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The Encyclopaedia of Saami culture provide … The Encyclopaedia of Saami culture provides a wide range of information for teachers and students in various levels and fields, the international scholarly community, public authorities and cultural experts, and for all who are interested in Saami culture, as well as the Saami themselves. The Encyclopadia seeks to revise and reconstruct old stereotypes and to present the recent results of research from Indigenous and Saami perspectives.
The Encyclopaedia contains approximately 4000 entries in article form. The articles present the Saami language and Saami history, mythology, folklore, literature and music, as well as the economy, the natural environment, means of livelihood, media, rights, education, art, societal conditions etc. The biographical articles present important historical and contemporary cultural figures: Saami authors, artists, singers, politicians, and also the most renowned researchers from Sápmi. Cultural concepts and terms characteristic of Saami culture are treated primarily from an intra-cultural perspective. The Encyclopaedia also contains so-called reference entries, and an etymological list of 50 Saami culture terms.
Saami culture is not homogenous, it covers many cultures and languages. Sápmi, the present area settled by the Saami, extends from Central Norway and Central Sweden through the northernmost parts of Finland and Norway to the Kola Peninsula in the Russian Federation. The term Sápmi is found in all the Saami languages, and it refers to the area, language and person. Sápmi, sápmelaš dates back at least 3000 years, the ethnonym sápmelaš (derived from the word Sápmi) and the ancient Finnish ethnic term hämäläinen share a common origin.
At present, the total Saami population living in four countries is calculated to be approximately 100,000. The Saami languages differ from each other to such a degree that the speakers of various languages do not understand each other. There are also regional variations within the languages. There are, for example, four main dialects of the North Saami language. The Encyclopaedia takes this diversity into account by presenting information about minority groups within the Saami, Russian or Kola Saami, who so far have been marginalized in the research field. Moreover, although the cultural diversity of the Saami makes it impossible to gather all the existing information in one place, the Encyclopaedia is the most comprehensive single published source on the topic. As such, this work occupies a unique place in the field of Saami studies.nique place in the field of Saami studies. +