Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sámi culture 23.1.2012

The Sami people, also spelled Sámi or Saami, are the Arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe's northernmost and the Nordic countries' only officially indigenous people. Sami ancestral lands span an area of approximately 388,350 km2 (150,000 sq. mi.), which is approximately the size of Sweden, in the Nordic countries. Their traditional languages are the Sami languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family. The Sami languages are endangered. Traditionally, the Sami have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding, with which about 10% of the Sami are connected and 2,800 actively involved on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries. In January 2012, the centre of Finnish Sámi administration, education and know-how began operating in Inari, located on the shore of the Lake Inari with its unique nature. The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos will be the largest conference and event venue in Northern Lapland. Equipped with modern conference technology and communications capabilities, the venue is suitable for conferences with up to 500 participations.
Sámi culture has been celebrated now with a four-stamp miniature sheet, shaped after the floor plan of the Sámi Cultural Centre SAJOS that was opened in Inari on January 9, 2012. Located by Juutuanjoki River, SAJOS is a centre for the Finnish Sámi administration and culture where events, congresses and meetings can be organized. Sámi artist Merja Aletta Ranttila illustrated the Sámi Culture sheet. The layout has been produced by Markku Virtanen from Lapland. The self-adhesive stamps are shaped like mountains. The troll-drum-patterned sheet illustrates the three daughters of the Sámi Mother Goddess, a reindeer village and lean-to’s. My friend Ella sent me this FDC and mini sheet.

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