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The death and the dead ones
Id 1055  +
Kieli englanti  +
Kirjoittaja Risto Pulkkinen +
Otsikko The death and the dead ones +
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Categories Saami Pre-Christian world view  + , Mythology and folklore  + , Articles in English  +
MuokkausaikaThis property is a special property in this wiki. 24 marraskuu 2021 11:41:26  +
Has default formThis property is a special property in this wiki. Artikkeli  +
TekstiThis property is a special property in this wiki. <P align="justify"> There are numero<P align="justify"> There are numerous beliefs among the Saami attached to death and the dead, some of which go back to a pre-Christian view of the world, while others belong to the later Christian tradition. Although the Saami did not have any special fear of death, a long life and good health were sought-after blessings. The Inari Saami said that happiness was good health, for from it everything else would follow. On the one hand, the departed were experienced both as a threat, spirits who longed for their nearest ones ([[Shamanism|Shamanism]]) and as souls displaced because of a mysterious destructive → supernatural power that was connected with their earthly remains. On the other hand, for the Saami the dead also had the attributes of protective, beneficent spirits ([[Sáiva (engl. ver.)|sáiva]]).</P> <P align="justify"> The Saami experienced many things as portents of death, and many things were also felt to affect the length of one's life. It was said in the early twentieth century by the Inari Saami that when one saw the constellation of Pleides for the first time in the autumn it was possible to calculate the length of one's life. The basic age was twenty years, and one could add another ten years for every star of the Pleiades that was clearly visible. If one could see all the stars of the constellation shining bright, one would live to be ninety. Many taboos relating to customs or admonishing against greed or vanity were sanctioned with the threat of death; when reindeer milk was frozen, it was not permitted to count the levels of the milk because at the same time the counter would be tallying the number of her or his years to live. An immanent death was portended by numerous birds and particularly by a prey obtained in a strange, often too easy, way. The word used for this was <i>mieđus</i> ([[Animals to take omens with|Animal omens]]).</P> <P align="justify"> During the pre-Christian period, the Saami always buried their dead in or around the place where the death had taken place. They had no burial grounds, which was a consequence both of their nomadic way of life and of the fear they had of the dead; this latter phenomenon was a typical feature of hunting cultures. It was a custom to plant the dead person's staff at the place of death in her or his memory; later the staff was generally replaced by a cross.</P> <P align="justify"> Pre-historical graves indicate that originally the Saami buried their dead according to the general Arctic practice above the ground, usually in a crevice in a rock. If no such hole could be found, they might make a burial mound above the ground and flag it with stones. If a grave was dug, it was very shallow, no more than a few dozen centimetres deep, and it was covered over with a thin layer of earth or turf. This procedure was almost the same as surface burial. A very common custom was to bury the dead person in his sledge. Interment in a rock crevice or in a shallow grave was certainly dictated by natural circumstances, but it may also have been thought that the soul of the departed might thereby more easily gain access to the world of the dead. Generally, the methods of burial seem to have varied according to the place and the time of the year, so it would appear that the Saami had a fairly pragmatic attitude towards burial. No particular rule appears to have governed the direction in which the body was buried.</P> <P align="justify"> During the Christian era, there was a period when it was the custom to bury dead people on islands if they died in the summer and only to take their bodies to the graveyard when the snow had an icy crust over it. It is a universal idea that water especially flowing water is a barrier, or at least an impediment, to the soul of a dead person. The body was buried temporarily under turf, or the departed person was hung in his sledge from a tree or placed on a rack. The most important thing was to keep the body safe from predatory animals, which might break up the skeleton and destroy the principle of life that resided therein ([[The soul|Soul]]). The Saami particularly feared a death in which the body was totally destroyed or lost, as in the case of a person drowning or being devoured by wild animals. For the departed, this meant that she or he could never again find a new body in the land of the dead nor live a life beyond the grave, but would remain a displaced soul. For the survivors it meant uncertainty about the whereabouts of the departed and consequently the threat of being haunted. An accident was critical if only because the death caused thereby might be a premature one ([[The soul|Soul]]), which could result in the victim becoming a ghost.</P> <P align="justify"> To judge from descriptions of the patterns on the [[Noaidi (engl. ver.)|shaman]]'s drum and the journey of the shaman's soul to the land of the dead, the location of the Saami land of the dead (<i>Jábmiidáibmu</i>) was low and far away. According to western Saami sources, it was ruled over by a female divinity [[Jábmiidáhkka (engl. ver.)