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Introduction to Saami culture
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TekstiThis property is a special property in this wiki. <P align="justify">Definitions and d<P align="justify">Definitions and designations of the Saami as an indigenous people are based on their unique worldview, their own history, means of livelihood and language. At present, this special character of the Saami has been officially endorsed through national legislation international agreements. The encyclopaedia project seeks to elucidate the special nature of the Saami.</p> <P align="justify">The Encyclopaedia of Saami Culture focuses on the indigenous culture of the Saami and the task is approached with the opportunities and challenges of multidisciplinary research in mind. Research on ethnic minorities such as the Saami cannot be limited to a single discipline or branch of learning; in most cases it is multidisciplinary by virtue of its starting point alone. Research on ethnic minorities is associated with the traditions and perspectives of politics, culture, the study of religions, history, society, the economy, mentalities and language. As is customary, this project understands multidisciplinarity to mean cooperation between different fields of research. It has the benefit of scientific polyphony and the asset of combining different approaches of scholarship. Multidisciplinarity is an integral requirement for discussion on identity, ethnicity and culture.</p> <P align="justify">The older discipline of lappology, the study of the Saami and their culture, described Saami culture from an external perspective from the close of the 17th to the end of the 20th century. Research on the Saami in the last decades of the 20th century moved towards perspectives within the culture itself. There has been a desire to reject the term lappology and to replace it with the new concept of multidisciplinary Saami research. The intra-cultural perspective here also implies the significant contribution of the Saami to research concerning themselves.</p> <P align="justify">The Saami, living in the northern parts of Scandinavia and Finland and in the Kola Peninsula, are the only indigenous people in the EU to have their own language, culture, means of livelihood and identity. The history of the Saami in the areas occupied by them dates far back to before the formation of the present states in the region. 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. This region is approximately 300 000 - 400 000 square kilometres in area. At present it is generally estimated that over 45 000 Saami live in Norway, some 20 000 in Sweden, 2 000 in Russia, and approximately 7 500 in Finland according to a survey carried out by the Saami Parliament of Finland. The Norwegian Saami population may be considerably larger than 45 000. The total Saami population is calculated at present to be from 75 000 to 100 000. The estimates, however, vary greatly since no official estimates of the population have been made in the various states.</p> <b>On the names the Saami and the land of the Saami</b> <P align="justify">The term Sápmi is found in all the Saami languages, and it means area, language and man. The ethnonym <i>sápmelaš</i> (derived from the word <i>sápmi</i>) and the ancient Finnish ethnic term <i>hämäläinen</i> share a common origin. <i>Sápmi</i>, <i>sápmelaš</i> dates back at least 3 000 years, when it came into established as the term used by the ancestors of the Saami of themselves in their own language.</p> <P align="justify">The old exonym (name given by others) of the Saami is <i>Lapp</i>, which is historically closely associated with the term Lapland (Lapponia in Latin) used of the area. The terms lop, <i>lopari</i> in reference to the Saami first appears in Russian sources in the 13th century. In Finnish and closely related languages the word <i>lappalainen</i> (Lapp) was used of not only the Saami but also of peoples further to the north (such as the Dvina or Russian Karelians and of people living further away from settled areas, which may be the basis for the common occurrence of Lappi place-names in Southern Finland. The term <i>lapp</i> (plural <i>lappar</i>) was already used in the Swedish language in the 13<sup>th</sup> century, and assuming its Scandinavian origin as being associated with the word lapp meaning 'piece of cloth', it has been suggested that its was originally a pejorative term. The roots of this word, however, remain unknown, and it may even be Baltic-Finnic. In the latter case, it may have simply meant people living at distances from settled areas. Its development into a pejorative was linked to the attitudes of the mainstream population regarding the Saami. Because of its pejorative nature, this term has gone out of use in the Nordic countries, but similar terms are still widely used in many European languages (e.g. the French lapon, the German Lappe, Lappisch, and lapp in Hungarian). In present -day Finland the term <i>lappalainen</i> (Lapp) has become an administrative concept and it is used, as also in historical sources, in connection with land-ownership and property matters.