Happy Sami Day!

The Sami are the indigenous group who live across the North Pole area in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia. Today we celebrate their unique achievements and wonderful contributions!  First of all, did you know that they herd reindeer?  How cool is that?  (Today they are semi-nomadic and only 10% work with reindeer, mostly for meat.  Sorry Santa.)  The Sami can trace their history back some 10,000 years to the Ice Age.   Their population today is about 80,000.  The kolt is their traditional dress, see below, with 12 regional styles.  Their crafts are just beautiful.  I cherish a bracelet that my
Lola Akinmade Åkerström/imagebank.sweden.se
mother gave me in Samisk style which is made from pewter strips woven together and sewn onto reindeer skin such as these from SwedArt on Etsy.  Hej SwedArt, giving you a Swedish shout out! Beautiful stuff!

I also wanted to touch upon the music which is gorgeous and reminiscent of Native American songs.  Here is some interesting information on the "yoik" from Sweden.se.
Yoik is traditional Sami singing, and was originally closely linked to Sami religion. It is one of the oldest forms of music in Europe. Seen as a pagan and uncultured activity, it was long banned by the Swedish Lutheran Church. Yoiks are deeply personal and often dedicated to a person, animal or part of a landscape as a way of not forgetting. A yoik is passed down through generations, its style determined by its origin.
Sami music today is often a blend of yoik, rock and contemporary music. Sofia Jannok, for example, performed the ABBA hit ‘Waterloo’ in Sami at the Swedish selection contest for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Other singers who mix traditional yoiks with pop music are Mari Boine and Wimme Saari. Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, better known as Áillohaš, saw the yoik as an art form early on and created many works of poetry.
Theatre is a newer Sami art form, often based on old legends or stories. The Sami have a rich storytelling culture which has gained new perspectives through the theatre. The Giron Sami Theatre in Kiruna (Giron is the Sami name for Kiruna) puts on several productions each year.
Check out this video from Sofia Jannok and another of music taken from "Frozen".  See any inspiration from the Sami culture?  ;-)  
Opening song from Disney's Frozen - the Earth's Yoik - by Frode Fjellheim.  Stunning. For more information on the Sami, please check out https://sweden.se/society/sami-in-sweden/


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