HARMONY WITH NATURE
© 1989 Faith Fjeld.
The Sami People
The Sami are northern Scandinavia's indigenous people. When Sápmi, or Samiland was colonized many of the old reindeer grazing areas disappeared and with them some of the history forming the Sami cultural inheritance was also lost. The damages from taxation, racism, and ruthless exploitation need time to heal. Therefore, it is important from the Swedish perspective, to remember another history that is not focused on the Vikings or heroic kings.
A hunting and gathering people become reindeer herders
The Sami Religion
The Sami religion contains many gods who steered the powers of nature in differing ways. The will of these gods was interpreted by Sami shamans called Noaid. However, the arrival of Christian missionaries brought with it the edict that man's consciousness could be ruled by only one god.
The Sami religion grew from the hunters' relationship to their prey and the nature that surround them both. The wind god, Bieggaålmaj, sent warming or chilling winds and therefore was given sacrifices of appeasement. Gods were called upon during periods of hunger, sickness or when hunting, and their messengers were the Noaid. In daily life, the Noaid were like others in the group, but through their ability to enter into a trance and take on the spirit of animals they were freed from time and space.
The Symbolic Importance of the Magic Drum
The pictures on this page came from:
They are illustrations from the book:
Lapponia by Johannes Schefferus
You can click on them to view a larger image, also, some of them are cropped so you will need to view them larger in order to see other images that were cropped off.
Sami magic drum
A Sami tent (a "lavvo")