</p> <P align="justify">In Norway, the term finn has been used of the Saami up to the present day. This word is familiar from Tacitus's famous account of the northern peoples. The northernmost part of Norway is known as Finnmark. Tacitus's term fenni was apparently first used by the Ancient Swedes of the Saami living in Northern Sweden, of whom they spread information. Finn and Finland, exonyms of the Finns and the Saami later remained in use to also mean "non-Saami", particularly the people and region of Finland (Proper), i.e. SW Finland.</p> <b>On the origin and worldview of the Saami</b> <P align="justify">[[Fennoscandia|Fennoscandia]] received its first inhabitants after the Ice Age from Western and Eastern Europe respectively. Since then the course of development led to the formation of different communities in various parts of the region. The Fenno-Ugrian community of languages formed in Eastern Europe. Around 3000 BC, the so-called Battle Axe, or Corded Ware, Culture that arrived in Finland caused the disruption of the Fenno-Ugrian people into geographically and linguistically different branches. The southern group gradually adopted a culture of farming and animal husbandry, finally forming the Proto-Finnic ethnic group. The northern group pursued its own traditional means of livelihood, hunting and fishing. The Proto-Saami element emerged from this group. At the time, the territory of the Saami extended over a large region from lakes Ladoga and Onega to the present areas, though perhaps not as far as Scandinavia. In Southern Finland, Saami lived at least in Savo and in present-day Karelia as late as the 16<sup>th</sup> century.</p> <P align="justify">According to the present state of knowledge, the Early Proto Saami element emerged from the Saami-Finnish basis in Finland, East Karelia and later in Scandinavia. The historically known pre-Christian worldview of the Saami had significantly differentiated from the underlying background of the Uralic heritage. The differences with regard to the assumed Uralic proto-culture (and the Finnish heritage that largely preserved its core conceptions) are so fundamental in nature that they cannot be explained by a long, separate prehistory or e.g. by Scandinavian contacts. For example, the horizontal world view characteristic of the Uralic cultures was clearly secondary for the Saami, while a vertical conception (the upper, middle and nether worlds) was in turn markedly emphasized. Despite the large rivers of Lapland, water routes were of relatively minor importance in mythical imagery, and the northern quarter did not have the role of referring to the afterlife that it was characteristic of it in the Uralic cultures. One possible explanation is that when spreading into the north the Saami incorporated some unknown non-Uralic people and culture. This assumption would explain both the genetic and cultural differences.</p> <P align="justify">The pre-Christian worldview of the Saami was based on the conditions laid down by a natural environment regarded as living. All entities of nature were regarded as having a living and conscious side that had its own will and was more or less powerful and dominant in relation to man. It was thus that the continuum of the supernatural was formed, with the everyday environment and its spirits and unseen companions, such as the earth spirits (<i>maahinen</i>) at one end and the heavenly, upper-world, spirits and gods at the other. Somewhere in between were the <i>seita</i> deities, local patrons of means of livelihood, who were represented by the <i>seita</i> stones on the fells and lakeshores. Correspondingly, attitudes regarding the supernatural, the sacred, varied from everyday courtesy to major communal rituals that were performed only rarely. The Saami would generally feel that he was in a reciprocal relationship with the forces of the surrounding world. It was only before the greatest deities of the upper and nether worlds that he was completely powerless. On the other hand, the <i>seitas</i> for example were known to operate ultimately on the same conditions as the Saami. Therefore a seita that did not fulfil its obligations - to provide wild reindeer or fish - was rejected or even destroyed. The same concerned the bear, which could be killed, though only ritually. The bear's supernatural nature was so strong that any interaction with it required strict adherence to rules of taboo.