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The Horn Hat and Other Headresses

The designs of Sámi women’s headdresses have varied by the area, materials and cultural grounds. The headdress has been a Sámi woman’s decoration into which women have put their best materials and many hours of crafting – to such an extent that function has sometimes had to give way to beauty. The exhibition The Horn Hat and Other Headdresses deals with different types of Sámi women’s headdresses and the changes they have undergone.

Oct 04, 2013
Every week until Feb 02, 2014
Contact Name Sámi Museum Siida
Contact Email
Contact Phone +358 400 898 212
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Earlier, Sámi women covered their heads when moving outside home. If they didn’t want to wear a hat, they wore at least a scarf. Covering the head was especially important at church and on the way to and from the church. Sámi women wore their traditional headgear even after they had otherwise started to wear Western clothes. Even now, many older Sámi women wear the traditional headgear every day. In the Finnish Sámi region there are five areas of clothing tradition with their own headgear designs.

Within each area, the models vary by the family and the place. The design of the traditional clothing a Sámi wears is, however, determined by her/his own and family’s tradition, not the place in which (s)he lives. For the Finnish Sámi, the most common headgear is a bonnet-type red broadcloth hat, which has been decorated with a lacy edging strip and silk and other bands, according to the customs of the area and the family. Of the Finnish Sámi, the Skolt Sámi have a headgear tradition of their own: among them, a maiden, wife and widow each have their own type of hat. Skolt Sámi headgear is sewn from red broadcloth and decorated with beadwork.

Apart from broadcloth hats, a variety of fur hats are worn in winter. The delicate skin of a newborn reindeer calf is the finest material used for such fur headgear. In addition to such skin, fur from foxes, seals, rabbits and young goats as well as fur from reindeer’s legs are used for fur hats. The fur hats differ in terms of their shape between the different areas; for example, in the west of the Sámi region, the headgear is more rounded. The fur hats are tasselled with broadcloth, and the tassels are often decorated with bands in the region of Enontekiö. Among the Inari Sámi, the pom-poms of the headgear are often red and green.

Sámi Museum Siida’s exhibition “The Horn Hat and Other Headdresses” displays Sámi women’s headgear from all over the Finnish Sámi Area with the help of pictures and artefacts. The exhibition aims at introducing the audience to the history and the present designs of the headgear, but it also aims at showing the beauty of the hats and the skill of their makers. The exhibition consists of headgear from the collections of the Sámi Museum Siida but also of artefacts that have been borrowed from private people and Finnish museums. Thus, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see examples of the Sámi cultural heritage that has been recorded in museums outside the Sámi Area.

“The Horn Hat and Other Headdresses” exhibition is available for the public from 4 October 2013 to 2 February 2014. Welcome!

Further information:
Senior Curator Arja Jomppanen, arja.jomppanen(at)samimuseum.fi, tel +358 40 579 3313

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