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Siida Opens a Window on the Sámi Cultural Environment

Jun 03, 2013 09:15 AM

Siida is a good place to make oneself familiar with Sámi culture and the environment of northernmost Lapland. The Sámi Museum that was opened on the same premises in 1963 will have its 50th anniversary this summer. Already in the 1960s and 1970s, the museum was the main attraction of summer tourism to Inari, and the situation is still the same. The museum and nature centre Siida that was completed fifteen years ago and the historical milieu of the open-air museum offer a visitor interesting things to look at for a whole day. SiidaÕs permanent exhibitions on nature and culture and the numerous seasonal theme exhibitions provide the public with new experiences every year.

Inari Sámi Museum was opened for the public for the first time on the 25th of June 1963. The operations of the Sámi Museum are now run from Siida, the new building that was erected by the open-air museum 's premises fifteen years ago. The time-honoured outdoor museum is nevertheless still one of the exhibitions available for the visitors of Siida in summer – for the 50th time this year.  At the Sàmi Museum, we celebrate the anniversary year by arranging a variety of activities. For example, we will have special guided tours and demonstrations in the open-air museum during the summer. The paths of the Open-Air Sàmi Museum will again be trodden by thousands of travellers from all around the world. On the premises, there are some 50 display items and attractions that tell about the dwellings and livelihoods of the Sàmi of different regions.

The other outdoor museum run by the Sámi Museum, the Skolt Sámi Heritage House in Sevettijärvi, will be open from 1 June to 25 September from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  This museum operates in an old Skolt Sámi homestad, a small Skolt Sámi home, introducing the audience to the history of the Skolt Sámi of Sevettijärvi. Entry to the Heritage House and its small museum shop is free. One can also make oneself familiar with the environment and culture of Northern Lapland at the Nature Huts of Lemmenjoki and Utsjoki run by Metsähallitus. These information huts will open for the summer on 15 June.

Sámi cultural landscape

The landscape of the North may at first seem like a virgin natural landscape, as it may seem to lack traces of human presence. However, if we look and listen carefully, the place may reveal that people have been present in the area for thousands of years. The exhibition Ealli biras – The Living Environment that will open for the public in Siida on 15 June unravels layers of Sámi cultural landscapes from ancient monuments to the built cultural environments of historic times. The exhibition is part of the Ealli biras – The Living Environment project. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund ERDF and gets its national funding from the Regional Council of Lapland.

Outsider art and images of winter

The Union of Rural Education and Culture and the municipalities of Lapland arrange a wide series of exhibitions on Lappish outsider art in summer 2013. Outsider art is contemporary folk art: the artists make their art on the terms of everyday life and their environment. Lappish outsider art is displayed at Nature Centre Siida, Korundi in Rovaniemi, the Aine Art Museum in Tornio and the Kellokas Visitor Centre.

The other summer exhibition of the Nature Centre is The Blue Moment by the nature photographer Martti Rikkonen. In the photographs of the exhibition we meet natural phenomena, sceneries and some of the few animals wintering in the area: in many ways, the Arctic winter is a season of abundance.

A cruise and exhibitions with one ticket

In summer, it is possible to visit Siidas exhibitions and go on a cruise on Lake Inari during one day. The cruises that include a stop at the holy island Ukonsaari start in early June, and the departures take place right by Siida where the river empties into Lake Inari. The combined ticket costs 28 euros for adults and 14 euros for children and can be bought at Siida, at Holiday Village Inari, and on board the catamaran MY Inari III.

Guided tours at the Open-Air Museum

On 25 June 2013, the anniversary day of the Open-Air Museum, the public can participate in a guided tour in Finnish at 2 and 4 p.m. At 3 p.m. there is a guided tour in English. The tour lasts an hour and is included in the entrance fee.

During the Inari Weeks, individual visitors, too, have a chance of participating in a thematic tour of the Open-Air Museum. On Thursday 26 July 2013, the guided tours that begin at noon and 4 p.m. are included in the ticket to Siida.

Siida is open in the summer daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets: adults € 10; children 0–6 yrs free; schoolchildren 7–17 yrs € 5; students/senior citizens € 8; family ticket € 20; annual pass €20 /€ 10. Siidas annual pass also gives you entry to Arktikum in Rovaniemi and the science centre Tietomaa in Oulu. At Siida, you will also find the tourist information of Inari, our museum and nature shop, and, upstairs, the cosy Caféé-Restaurant Sarrit.


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

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Sámi Museum
Phone +358 (0)400 898 212

Nature Centre, Metsähallitus
Phone +358 (0)206 39 7740