</p> <P align="justify">But even the Saami needed a professional mediator between the human community and the forces of the supernatural world. This was the shaman, the <i>noaidi</i>. The main task of the shaman was to cure illness, restoring the original, good order of things in this respect. Illness was regarded as being caused by the other half of the two-part human soul being taken into possession by the dead and into the nether world. The most common reason for this was the interference of the spirits of the dead in the lives of the living. In this case the shaman had to achieve a state of trance, during which he would undertake a soul journey to <i>Jábmiidáibmu</i>, the realm of the dead. The objective was to retrieve the soul of the patient to the world of the living. In a similar manner, the shaman could take the form of the freely moving component of his soul to journey in this world, if the souls of game animals had been lost, for example by being captured by the <i>noaidi</i> of a neighbouring <i>siida</i>, or Lapp village. The shaman's main item of equipment was his drum, which was used not only for achieving the trance but also for predicting events.</p> <P align="justify">The prominent communal elements of ancient Saami beliefs, such as the shaman system, joint <i>seita</i> worship by the whole <i>siida</i> and the bear cult, were uprooted by the 18th century at the latest, but the individual practice of nature religion, such as private <i>seita</i> worship continued until the last century.</p> <b>Missionary activities and their results</b> <P align="justify">Although systematic missionary activities among the Saami did not begin until Modern Times, Scandinavian and Christian elements began to infiltrate the traditional worldview of the Saami through trade and other secular contacts from an early stage. This is why even in the oldest sources Saami "paganism" is not found in any "pure-bred" form. The Catholic church did not undertake any significant missionary work among the Saami, or such efforts remained ineffective. Broadly speaking, the Lapp territories of Sweden were Christianized, at least superficially, in the 17th century in the spirit of Lutheran orthodoxy. This was closely associated with the establishment of churches in the northern and eastern border regions of the realm, which in turn served political goals. In the Treaty of Knäred signed in 1613 with Denmark-Norway, Sweden-Finland had to relinquish its claims to the Finnmark coast. From then on, Sweden-Finland, which was expanding to become a local leading power, sought primarily to safeguard its northern interior regions from Denmark-Norway on the one hand, and on the other hand from Russia, which had lost its opportunities to expand in the Baltics and was therefore focusing its efforts on the north and the Arctic Ocean.</p> <P align="justify">In Sweden-Finland, other means of missionary activity were also found in Saami schools and in the publication of devotional literature in the Saami language. The actual missionary offensive took place in the late 17th century, when it was discovered that active church membership was only part of the picture; the old paganism still reigned at home and in the wilderness. For a long period, the Saami culture demonstrated a considerable ability to adapt to new Western-Christian elements. The new gods were painted on the shaman drums below the old ones. The missionary offensive silenced the shaman drums in the Lapp regions of Sweden-Finland and gave criminalized status to other visible symbols of the pre-Christian religion of the Saami. The breakthrough of the Laestadian or Apostolic Lutheran, revival movement, however, was the final factor to crush the surprisingly strong ability of the pre-Christian Saami culture to adapt</p> <P align="justify">Churches were built from an early stage on the Finnmark coast, to serve the local Norwegian population and as landmarks of power politics. It was through them that Christian influences infiltrated not only the Sea Saami but also the Fell Saami who spent the summers on the coast. The Saami of Norway, however, were not properly Christianized until the 18th century as a result of Thomas von Westen's efficient Pietist missionary activities that employed the Saami language (1716-27). The reasons for this time lag in Norway were the lack of political pressure to earmark the population for the realm and the fact that the Saami found it very difficult to understand Norwegian, which in Finnish Lapland and in the Lapp regions of Tornio, Luleå and Piteå in Sweden the Saami were traditionally conversant in Finnish and receptive to preaching in the Finnish language. The importance of the Saami language was thus recognized more slowly in Norway. In both Sweden and Norway missionary activity produced a great number of valuable documents on the ancient beliefs of the Saami, albeit with many attendant source-critical problems.