Beauty, Culture, Duodji, Everyday life, Finnmark, Indigenous, Outfit, People, Photography, Photoshoot, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Tromsø, Uralic

Lihkku beivviin – Happy National Day

Me, our son and my friend and relative ❤ Láhppigákti. Coastal Sámi.
💙💛❤
Hat and traditional shawl made by me ❤💛
Traditional knit by his father’s mother. Belt is supposed to be on hips, but not easy when he is moving like a little maggot 🪱😄

Today, we celebrated the Sámi National Day, Feb 6th.

I have Kven/Finnish, Norwegian and Sámi heritage, and love to celebrate what I can while I can. I am deeply thankful for my connection to my heritage and my own heart, and wish you all the best 2022 possible.

May all beings be free ✨

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More special?

“People wearing their national dresses symbolise unity. A research conducted on this subject showed that youngsters wearing traditional clothes, irrespective of western pressure, had fewer behavioural and emotional problems. The reason being that they are in touch with their ancestral culture, religion and traditions and thus not confused about their identity or who they are.” Makes sense to me; feeling like you belong and have a community is very important. Nowadays, I think many of us feel a part of many different groups, because we live in a globalised world, and clothing can be changed, thus changing your identity. Maybe that makes our traditional and national dresses even more special? ❤

Here is the link to the study for anyone interested. It also sheds a light on the dangers of not allowing indigenous peoples to use and wear their own clothings, as we have seen happen all over the world.

Sámi man in gákti with reindeer pants and mittens. The shoes are nuvttohat, skaller, nutukas.. many names for same shoe. Different languages and dialects. Photo by Lola A. Akerström
Kautokeino Sámis. Guovdageaidnu in Northern Sámi language. Wearing pesks and gáktis. With traditional shawls, belts, mittens and hats. Northern Lapland/Sápmi.
Khanty woman Kristina Neva and baby in reindeer clothing with decor. Summer on the Arctic tundra. Photo by Bryan and Cherry Alexander.

Both Sámis and Khantys are Uralic peoples.

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Things that are yours to keep

Traditional headdress by me, shawl hand-me-down. Photo by Sebastian Wilches 2020.

Some things I truly believe are yours to keep, that no one can take from you:

Your spiritual practice. In my case, it is vajrayana buddhism. It has saved my life in many ways – both in dealing with chronic illness, but also the normal existential stuff like finding purpose and joy 🙂🙏🏼📿

Your ambitions and dreams (if they come from a place of pure motivation and love). In my case now, it has been starting a little family with children 💜🤱

Your ethnicity and ancestry, no matter how lost or scattered it is in this modern world. In my case from my personal experience, I feel very connected to my home in the Arctic and being uralic/finno-ugric. I didn’t as a kid and teenager, at all, but now as I am older, I feel like I can “own” it more. I don’t speak any of the uralic languages, and feel a sadness about this. A disconnection from my own culture. And a feeling of not belonging to a community, when they can’t speak to me. I hope my son will not feel as disconnected. But I have found other ways to express this – primarily through art and duodji. Not all languages are of verbal nature, but are equally important, I think. 🎨

Your creativity. Not necessarily arts, but anything you find a solution to that involves stepping out of the habitual intellectual mind and into a state of spontaneity and flow.🌊

Your struggles. This sounds negative, but for me I mean that my struggles are valid. I have a body that has its big share of physical problems, and I don’t mean to whine. At all! 🙂 Just to express that this is my reality, and that chronic (perhaps invisible to others) illness can happen to anyone, any time in life.💙

Your love. This one sounds cheesy but I think we all can feel love and that we have love as a basic human need. To receive it and give it. And we all have different ways of showing it. I like giving gifts for example.. but am not so good verbally expressing how I feel. I like receiving kind loving deeds, but not to be smothered. So understanding how we show it differently is important too. I also believe that as humans we have the capacity to love many at the same time. Whether it is friends or partners, plural. Romantic, familial or platonic.❤

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Feeling most like myself

Always feel the most beautiful in my own handmade clothing and/or traditional clothing. Woolhat and skirt made by me 🙂
Photos by Sebastian Wilches, edit by me.
Not sure what I am doing with my hands, I never know how to hold them…(:
Photo and edit by Sebastian Wilches (@wilchesfotografia)
Kofte and wool hat made by me
Mittens by my ‘mother-in-law’ Kristin (@dachsedilla)
Photo by Sebastian Wilches, edit by me.
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Polar night

Det kvile ei natt over landet i nord,
Husan e små der kor menneskan bor.
Men tida e travel i karrige kår,
rokken han svive og vevstolen går
Det leve i løa, i naustet og smia
Et lys, et lys, et lys imot mørketida

Snøen ligg tung over frossen jord
ute står mørket om fjell og om fjord
vår herre gir livberging, søtmat og sul
når døgnan sig fram imot advendt og jul
så støpe vi lys midt i hardaste ria
et lys, et lys, et lys imot mørketida

Dagen e borte og natta e stor
men i mørketidslandet skal høres et ord
ei sol som skal snu så det bære mot dag
om folk som skal samles til helg og til lag
på veien mot Betlehem bære Maria
et lys, et lys, et lys imot mørketida

– Trygve Hoff

Foto av Susanne Pedersen 🙏