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The Saami (Lapps) are known as the people of the sun and the wind. They are a nomadic people of northern Scandinavia and are reindeer herders. Saami ethnic heritage, language, traditional clothing, and handicrafts are distinct from other cultures in Norway, Sweden, Finland or Russia.
The Saami traditionally decorated their tools, clothing and other items of daily life. Clothing was made of reindeer skins and felted wool. Clothing edges were decorated with colorful bandweaving and woven belts.
Photo of a Saami woman wearing traditional dress.
My Saami Heritage
My grandmother was a Norwegian Saami. Here are some photos that I have of her and my father.
Saami Traditional Arts
Program notes are available on-line for a presentation made by Artist Anna-Stina Svakko, visiting the Bay Area from Porjus, a traditional Saami village in northern Sweden.
Varanger Saami Museum
A Norwegian museum exhibits Saami Duojdi handicrafts.
A cultural excursion to Norway to visit Saami ‘grene’ weavers. folk museums and travel by riverboats past scenic waterfalls and fjords.
Archaeologists have linked the oldest Scandinavian stone age culture, the Komsa to the ancestors of the Saami. Ghengis Khan wrote that the Saami were a nation he would not try to fight again. They didn’t believe in war but were peaceful retreaters and disappeared in times of conflict. They moved their homes and reindeer and adapted to their new natural surroundings.
A great blog with photos of Skolt Saami weaving – grene.
Saami Weaving – You Tube
First the edge is woven on a rigid heddle loom and then the warp is attached to an upright warp weighted loom.
Saami Belts and Braids
Saami Double Heddle Loom
The colourful Saami bands are woven on a rigid heddle that has an extra hole for the colored yarn.
Band Weaving Patterns
Bands or belt patterns woven on a rigid heddle loom.
Sami Weaving Books
Sue Foulkes has written a few books about Sami band weaving and using a Sunna heddle.
Binna Banna – Kikki Aikio
Áphi (Wide As Oceans) – Sofia Jannok
Ulda – Ulla Pirttijärvi & Ulda
The Kautokeino Rebellion (Music from the Movie) – Herman Rundberg, Mari Boine & Svein Schultz
Beaivi, Áhcázan (The Sun, My Father) – Nils-Aslak Valkeapää
Saami Books and Music
Lapps and Labyrinths: Saami Prehistory, Colonization, and Cultural Resilience
Saami prehistory from 5000 BC to AD 1500.
God Wears Many Skins: Myth And Folklore Of The Sami People
This poem records the creation story of the Sami, a nomadic people of Northern Europe, and then retells several Scandinavian folk-tales derived from their playfully animistic world view.
UK: God Wears Many Skins