</p> <P align="justify">A smaller degree of "foreign" influences infiltrated into the East Saami regions than into the west despite the fact that the formal presence of the Eastern Church was strong and considerable age. Eastern missionary activities began after the establishment of the independent patriarchate of Moscow in 1489. The Eastern Church expanded to Petsamo and the Kola Peninsula in the early 16th century and since then the East Saami have belonged to the Orthodox cultural sphere. During the 15th and 16th centuries over ten functioning churches and several monasteries were founded on the Kola Peninsula. In keeping with the Catholic missionary strategy, the basics of the new religion were made more understandable by adapting them to pre-Christian elements, thus explicitly creating a syncretistic situation. It was believed that this situation could be made completely Christian by gradually reinforcing the Christian aspect. In practice, however, the purging of syncretism turned out to be very difficult, and the East Saami tradition has preserved many elements that can be regarded as archaic. Owing to the less doctrinaire nature of missionary activity on the other hand, only a small number of early documents regarding the East Saami have survived.</p> <b>Regions and borders</b> <P align="justify">In the administration of the Swedish realm the term Lappmark (literally Lapp land) referred to the administrative area inhabited by the Saami/Lapps. Until the beginning of colonization (the colonization proclamations of 1673 and 1695), the term Lapp was sufficient to describe the inhabitants of the region in general, as the Saami/Lapps were the only ones who lived there. In government, the traditional economy of the Saami was known as the Lapp means of livelihood. Lapland was separated from the southern regions, known as Lannanmaa (literally dung land), by the so-called Lapp border. <i>Lannanmaa</i> was the abode of the <i>lantalaiset</i> who practised means of livelihood using dung, i.e. farming and animal husbandry.</p> <P align="justify">Lappmark was divided into six separate Lapp territories, of which the Tornio (in part) and Kemi territories are in present-day Finland. The territories were further divided into Lapp villages or <i>siidas</i>, and the villages among kin groups or families into so-called Lapp-tax or inherited lands. The Lapp village community consisted of kin groups and their related families who spent most of the year dispersed in families throughout their own areas. In the winter everyone assembled in their respective winter villages, moving in the summer into other areas to hunt, fish and herd reindeer.</p> <P align="justify">Meetings were held in the winter villages for dealing matters of mutual importance. In the Lapp villages of the Swedish realm, the village meetings were known as the "hut ting" (<i>sobbar</i> or <i>norrös</i> in the Skolt territories) and they were led by the village elder. Joint matters to be decided upon included the division of rights to land and waters among families, participation in beaver and wild reindeer hunting, the even and fair distribution of the catch, and naturally the collection of taxes. The village meetings also attended to relations with other <i>siida</i> communities. The traditional communities were characterized by shared responsibility and equality. Assistance was given to disadvantaged members.</p> <P align="justify">After the First and Second World War, the Skolt Saami, who lived in their traditional <i>siidas</i> at Paatsjoki, Petsamo and Suonikylä were relocated into the municipality of Inari in Finland among the Reindeer and Lake Saami who spoke North and Inari Saami and the local Finnish population. Among the Saami, the Skolt culture has been under the greatest pressure of Finnicization. The Skolt language is used in homes and in school, although signs of it being replaced by Finnish have been evident since the 1960s. At present traditional reindeer herding has become an auxiliary means of livelihood, and fish is caught only for household needs. Many Skolts, particularly young people, have had to leave their home regions and move south to find work.</p> <P align="justify">Through history, <i>Sápmi</i> - the land of the Saami - has been divided among four countries. The border between Russia and Norway was laid down in the Treaty of Strömstad in 1751, and in 1809 Finland became a part of the Russian Empire, with a new Russo-Swedish border as a result. In 1826 the border between Russian and Norway was again defined, and Fenno-Russian border arrangements were still carried out in the 1920s and 1940s. Owing to these measures, many Saami siidas ceased to exist and the traditional reindeer herding territories were restricted. These developments led to migration among the Saami. As a result of the disintegration of the land of the Saami, the traditional social, economic and legal systems of the Saami were destroyed. For the various states of the region, the term <i>Sápmi</i> means the respective the land of the Saami within the borders of each country and only rarely the whole entity. Instead of the term Sápmi, other geographical names such as North Calotte, Lapland, Finnmark and Norrbotten are used.