Temporarily exhibitions

Sää´mpihttâz. On display until the end of August 2021.

The exhibition is borrowed from Inari Municipality, Finland, and the mannequins were a part of a bigger tourist exhibition called “Destination Northernmost Europe”, created in Siula, Saariselkä in 2005. This exhibition was the result of a cooperation between Finland, Norway and Russia, where the aim was to pique interest for the nature, culture, history, sights and services of the region. We have called the exhibition Sää´mpihttâz – which is the Skolt Sámi word for Sámi clothes

The rich Sámi craft tradition has developed over time and uses materials found in the Nordic nature. Through trade, the Sámi gained access to new techniques and materials. Fur, hide, salmon, reindeer and ptarmigans were exchanged for cloth, pearls, silver and decorative ribbons. There are numerous combinations and details. Because the divisions between the different Sámi groups don’t follow the borders of the modern countries, Sámi clothes are worn across the modern borders. Color and pattern show what Sámi group and even what family one belongs to, but can also be used by individuals to express themselves. In Northern Sámi the word gákti is a collective term for the Sámi national costume, whereas in Skolt Sámi this is expressed by the word Sää´mpihtâz, Sámi clothes. The word Määccaǩ is only used to describe the male costume.

The Sámi have inhabited Northern and Central Fennoscandia since time immemorial, before the modern nation states existed. There are 10 Sámi languages that are traditionally spoken in what is today Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia: South, Pite, Lule, Northern, Skolt, Ume, Inari, Akkala, Kildin and Ter Sámi. Other cultural distinctions between the Sámi groups are seen in attire, way of life, craft and religion. This exhibition does an important job in showing this Sámi diversity, which is little known in society as a whole.

The video underneath provides more detail on two of the folk costumes in the exhibition. Venke Tørmænen talks about the Skolt Sámi costume, and Elin Magga talks about the Sør-Varanger costume. The video is in Norwegian.

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