Johan Nuorgam – a Sámi cultural broker

The Sámi Museum Siida’s 20th anniversary exhibition tells about Johan Nuorgam. Johan Nuorgam from Lake Iijärvi (1910–78) was an early broker of Sámi culture. He was a connoisseur of Sámi traditions with high proficiency in the Sámi language, whom many researchers used as their source. In the 1930s, he worked as a guide of the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum of the Finnish National Museum, collecting artefacts himself, too. He became a journalist, politician and culturally oriented person, who founded the Inari Sámi Museum at the end of the 1950s.

The exhibition Johan Nuorgam – A Sámi Cultural Broker looks at the colourful life of Nuorgam with the help of words, photographs and artefacts. The exhibition focuses on the rare set of artefacts collected by Nuorgam in the 1930s – a collection which is, at the same time, the first set of artefacts restored to the Sámi Museum by the Finnish National Museum. The photographs, recordings and press cuttings that concern Nuorgam’s life give us a surprising picture of the networks this Sámi man had both in Finnish and Sámi society.

Nuorgam worked as a contributor and editor of the magazine Sabmelaš and as a journalist in the newspaper Tunturisanomat which came out both in Finnish and Sámi; in addition, he was a founder of the Sámi Radio in Finland. His deep knowledge of Sámi culture is manifested in the two-volume book The Lapps in Finland up to 1945 by T. I. Itkonen, and in the exhibition visitors can listen to him telling stories both in Sámi and Finnish. The exhibition also shows the significance of Nuorgam as the person who initiated and carried out the founding of the Inari Sámi Museum: he was ahead of his time as concerns his view of what a museum is.

The exhibition is produced by the Sámi Museum Siida.

Changing Winter

The exhibition helps the visitor to combine existing information about the winter of northern Finland, its animals and landscapes, to the knowledge of the future and to perceive the changes caused by global warming to the northern winter.

The changing winter looks like the winter as we know it, making substantial that which is likely to disappear, and it will raise up those visible changes that are already noticeable. The cutlines of Changing winter capture the climate change as a phenomenon, aiming at concretizing the adverse effects of warming that are difficult to perceive. The Changing Winter -project illustrates the changes reflecting new phenomena in familiar winter enchantments.

The photos of the exhibition are taken by three professional nature photographers of Finland. Bird photos are taken by Markus Varesvuo, landscape photos by Jarmo Manninen and animal photos by Ville Heikkinen. The author of the inscriptions of the exhibition is L.Phil, biologist Pertti Koskimies.

Everyday life of the North – how do the animals of the North live

What is the relationship between man and animal like in the northern nature? What do we see or what do we miss (do we not see) when we look at the forest animals? In the exhibition of the artist Sirpa Mänty, the guest is encouraged to think about the importance of the co-existence, similarities and neighborhood between human and forest animals.

The exhibition consists of miniature sculptures and stories depicting animal characters that seek to expand the perspective beyond everyday life, just as an imagination as a limit.

Inari Sámi Handicraft of the Past and the Present

“Toovláš já tááláš anarâš kietâtyeji – Inari Sámi Handicraft of the Past and the Present” is the first museum exhibition that focuses on Inari Sámi handicraft tradition alone. The exhibition introduces the audience to a rich variety of old and new Inari Sámi handicrafts and methods of crafting. It is produced by the Sámi Museum Siida.

The Inari Sámi are a group of Sámi that have their home region near Lake Inari, and they have their own language, way of living and handicraft tradition. The Inari Sámi handicraft tradition, the handicrafts themselves and their making form a cultural heritage which can only be passed down from a craftsmaker to another if all the sectors of the heritage are kept alive.

The artefacts of the exhibition take the viewer on a time trip that focuses on traditions; in it, historical objects dating from several centuries form a web with today’s objects, telling about the Inari Sámi idea of what is beautiful. The exhibition, created by the Sámi Museum, displays a unique collection of old and new Inari Sámi handicrafts and ways of crafting.

Šäigg – Root Echo sound installation

Šäigg is a collection of newly recorded stories, experiences and leu’dd from Nellim, Keväjärvi and Sevettijärvi. Voices are echoed from within fallen trees, buildings and birdhouse for a goldeneye etc., taking the listener on a journey from one voice to the next.

Narrators have chosen what and how to voice something about the common themes of home, roots and culture. The recordings were born in various ways, for example out of conversations, monologues shared in the moment and by remembering stories told by previous generations. The languages heard in the installation are Skolt Sámi and Finnish but the atmosphere of the voices can be reached beyond language barriers. In addition to human languages, also the sounds of the environment become part of the listening: insects, birdsong, passing vehicles and rest of the surrounding life mix with the recordings. Skolt Sámi life is here and now.

Šäigg is part of 70th anniversary program celebrating the Skolt Sámi settlement in Keväjärvi, Nellim and Sevettijärvi. The installation can be heard in Sevettijärvi in the forest in behind Skolt Sámi heritage House and in Nellim in the yard of Darja’s cottage for the duration of one weekend.

In Sevettijärvi at Skolt Sámi Heritage House yard, Sevettijärventie 9041
Opening on Saturday 29.6. klo 15.00-18.00
Open: 30.6.-18.7. at 10-17.00 and 23.7.-15.9.2019 at 10-17.00

In Nellim at Darja’s cottage yard, Käärmeniementie 4
Open: 19.7. at 16.00-20.00, 20.7. at 10-20 and 21.7. at 12.00-18.00

Team:
The diverse Šäigg working group in collaboration with Skolt Sámi Cultural Foundation and Sámi Museum Siida.
The project is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Taike.