</p> <b>On the history of research</b> <P align="justify">The encyclopaedia project seeks to treat Saami culture and history in a new way from the people's own perspective. Saami culture is based on a close relationship with nature, which is also the basis of the traditional Saami worldview. But the Saami are not a linguistically or culturally homogeneous group. There are considerable differences in features of material and non-material culture, such as language, religion, folklore, customs and folk costume, between Saami people living in different areas. The Saami are divided into different groups according to their languages and not according to means of livelihood, as was previously done. Saami culture is a developing contemporary culture where even the economy has increasingly begun to resemble that of the mainstream population.</p> <P align="justify">Johannes [[Schefferus, Johannes|Schefferus]] (1621-1679) is regarded as the founder of lappology, the former discipline of research concerning the Saami and their culture. In 1673 Schefferus published his work <i>Lapponia</i>, in Latin. From then on, until the breakthrough of romanticism (1810-) research in this area was not given any scholarly or scientific value as such. Rather, its objectives were political and, in particular, religious in nature. It was felt that a knowledge of Saami culture was necessary for their more efficient conversion to Christianity. The Saami were also accorded the status of a certain a cultural curiosity, as a result of which items such as Saami drums found their way into the collections of even distant European museums. The era of romanticism (1810-1840) regarded the spiritual and non-material heritage of peoples to be a document of "natural faith" (Schelling), a reflection of "ethnic or national character" (Herder, Lars Levi Laestadius) or an obscured historical source (in part maintained by Lars Levi Laestadius).</p> <P align="justify">Later lappological research can be regarded as having emerged after the middle of the 19th century as a result of the work of J.A. Friis of Norway. In 1859 Friis published the first collection of Saami folklore, and in 1871 a book on Saami folk beliefs. Lappology became an area of comparative anthropology and ethnography. At the same time, its interpretations came to be steered by prevailing scholarly and social paradigms. Particularly after the publication of Darwin's "Origin of Species" (1859), anthropology and ethnography - and official policies relying on their results - soon moved from a Herderian conception of ethnicity to a evolutionist-social-Darwinist approach. In this spirit, the cultures of primitive peoples were regarded as "weaker" in relation to "Europeans", and in the process of disappearing as if through a law of nature. If these peoples, the Saami included, were to be "saved", they were to be civilized and made to adopt the stronger mainstream culture (Kipling's "white man's burden"). The evolutionist approach also entailed interpretations of pre-Christian Saami beliefs as manifestations of phenomena such as animism or worship of the dead - and consequently as proof of the above theory.</p> <P align="justify">In many cases, interest in Saami culture was based on devolutionism, the reverse face of evolutionism in culturological theory. As the products of folk culture were regarded as belonging to earlier, more primitive cultural phases (through which the civilized nations had already passed but in which the primitive peoples still lived), they were assumed to disappear before long and already to be in a state considerable devolution. Owing to contacts with their neighbours, the Saami were participants in cultural evolution, while their own culture was in a process of devolution. Since the Saami were regarded to be a less-developed people, it was natural to assume that many of their cultural features were originally loans from more developed neighbouring peoples (diffusionism); Saami culture was thus felt to provide possible evidence on the earlier stages of the mainstream culture. The underlying assumption here was that "primitive cultures" were of a conservative character - "cultural freezers".</p> <P align="justify">Evolutionist-diffusionist thinking also contained the in-built attitude that the products of folklore was isolated objects having their own lives and lacking any contact with the culture that bears them; they were regarded as non-functional "relics" etc. Background support for this underestimating attitude towards Saami culture was provided by the geographic-historical school, also known as the "Finnish school", of research that predominated in the late 19th and early 20th century (Julius and Kaarle Krohn). This school of research explicitly tracked the geographic spread of elements of folklore and their transformation along the way. It was not until the late 20th century that the evolutionist-diffusionist approach that predominated in lappology was rejected in favour of the intra-cultural approach.