|<i>Jábmiidáhkka</i>]]. It would seem to have been a distant land of the dead of the kind typical of hunting cultures. The world of the dead was located in segmentally patterned drums at the bottom end and in heliocentric drums almost a whole circle away from the [[The Sky God|Sky God]]. Closest to it was [[Ruto]], the God of Pestilence. Descriptions of the journey of the shaman's soul's to the land of the dead emphasize how long and difficult it was. If it is assumed that the [[Sáiva (engl. ver.)|<i>sáiva</i>]] was connected with the earliest Saami conceptions of a world of the dead, <i>Jábmiidáibmu</i> was originally conceived of as being located under water. This interpretation is also supported by a description of a shaman's ritual in <i>Historia Norvegiae</i>, in which the journey to the land of the dead takes place by diving, and generally by the fact that the shaman's assistant in his journeys below was a fish. </P> <P align="justify"> Life in the land of the dead was more or less pleasant, resembling that on earth. This is evidenced by burial objects, which were usually ordinary everyday implements like bows and arrows, axes and fire-making equipment. After his death, the departed person would receive the same status and position that he held in life. In the nether world, however, everything was inverted, upside down or contrary. One shaman's drum skin shows a departed person sinking headfirst into the land of the dead. In the eastern Saami tradition, those who met with a violent death ( died of iron ) went to the [[Northern lights|Northern Lights]] (Aurora Borealis), where the blood from their wounds created the colour red.</P> [[Tiedosto:05noitarumpu.jpg|thumb|600px|... a departed person sinking headfirst into the land of the dead]] <P align="justify"> The symbol for the world of the dead on the shaman's drum resembled a ladder, which probably indicates a division into compartments, or it had a conical shape. During the Middle Ages, when the dominant religion was Roman Catholicism, for the western Saami <i>Jábmiidáibmu</i> became a temporary holding place like purgatory, from which a person who had led a good life passed to the Sky God <i>Radienáibmu</i>, while one whose life had been a bad one went to a dark underworld <i>Rotáibmu</i> ruled by <i>Ruto</i>. According to many sources, the Christian Hell was still a separate place. It is, however, also possible that the development into a divided world of the dead was internal to Saami culture ([[Sáiva (engl. ver.)|Sáiva]]).</P> <P align="justify"> Although there was a fairly strict parallel between life in the realm of the dead and that on earth, some kind of idea of reward and punishment was still intrinsic in the ancient conception of the world of the dead as well. How good a person's life was there depended on the chants ([[Joik - traditional song|Chanting]]) that were made about him; in other words on his reputation and the way he had lived. Again, there is information that suggests that a person lived as an individual in the world of the dead only as long as chants were made about him. When the memory of them as individuals had faded, departed persons could no longer be reborn in the children of their clans, and they became part of the collective faceless mass of the spirits of the dead.</P> <P align="justify"> In the late tradition, beliefs about the dead found expression mainly in meetings with a dead person, particularly a displaced soul. Meeting a person who had died a natural death and been buried in the usual way soon after their death, in the so-called soul time was only to be expected and thus it was not feared. The departed person might even then express wishes to the living about things she or he wanted to be done or require that certain wrongs be righted. However, the fear of dead bodies was great. According to the writer Johan [[Turi, Johan (engl. ver.)|Turi]], one might contract a fatal disease from the mere smell of a dead body. On the other hand, the genii of the dead who attended upon the death and the corpse might not only cause disease but also give a person who came into contact with them the gift of seeing the hereafter. </P> <P align="justify"> An unexpected meeting with a dead child (frequently an illegitimate one) who had been killed before baptism ([[Eahpáraš|eahpáraš]]) was considered to be dangerous; it might cause a condition called [[Raimmahallan|ráimmahallan]], which was characterized by restlessness, anguish and listlessness, and which in the worst cases led to death. Usually a living person experienced fear on meeting a dead one, but a similar fright could also be caused without the knowledge of the departed by something connected with the dead for example, a corpse; the remains of dead persons and everything connected with them were thought to carry with them something of the spiritual existence of the departed, and this could result in restlessness, haunting, visions, and so on.</P> <P align="justify"> Another dead creature that haunted people was the [[Rávga (engl. ver.)|<i>rávga</i>]] (< Norwegian <i>draug</i> drowned ), who was known among the maritime Saami. This tradition had a strong Norwegian influence. The <i>rágva</i> was a drowned person whose soul had not been blessed and was therefore without status. It is generally described as a long-haired creature resembling a human being. Usually the <i>rágva</i> did not bother humans except by calling out to them, often copying human cries. To drive it away, the burial service or some other prayer was recited.</P> <P align="justify"> The supernatural power that was associated with the dead was exploited in [[Black magic|black magic]], which for the Saami usually meant the procedure of using human remains in magic potions. The dead might also be raised in the form of [[Werewolf|werewolves]]. The later tradition of necromancy is pan-European in its character.</P>s pan-European in its character.</P>  +
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