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Leif Rantala Goodwill Seminar in the Sámi Museum Siida on 7 October 2017 from noon to 4 p.m.

Sep 15, 2017 07:05 AM

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of Leif Rantala, an expert in Kola Sámi culture and a long-time lecturer of Sámi language and culture at the University of Lapland. To celebrate the occasion, the Sámi Museum Siida and the Sámi Archives arrange a goodwill seminar for Leif Rantala on Saturday 7 October from noon to 4 p.m. and an exhibition on Rantala’s long career in the Sámi Museum Siida.

Leif Rantala was born in a Swedish-speaking Finnish family in Liljendal in Eastern Uusimaa in 1947. He became interested in the Sámi languages already at an early age, buying his first Sámi textbook when he was fifteen. In 1968, he was accepted to the University of Helsinki to study Finno-Ugrian languages, of which he was especially interested in the Sámi languages.

During his versatile career, Rantala worked as a lecturer, but he was also a researcher, explorer and interpreter. Immediately after graduation in 1975, he worked as a graduate assistant at the Department of Finno-Ugrian Studies in the University of Helsinki. After holding this position, he worked as the secretary of the Nordic Saami Council in 1976–84. On 1 August 1984, Rantala was appointed the first lecturer of Sámi language and culture at the University College of Lapland (later University of Lapland), and he held the position until he retired on 31 July 2010.

On his countless trips to the Kola Peninsula and other home regions of indigenous nations, Leif Rantala collected a variety of objects, documenting his visits by thousands of photographs. Rantala became interested in the Russian Sámi as early as 1984 when he visited Murmansk for the first time. His first trip to the Sámi villages of the Kola region took place in 1990. Over the years, Rantala visited the Russian Sámi hundreds of times. The artefact collection Rantala gathered on his trips has been donated to the Sámi Museum Siida and his archival material to the Sámi Archives in Inari.

Rantala’s life and remarkable work and career will be celebrated and remembered at an open goodwill seminar with Leif’s friends, colleagues and former students as speakers. The seminar will take place in the Sámi Museum Siida on Saturday 7 October 2017 from noon to 4 p.m. Before the seminar, the participants can have a look at Leif Rantala’s archival material at the Sámi Archives (Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos, first floor) between 9 and 11 a.m. In connection with the seminar, the Sámi Museum Siida will open a pop-up exhibition on the objects and archival material collected by Leif Rantala and on his photographs. The exhibition will be on display from 7 to 22 October 2017.

The detailed programme of the seminar is available at www.siida.fi

The seminar is open and free for everyone. Welcome!


Further information:

Anni Guttorm, Curator, Sámi Museum Siida, anni.guttorm@samimuseum.fi / +358 400 891 860

Suvi King, Archivist, Sámi Archives, suvi.king@arkisto.fi / +358 29 533 7042

Sámi museum, Siida, Inarintie 46, FI-99870 Inari, tel. +358 (0)400 898 212, siida@samimuseum.fi, www.siida.fi

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