</p> <b>On the development and status of written Saami language</b> <P align="justify">The group of the Saami languages - sámegielat - belonging to the Fenno-Ugrian languages are spoken in the areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia as minority languages. The present number of Saami languages is given as ten. The western group of Saami languages consists of [[South Saami language|South]], [[Ume Saami language|Ume]], [[Pite Saami language|Pite]], [[Lule Saami language|Lule]] and [[North Saami language|North Saami]], while the eastern group comprises the [[Inari Saami language|Inari]], [[Skolt Saami language|Skolt]], [[Kildin Saami language|Kildin]], Ter and Akkala Saami languages. 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 North Saami: East Finnmark, West Finnmark, Torne Saami and Sea Saami. There is also variation within the various dialects.</p> <P align="justify">The history of written Saami dates from 1557, when the English sea captain Stephen Borrough drew up a list of 95 words and phrases of the Saami language spoken in Yokanga in Russia. The first text in Saami, a primer by Nicolaus Andreae, a clergyman of Pite, was published in 1619. Johannes Schefferus's Lapponia from 1673 contains two joikha poems by the Kemi Saami Olaus Sirma, <i>Guldnasas</i> and <i>Moarsi favrrot</i>.</p> <P align="justify">North Saami can be regarded as the shared language of the Saami of the so-called Calotte Area, the northern regions of Finland, Norway and Sweden. Approximately 70% of the Saami population of Finland speak North Saami. The first book in which written North Saami was used, was the almost 1000-page Manuale Lapponicum, partly written in Saami by Johannes [[Sivua ei vielä ole|<span style="color:red !important;">Tornaeus</span>]] and published in the Saami region of Sweden as early as 1648. In the early 18<sup>th</sup> century, growing demands were voiced in Sweden-Finland and Denmark-Norway for teaching the Saami and converting them to Christianity, and owing to missionary activity interest in the written idiom increased. Norwegian missionary work led to progress in the development of written North Saami. The most important contributions to developing and promoting written Saami were made in the 18th and 19th century by Knud Leem, Rasmus Rask, Nils Vibe Stockfleth and J. A. Friis. Konrad Nielsen's four-volume Lappisk ordbok Lapp Dictionary appeared between 1932 and 1962. Literature in the North Saami language was already published in the past century. Classic status was achieved by Johan Turi's <i>Muittalus samiid birra</i> ("A Tale of the Saami") from 1910. There have been as many as thirteen different orthographies of North Saami and there have been standards in the respective countries. After almost a decade of preparation, a joint North Saami orthography was approved at the Saami Conference of 1978. The new orthography launched a renaissance of literary use for the North Saami language.</p> <P align="justify">Speakers of Skolt Saami presently live in two countries, Finland and Russia. The Skolt Saami language of the Neiden area in Norway has disappeared. Some 15% of Finland's speakers of Saami as a their mother tongue use Skolt Saami. In Finland this language is used in the home and in school, although there have been signs since the 1960s that Finnish is gradually taking the place of Skolt Saami. Since 1993 language teaching for children under school age has been arranged to revive Skolt Saami. In 1958 T. I. Itkonen published a major dictionary of Skolt and Kola Saami. The present orthography of Skolt Saami has been developed by Mikko Korhonen, Pekka Sammallahti and Jouni Moshnikoff. A Skolt Saami primer in the new orthography was published in 1973, followed by Pekka Sammallahti's and Jouni Moshnikoff's Finnish- Skolt Saami dictionary, Suomi-koltansaame sanakirja. <i>Lää´dd-sää´m sää´nnke´rjj</i> in 1991. Satu Moshnikoff edited the anthology <i>Maaddârää´jji mainnâz</i> (Tales of the Forefathers) in 1992. This collection of tales also appeared in the form of five cassette tapes in the same year. Literature is represented by two works by the Skolt Saami writer Claudia Fofonoff, <i>Pââččjogg Laulli</i> (Songs of Paatsjoki, 1988) a collection of tales and poems, and <i>Jânnam muttum nuu´bbioo´ri</> (Land turned upside down 1999), a book of poems.</p> <P align="justify">The joint written form of the Saami languages spoken in the Kola Peninsula (Kildin, Akkala and Ter) is based on Kildin Saami, which was given official status in 1982 and employs the Cyrillic alphabet. According to a study from 1994, there are some 700 estimated speakers of Kildin Saami, Akkala and Ter Saami are respectively spoken by less than ten persons. The main site of the Kildin Saami is Lovozero (Luujaavv´r), with a Saami population of roughly 700 and a museum presenting the history of the Luujärvi region. There are some twenty speakers of the Nuortijärvi (Njuõ´ttjäu´rr, Notozero) dialect of Skolt Saami living on the shores of the lake of the same name. The amount of literature published in Saami in Russia is very small. In 1878 Arvid Genetz published Matkamuisteluksia Venäjän Lapista (Travels in Russian Lapland) and in 1891 his renowned dictionary and study of Skolt Saami (Kuollan Lapin murteiden sanakirja ynnä kielinäytteitä). The new orthography has been used in textbooks, dictionaries (Saami-Russian, Kildin Saami - North Saami), literature and a few children's books. Published in 1989 was Jaella (Life), an anthology of verse by Oktjabrina Voironova (1934-1990) the first author to write in the Ter Saami language. She had previously published poems in Russian.