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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Embracing my inner 'Sami'...

Today I want to talk about the Sami people.
Some people call them Laplanders.
This is not quite right according to this native Sami man:
"Lapp" means a patch of cloth for mending, thus the name suggests that the Sami are wearing patched clothes, a derogatory term and one that needs to be replaced. The word "Laplander" is also problematic since that could mean any person who lives within this region, also those that are non native. Finally there's a part of the Sami population who always have lived outside the region of "Lapland" such as the Sami's in Swedens, Jemtland and Härjedalen.

They are the only aboriginal people of Northern Europe and are known
for being nomadic reindeer herders.
File:Saami Family 1900.jpg
This photo was taken in the early 1900's of a typical Sami family.
Present day Sami people have lost their habitat due to mining,
hydroelectric dams and general increase in population and pursue
other careers but there are still some out there who live a traditional lifestyle
in rural parts of Northern Europe.
They are the only people in Europe who can legally herd and practice reindeer husbandry.
The needle work of the Sami people is beautiful and intricate.
I am working on a piece right now and have been keeping these people in mind.
Can you guess what it is?
I was also inspired by this little throw rug I have...
...and then the doodling began on a piece of scrap tissue that was lying around...
I am taking some artistic license in the designs and going a bit more swirly
and Swedish...
I feel that this sculpture may take a while given the detail but
once again, through research, I am learning about something
I didn't really know much about.
I leave you with this beautiful short video of
one Sami man's relationship with his land and his reindeer.


Cobalt Violet said...

Love their embroidery! Can't wait to see the sculpture!
Unfortunately, I can't see the video. It's coming up as your blog.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

If anyone else has trouble go on to You Tube and search short film of a Sami man and his reindeer from the Dicovery Channel...well worth it!

Suz said...

put my name on that one if possible
my husband is Finnish on his father's side
close enough...

Suz said...

oh the you tube was fantastic....

farmlady said...

I had no trouble seeing the video. It was beyond beautiful.
This young man is so in tune with his surroundings and sees the soul of his Reindeer and the life around him.
The most noticeable thing about the video, besides the beauty of it, was the absence of electronics. No cell phones, no gas driven vehicles, no distraction... just he and his reindeer and the beauty of nature.
I know there was a film crew but the cinematography was wonderful... not obtrusive at all. It made me want to be there with them.
Your embroidery is charming. What will this be? A boy..., a reindeer?... against the snowy fleece of winter? I will wait to see.
Thanks for the Sami history. I didn't know about them.

gz said...


Sherry O'Keefe said...

now let me see...what is it you do not do? what is it that doesn't interest you? you offer up the whole world to us with each post. thank you!