 

Inari Sámi Handicraft of the Past and the Present

“Toovláš já tááláš anarâš kietâtyeji – Inari Sámi Handicraft of the Past and the Present” is the first museum exhibition that focuses on Inari Sámi handicraft tradition alone. The exhibition introduces the audience to a rich variety of old and new Inari Sámi handicrafts and methods of crafting. It is produced by the Sámi Museum Siida and will be opened for the public on 14 June 2019.

The Inari Sámi are a group of Sámi that have their home region near Lake Inari, and they have their own language, way of living and handicraft tradition. The Inari Sámi handicraft tradition, the handicrafts themselves and their making form a cultural heritage which can only be passed down from a craftsmaker to another if all the sectors of the heritage are kept alive.

The artefacts of the exhibition take the viewer on a time trip that focuses on traditions; in it, historical objects dating from several centuries form a web with today’s objects, telling about the Inari Sámi idea of what is beautiful. The exhibition, created by the Sámi Museum, displays a unique collection of old and new Inari Sámi handicrafts and ways of crafting.

Photo: Sámi Museum Siida

We’ll cope

How keep the Sáminess alive under pressure of the majority cultures? What threatens the survival of indigenous livelihoods, languages and cultures? In his photography exhibition Sámi photographer Tomi Guttorm reflects the situation of the Sámi today and in the future.

The themes in the photo exhibition by Sámi teacher educator and psychologist Tomi Guttorm are based on Sámi pedagogy and psychological self-determination theory. According to the self-determination theory, the holistic well-being of people is based on three factors, namely, autonomy, competence, and social interaction.

Guttorm states that one of the key challenges in Sámi society’s well-being is, that the autonomy required by national laws and international agreements is not currently fulfilled in Finland or other Nordic countries. Through his photos, Guttorm discuss how Sámis can cope under the pressure of the majority culture and maintain and develop their own languages and cultures. As a solution to these challenges Guttorm suggest that the key protective factors are the ability to maintain and strengthen the Sámi identity and connection with nature, as well as protecting the traditional livelihoods and the rights of indigenous people.

The exhibition “We’ll cope” is produced by the Sámi Museum Siida and it is open in Siida from May to the beginning of October.

Arctic dreams

The Arctic Dreams exhibition introduces the audience to travelling to and architecture in the Finnish North from the 1930s to the 1950s. Looking at the hotels and inns in Lapland, we get an idea of the development of Finnish tourism but also of the international and national influence that affected the character of the country of growth.

The exhibition has been produced by the Museum of Finnish Architecture and curated by Harri Hautajärvi. It is displayed in Siida as a joint exhibition of the Sámi Museum and Metsähallitus.

Photo: Skiiers in Pallastunturi, Fred Runeberg 1938 /Finnish Museum of Photography

Skilfully crafted, heartily knitted

The handicraft collection of Sámi artisan Birit-Anni Lehtola, or Niillasaš Biret Biret-Ánne (1931–96), was donated to the Sámi Museum Siida on the Sámi National Day, 6 February 2019. Sámi Museum’s pop-up exhibition Skilfully crafted, heartily knitted presents the wonderful handicrafts of Birit-Anni Lehtola. The pop-up exhibition is on display in Siida from April 16th until June 6th 2019.

Skilfully crafted, heartily knitted pop-up exhibition showcases Birit-Anni Lehtola’s collection that consists of both textile works and objects made from hard materials. It contains a number of rarities: that is, items made skilfully from wood and bone. In terms of ornamentation, Sámi horn and bone objects are usually impressive, and Birit-Anni’s delicate handiwork in carving ornaments is exquisite. The collections of the Sámi Museum Siida hold few handicrafts made from hard materials by women, so the donation is an important one.

Birit-Anni Lehtola (née Pieski) moved from Karigasniemi to Inari at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s and began working as a proofreader in the printing house of the magazine Sábmelaš. Teuvo Lehtola from Inari also worked there, and the couple were married in 1952. Despite all the work a family with four children demanded, Birit-Anni found time to make handicrafts; for example, she knitted mittens and skilfully knotted fringes to silk scarves.

Her daughter Irma Lehtola recalls that life at home was characterised by their mother’s crafting: she was always making handicrafts that people had ordered, and, with Christmas approaching, the pace just quickened.

After Birit-Anni’s and Teuvo’s children had left home, Birit-Anni had time and the will to learn how to craft things from wood and bone. She became familiar with the hard materials on courses arranged by the Sámi Education Institute.

Birit-Anni was also active in the handicraft association Sábmelaš Duoddjárat – Saamelaiset käsityöntekijät from the very beginning, chairing the association in 1990–94.

Skolt Sámi Heritage House exhibition

The Sámi Museum also has a summer destination at the Skolt Sámi Cultural Centre in Sevettijärvi, where the Skolt Sámi Heritage House is located. The Heritage House and the Open-Air Museum on its grounds contain information on Skolt Sámi history and display the living and construction options from two different eras. There’s also a small museum shop at the Skolt Sámi Heritage House

The Skolt Sámi Heritage House comprises an authentic Koltta homestead and its outbuilding. The exhibition located inside the house tells about the life of the Skolt Sámi in the past and now. There is an Open-Air Museum on the grounds of the Heritage House. The buildings have been built on the basis of literary sources and word of mouth. The displays include homes, a storehouse, a smoke sauna and a traditional Skolt Sámi root sewn boat.

Read more on the Skolt Sámi Heritage House
See the online exhibition on the Skolt Sámi

Free admission
Opening hours: July 1st until August 30th 2022 from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Contact
Nuõrttsaa’mi Ä’rbbvuõttpõrtt – Skolt Sámi Heritage House
Sevettijärventie 9041, 99930 SEVETTIJÄRVI
tel. +358 (0)400 373015
email: kolttaperinnetalo(at)samimuseum.fi