</p> <P align="justify">Inari Saami is the mother tongue of some 15 % of the Saami-speaking population of Finland. The role of written Inari Saami has gained ground over the past few years. Its orthography was given official status at the Saami Conference of 1996. The basis for written Inari Saami was created by Dean Lauri Arvid Itkonen in his translation of Bible history from 1906. Many researchers have collected Inari Saami material since the 19th century. In 1917 A. V. Koskimies published <i>Inarinlappalaista kansantietoutta</i>, a work on Inari Saami folklore, of which a new edition was issued in 1979. T.I. Itkonen also published collected Inari Saami material, in the journals of the Kalevala Society (KSV 14, 15, 17 and 18) and in other connections. Prominent researchers of Inari Saami in the 20th century were Frans Äimä, who compiled a large collection of linguistic material and Erkki Itkonen, whose publications include Inarinsaamelaisia kielennäytteitä from 1992 and the Inarilappisches Wörterbuch I-IV from 1986 - 1991. Pekka Sammallahti's and Matti Morottaja's dictionary <i>Säämi-suoma sänikirje</i>. <i>Inarilaissaamelais-suomalainen sanakirja</i> appeared in 1993. The Inari language society <i>Anarâskielâ Servi</i> founded in 1986, promotes the status and use of Inari Saami. The society actively publishes textbooks, literatu re on folklore, a newspaper and a calendar. Oral tradition and the recollection of past times still live on in pioneer works of published Inari Saami literature. As active members of the society, Iisakki and Ilmari Mattus have both published autobiographical memoirs and the teacher Matti Morottaja has edited an anthology of tales entitled <i>Tovlááh mainâseh</i>.</p> <P align="justify">Work on developing Lule Saami began in the 19th century, when Lars Levi Laestadius published a 21-page religious booklet entitled <i>Hålaitattem Ristagasa ja Satte almatja kaskan</i>. The orthography of Lule Saami was revised in the 1970s and approved at the Saami Conference of 1983. Anta Pirak's autobiographical work Jåhttee saamee viessoom was published in 1937. This book is one of the most important works in the history of literature in the Saami language. Several dictionaries of Lule Saami have apepared, including Lulelappisches Wörterbuch (1946-1954) by Harald Grundström and Olavi Korhonen's <i>Bákkogir'je julevusámes dárrui, dárros julevusábmái. Lulesamisk-svensk, svensk-lulesamisk ordbok</i> (1979). Several children's books and works of poetry have appeared in Lule Saami in recent years. The most prolific writer in the Lule Saami language is Stig Gaelok (born 1961), who has published some ten works since 1983, particularly verse.</p> <P align="justify">The written form of South Saami is based on northern Ume Saami. In 1738 Petrus Fjellström, a teacher and clergyman of Lycksele published the Small Catechism, a Saami grammar and a Swedish-Saami dictionary, thus establishing a written form of South Saami. The present orthography of South Saami was created by Ella Holm Bull and Knut Bergsland and was approved at the Saami Conference of 1976. A dictionary, grammar and textbooks have appeared in the new orthography. Knut Bergsland published his Sydsamisk grammatikk in 1994, and the dictionary <i>Åarjelsaemien-daaroen baakoegaerja</i>. <i>Sydsamisk-norsk ordbok</i> in 1993 in collaboration with Lajla Mattson Magga. Literature in the South Saami language did not begin to appear until the 1970s, in the Càllagat series, among others. The first separate work was the children's book <i>Dågkangaerja-Dåkkagir'ji</i> (Doll Book) published by the teacher Laila Mattson (later Mattson Magga) in 1978. The first book of poems in the South Saami language Gaaltjie (1987) was written by Gaebpien Gåsta, Gustav Kappfjell, a 74-year-old Norwegian Saami. Most of the recent publications, such as children's books, are, however, translations.</p> <P align="justify">Since the 1970s the Saami languages have come into growing use in different sectors of society, such as education and the media. Background factors of these developments are the rise of the Saami movement and an overall Saami renaissance. Until the 1960s and 1970s Nordic assimilation policies concerning the Saami threatened their culture and language, in turn strengthening political activism among the Saami. The Saami movement has achieved the official recognition of the Saami as indigenous peoples in the constitutions of Norway, Finland and Sweden at the turn of the 1990s. Cultural autonomy was ensured for the Saami in their own regions and the Saami Parliament - Sámediggi - was established in Norway, Finland and Sweden, to implement these policies.