The museum was officially opened on June 16th 2017, and is located about 800 metres (½ mile) north of the bridge across the Neiden River and the Skoltefossen Waterfall. In addition to our own exhibition, our museum serves as the visitor information centre for The Skolt Sámi Village (about 1.5 km/1 mile away), which includes the orthodox St. George’s Chapel from the 16th century. Äʹvv aims to contribute to the strengthening of Skolt Sámi culture, language and identity, as well as to conveying knowledge about the Skolt Sámi past and present.
«Ä´vv» is the Skolt Sámi word for sun glitter, the bright, sparkling light that comes from the reflection of sunlight on water or snow. The Skolt Sámi language is listed in UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. It is estimated that only about 300 people use it today, most of them live on the Finnish side. Skolt Sámi got an official writing system 1973. In our permanent exhibition, Saaʹmijânnam Skoltelandet, Skolt Sámi is the main language.
There are two official «KORO» (Art in Public Spaces) works of art at the museum. «Language Memory» by Espen Sommer Eide and «Omasum» by Geir Tore Holm. «Language Memory» is an audio-visual archive where Skolt Sámi words are read out, one by one. They words are «given» to the listener, who is then tasked by preserving them for the future. Omasum is the door handle on the main entrance to the museum, cast in brass and inspired by the form of the omasum of the reindeer.
The stone floor area of the lobby is used for temporary exhibitions. The current temporary exhibition, Sää´mpihttâz will be on display until the end of August. It’s 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. We have called the exhibition Sää´mpihttâz – which is the Skolt Sámi word for Sámi clothes. The temporary exhibition was opened on March 5 2021
Earlier we have so far had two temporary art exhibitions of Sámi contemporary art, «Portable Openings» and «Field Work», as well as two photo exhibitions «The Pearls of the Mountain» og “Tunda Archives 2.0” by Inger Blix Kvammen.
Ä’vv Skolt Sámi Museum is part of the foundation Teän da va´rjjel mu´zeisiida Tana and Varanger Museumsiida, together with Savio Museum, Varanger Sámi Museum and Deanu Museum.