Greetings one and all!
We have returned from the great northern reaches of Norway.
I still have to pinch myself that my trip wasn’t a dream! I am so grateful to the American Scandinavian Foundation for sponsoring my research on discovering Sámi silver. We took hundreds of photos and hours of video that will knock your socks off AND we met incredible artists and made amazing friends. I managed to post several photos daily on our Instagram account so you can check those out here if you’d like: saami_supplies_
I finally have most of my brain cells back from traveling too. Spending three weeks with a 10:30pm sunset and a 3:30am sunrise did a number on my sleep cycle.
After flying into Alta, Norway we spent several days exploring the local area. Most memorable was our time at Sami Siida. Founded in 2002 by Johan and Berit Anne Eira along with Kristina and Nils Henrik, Sámi Sidda was an incredible introduction to Sámi culture where we were treated to a reindeer powered sleigh ride and a terrific meal of reindeer dishes in a beautiful building. The laavu (tent) pictured housed an incredible museum featuring Sámi clothing and artifacts. Our host Johan posed with a reindeer robe his mother made for him when he was a youngster.
We were also treated to many interesting facts about the reindeer themselves. Did you know reindeer are excellent swimmers? Johan explained that the hairs on a reindeer’s hide are actually hollow in the middle and sealed on the ends. This makes the reindeer naturally buoyant so they are able to cross rivers.
Our other host Jack not only chaperoned our reindeer ride but also treated us to coffee and cake arounda campfire where we listened to him talk about Sámi history and the future of the reindeer industry. The entire experience was truly magical as well as educational.
That was just our first day! I plan to blog about my research trip in phases so stay tuned for more stories and photos. Oh, and I promise we will get to the silver jewelry portion in Kautokeino and Karasjok in short order.
More news! Our Viking Posament Bracelet Kit video is almost complete so look for that new kit offering to drop in June.
Thank you for your support and your interest!