</p> <b>On the nature of this project</b> <P align="justify">The starting point and inspiration of the project is the distinctive culture of the Saami and interest in them that has emerged in different parts of the world. The contributors of the articles in the encyclopaedia seek to revise and overturn old stereotypes and to present the recent results of research concerning the Saami. Since early times, scholars in various fields, travellers and clergymen have been interested in the Saami, whose culture has been regarded as the most exotic of all the cultures of the European peoples.</p> <P align="justify">The actual idea of an encyclopaedia of Saami culture is based on a study module launched in 1993 at the University of Helsinki as the responsibility of a working group representing several departments of the university. The Saami Culture Encyclopaedia Editorial Board was formed from the university's Saami Research Working Group, with Nordic associates and partners as added members. The Saami Institute of the University of Umeå, one of the project's partners, has been represented by Olavi Korhonen and Mikael Svonni. Other partners are the Álgu etymological project of the Saami languages operating at the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland and the Finnish Literature Society.</p> <P align="justify">The objective is the chart and systematize information in the culture of the Saami - a Nordic indigenous people across national border. In Europe in the process of integration there is cause to place particular weight on preserving the cultures of indigenous peoples, and on the broad distribution of researched information on them. The project also involves the goal of strengthening the identity and cultural awareness of the Saami. In today's changing world this is one of the best ways of preventing the social and cultural marginalization of small peoples living in difficult conditions. A further objective is to present information on minorities within the Saami people, such as the Russian Saami, who until now have remained in the margins even in research concerning Saami culture.</p> <P align="justify">The encyclopaedia project will produce a rich and diverse store of knowledge that can serve as one of the starting points for an Internet-based databank on the Saami. The use of modern electronic media has been promoted for some time among the Saami. The encyclopaedia project is expected to further these aims by producing freely accessible information on the Saami in electronic form. It is also planned to publish the Encyclopaedia of Saami culture as a book and in CD-ROM format.</p> <P align="justify">Nor has an encyclopaedia ever been prepared before to date that contains a wide range of information on Saami culture. Encyclopaedic works on other cultures have recently appeared, such as the Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia (1994), Finland, a cultural encyclopedia (1997) and Norrlands uppslagsbok: ett uppslagsverk på vetenskaplig grund om den norrländska regionen (1993-1996). These works can be regarded as significant cultural achievements.</p> <P align="justify">The Encyclopaedia of Saami Culture will be a necessary work of reference for the international scholarly community, public authorities, cultural experts, teachers and students in various fields, and for all who are interested in Saami culture - including the Saami themselves.</p> <P align="justify">The Encyclopaedia of Saami Culture will contain approximately 4000 entries in article form. The basic articles will 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 will present important historical and contemporary cultural figures: Saami authors, artists, singers, politicians, and also the best-known researchers of Sápmi, the land of the Saami. Cultural concepts and terms characteristic of Saami culture will be treated primarily from an intra-cultural perspective. The encyclopaedia will also contain so-called reference entries, and an etymological list of 50 Saami culture terms.</p> <P align="justify">The editorial board takes the term culture in its broadest sense, entailing both material and non-material aspects. Language is the main characteristic of culture. Nature is regarded as the material basis of Saami culture and is discussed in the articles on landscape, nature and snow terms and flora and fauna. Non-material culture is presented in the articles on identity, ways of life, traditions and customs and social and societal life, which focus not only on the present but also on past conditions.</p> <P align="justify">Persons of national and international importance related to Saami culture are represented in the biographical gallery of the encyclopaedia. The contributors also include representatives of the arts and sciences in Saami culture. The articles include an extensive bibliography intended to serve as a compilation of literature on the Saami. </p>ion of literature on the Saami. </p>  +
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