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A New Book on Sámi Cultural Environments

Nov 01, 2013 11:55 AM

The book Ealli biras – Elävä ympäristö. Saamelainen kulttuuriympäristöohjelma (“Ealli biras – Living Environment. The Sámi Cultural Environment Programme”) tells about the cultural environments of the Finnish Sámi area from the point of view of Sámi culture. The book will be published in the auditorium of the Sámi Museum on Tuesday 19 November 2013 at 1 p.m. It has been edited by Päivi Magga and Eija Ojanlatva. The book consists of articles by several authors that tell about the past and the present of the Sámi region and introduce the reader with a number of cultural environments. Saamelainen kulttuuriympäristöohjelma has been produced as part of the project Ealli biras – The Living Environment run by the Sámi Museum Siida. The project has been financed by the European Regional Development Fund ERDF, and its national funding has come from the Regional Council of Lapland. The book belongs to the publication series of the Sámi Museum Foundation and can be bought at the Siida Museum Shop.

The purpose of the book is to draw attention to the special features of cultural environments in the Sámi region. It provides the reader with an overview of the historical development of Sámi cultural environments from the first traces of human settlement that have been found to the present; it also deals with the situation of the archaeological cultural heritage and the built heritage today. The book presents fascinating information for all those who are interested in their home region; it can also be used by authorities in land use planning and by schools in teaching.

The natural conditions of the wide Sámi region, or Sápmi, vary from the northernmost treeless fells to the forests and string fens, or aapa mires, of Central Lapland. The different types of areas have given rise to various forms of land use, livelihood and living. With time, these variations that have resulted from the natural conditions have also created linguistic and cultural borders. On the other hand, state policies, the settings of borders, wars and settlement and livelihood policies have also contributed to what the Sámi cultural environment looks like today. The book Saamelainen kulttuuriympäristöohjelma deals with these themes from the point of view of Sámi culture. The time perspective of the publication is long, extending from the first traces we have of human activity to the present time.

The book Saamelainen kulttuuriympäristöohjelma is connected with The Ealli biras – The Living Environment exhibition, which is available for the public at Siida until 28 September 2014. The publication and the exhibition are a result of the cooperation between Ealli biras and the pilot project The Sámi Cultural Environment Unit, which is another project run by the Sámi Museum.

The Ealli biras project took place 1.3.2011 – 30.9.2013 in the Sámi Homeland. The project was financed by the European Regional Development Fund ERDF, and it received its national funding from the Regional Council of Lapland. Päivi Magga has worked its project coordinator.

The Sámi Cultural Environment Unit project (21.2.2011 – 31.12.2013) is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Through the project, the official tasks concerning the Sámi archaeological cultural heritage and its management were passed to the Sámi Museum. This transfer of operations to the Sámi Homeland was made possible by the cooperation contract on the archaeological cultural heritage that the Finnish National Board of Antiquities and the Sámi Museum signed on 1 January 2011. The project has had Eija Ojanlatva as its employee. Through these projects, the Sámi Museum has launched the operations of its Cultural Environment Unit.

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

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