Today, on the 6th of February, we celebrate the national day of the Sami People.
The Samis live far north in Europe and their culture is the oldest in large areas of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Their total population is about 80 000 and half of them live in Norway.
The Sami culture has many unique forms of expressions. The Joik, for instance, is a way of singing that is a very famous part of their tradition. The joik is dedicated to a person, an animal or a place, and the harmonies reproduce the qualities of the object of the song. It sounds really beautiful and magical.
They also have a very rich crafting tradition. The Sami word for craft is “Duoddji” and they have many forms of craftsmanship in their culture. They do tin embroidery, pearl embroidery, weaving shoelaces, make jacket seams, woodcarving and knife making.
…and they knit beautiful mittens!
They have different patterns named after the places their pattern originates. See the picture below for a selection of East Sami mittens:
The Auzi mitten is the oldest pattern we know and has its name from a small community 8 km south east of Kautokeino. It was first knitted by the Sami woman Elen Clemetsdatter, born in 1841 in Auzi. She was married to a “Flytt same” who travels around depending on where their reindeers find food. She was famous for doing all kinds of different weaving and knitting while travelling around.
See the Auzi mitten below:
I found a book called Samisk Husflid which is open online, and it has many patterns for different kinds of Sami mittens. You can click on the link below if you´d like to see. The recepies start at page no 147
Under you also se the pretty Kautokeino mittens:
For more traditional Norwegian knitting click here: