Sami Culture Museum

We had the opportunity to visit the Museum dedicated to the Sami culture. As a museum design it is excellent, small but exceedingly well done.

The map shows the extent of the Sami people over the countries of Norway, Finland and Russia and part of Sweden. There are many Sami languages and in recently the children are learning these languages from pre-school. In pre-school and first grade they learn in Sami, in second grade they learn in Sami and Finnish and from the 4th grade they add English so that they know 3 languages as the leave high school. The red boundary lines above show the language territories.
These are older Sami artifacts returned from Helsinki Folk Museum to become part of this Sami museum. The photos and examples of the handcrafted articles of clothing, tools and household items are presented clearly and beautifully.
Sami costumes are worn on special occasions such as holidays and weddings. Men and women both have colorful and warm clothing and reindeer fur and leather boots and our reindeer farmer who we met after we went to the museum had leather pants made of the skin of a moose.
This is one of the reindeer farmers in his traditional costume as he greeted us. He gave us feed used for the reindeer and banged on a tree to call them to eat. These were all castrated males who are used for pulling sleds and/or getting clues to visitors.
They literally ate the food pellets from our hands and once our hands were empty the wrangler put the rest into two feed trays so that the beast would stop trying to find more food among us. Their horns are covered with velvet, so beautiful but really big and can be very pushy. The horns have blood vessels and nerves and are only on the males for a less than a year. These beauties will be gone in a matter of months. Thayer will grow new and larger ones in Spring.
After a walk through garden and and then various farm buildings we reached a gathering place which on the olden days would house several families to sleep in the winter months. The building could be kept warm by building a fire and using a thick iron grill and stones which would radiate the heat fir a long time. We had tea or coffee here and were able to ask questions about the family’s life.

More on our adventure tomorrow

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