August 22, 2012

Once upon a time, the land of the Saami may well have been the entirety of Europe.

A recent paper showed that the first inhabitants of Europe, hunter-gatherers, had an unusual genetic profile; high in mitochondrial U5b. This suggests, as does the material evidence, that there was little mixing between the hunter-gatherers and the incoming farmers.

One of the highest concentrations of U5b in modern Europe is among the Saami; were these the people pushed back by the farming invasion some 6000 years ago? It's an interesting thought: the hunter-gatherer culture appears remarkably resistant to change, has it, in fact, resisted change through to the modern day? Are the Saami a direct linear link to an incredibly ancient culture?
posted by BadMiker at 4:58 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's very interesting badmiker! i'll go look up more of it now too haha :D
posted by xcasex at 10:48 AM on August 23, 2012

Let's not forget Wimme Saari!
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2012

xcasex, thank you for this post. This is what I love best about mefi, finding things I would never have found. Thanks in particular for the blog you linked, which is a real eye opener in contrast to the travelogue cliche window, which is the only view that most of the world sees.

You came for four winds’ hats and reindeer and yoik and shaman drums? You came to the wrong blog.You came to get an idea of who Saami people are today and how some of us live? This is a good place to start. This blog isn’t meant to be all-inclusive. It is only meant to challenge the most insidious and harmful stereotypes that are still used to keep us in our place and the ways in which we are still being objectified, romanticized, fetishized and dehumanized; how not our lands but also our minds and bodies and families and friendships are still being colonized.To this end, this blog is exclusively run by Saami people and contributions are only taken from Saami people. The sources we promote are either Saami-authored or Saami-authorized. Non-Saami sympathizers are welcome and appreciated, but what is needed now to further the dialogue? is OUR VOICES. It’s time for white settlers to step the fuck back.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:51 PM on August 23, 2012

@madamjujujive I love that no-bullshit approach to _anything_ it's just genuine, you can't argue against it. and when it comes to how the Scands have treated minorities (funny word that one) it really shines the spotlight on the current/past state of Scandinavia as a whole. I'd love to say that one country is doing more than the other but neither are, the Saami have fought for every inch they have and still are.

funny story is that I had a bit of a spat with the guy and gal behind that blog, due to ethnicity, mine as it were. they're a bit aggressive but it comes from a good place.

(oh and about ethnicity, i'm half n half jew/saami and apparently I draw white-privilege due to "passing as white" - not my words.)
posted by xcasex at 5:59 PM on August 23, 2012

Thanks for this!

I want to mention another Sami musician and Sami activist, Mari Boine. Though now I'm curious what these tumblrers' take on her is -- maybe too much yoik and shamanism? Or for that matter too much non-traditionalism mixed in? Or... awesome?

My favorite album is Goaskinviellja (Eagle Brother), which looks scarce right now. Radiant Warmth collects some from that album -- play it LOUD and let the title track pierce right through you -- and another good album, Leahkastin (Unfolding). Her later albums tend to be a little milder and sometimes more eclectic, but really, I like everything. Try some tracks from her Myspace page, like "Entranced".

Her singing is the heart of it, but something about the way she arranges and layers the music is characteristic and beautiful, across twenty years of work.
posted by away for regrooving at 1:43 AM on August 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Sami people's cultural renaissance touches Poulsbo

I know the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle includes Sami exhibits, but I've never been there.

It seems like there is a bit Sami revival here in the Upper Midwest as well, which had the largest amount of Nordic immigration to the US, being so Goddamn cold. At a little Finnish festival in Michigan this winter, they had the Sami flag along side the Finland flag and stars and stripes. There was a marker stating that a lot of Finns and Sami immigrated to the area. Oh, and they had a reindeer too, and a guy in a blue outfit. The reindeer was by far the best part of a festival that was held in the middle fucking winter.

I think this was the book I saw for sale there to help Scandinavian-Americans figure out if they have Sami ancestry. I think it's cool there is interest, but if it becomes as obnoxious as white Americans who claim to be Cherokee or whatever, I am going to drive to Minneapolis and just start punching people.
posted by riruro at 7:43 AM on August 24, 2012

« Older The poetry of life in motion   |   dinner time Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments