The Sámi Museum also operates 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. The Heritage House is also an important meeting place for residents of the local village.
Who are the Skolt Sámi?
The Skolt Sámi belong to the Eastern Sámi both with regard to their language and traditions. They are Orthodox by faith. The Skolt Sámi originally lived in settlements located in modern-day Russia, Finland and Norway, most of which Finland lost in the Second World War to the Soviet Union. As a result of the Second World War, the Skolt Sámi evacuated Suonikylä and were settled in the Sevettijärvi – Näätämö area in 1949.
See the Skolt Sámi Life digital exhibition for more information on the Skolt Sámi.
Skolt Sámi Heritage House
Finland’s Government built homes for the Sámi who had been evacuated from their homes in the Soviet Union. An effort was made to build these homes in line with Skolt Sámi architectural heritage. The Skolt Sámi Heritage House comprises an authentic Koltta homestead and its outbuilding. The Heritage House’s buildings were originally built in Kirakkajärvi, but the homestead was never inhabited. The buildings which had remained empty were moved to their current location at the beginning of the 1990s.
The exhibition in the Heritage House displays the history of the Skolt Sámi and their present day life with various pieces, photographs and handicrafts.
Open-Air Museum area
In 2007, an Open-Air Museum was built on the grounds of the Heritage House. This is a reconstruction of a summer settlement from the times the Sámi lived in Suonikylä The buildings have been constructed for the most part according to written descriptions, remaining picture materials and word of mouth.
Residential buildings, a storehouse, a smoke sauna and a traditional Skolt Sámi root sewn boat are on display in the Open-Air Museum.
There is a small museum shop in the Heritage House, which sells local handicrafts, jewellery, souvenirs, literature and music. The shop’s range also includes products related to the Orthodox religion.
The Heritage House is an excellent destination for a visit, if you are on your way to Norway. There is a daily coach from Inari to Sevettijärvi on weekdays.
The Skolt Sámi Heritage House is open during the summer.
Summer 2023 opening hours: From June 20th untill September 23rd, Tue-Sat 10-16, closed on Sun and Mon.
Admission to the Heritage House is free, and visitors have the option of taking a guided tour.
The Open-Air Museum area is open to visitors also during the winter, but it is not maintained at that time meaning snow and winter conditions may affect accessibility.
Contact information for the Skolt Sámi Heritage House
Nuõrttsaa’mi Ä’rbbvuõttpõrtt – Skolt Sámi Heritage House
Visiting address: Skolt Sámi Heritage House, Sevettijärventie 9041, 99930 SEVETTIJÄRVI
Tel. +358 (0)400 373015
Mailing address: Skolt Sámi Heritage House c/o Saamelaismuseo Siida, Inarintie 46, FI-99870 INARI
Sámi Museum Siida, tel. +358 (0)400 898 212, siida(at)samimuseum.fi