The Saami: A Cultural Encyclopaedia
Ulla-Maija Kulonen, Irja Seurujarvi-Kari & Risto Pulkkinen

The Saami: A Cultural Encyclopaedia

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The Saami - A Cultural Encyclopaedia is a modern reference work about the Saami, a northern indigenous people living in four states Finland, Russia and Sweden. It is the outcome of a project launched and coordinated by the Saami Studies Work Group of the University of Helsinki. The work presents the national character of the Saami and its manifestations from a point of view located within the Saami culture itself. It is thus part of the great change in scholarship about the Saami which began in the 1970s: the shift from Lappology to Saami Studies.

In general and specialized articles, the encyclopaedia presents not only the languages, history, mythology, folklore, music, economy, livelihoods and media of teh Saami, but also the indigenous peoples' movement, human rights questions, education, art, social conditions, and so on. The nature and environment of Sápmi (Saamiland) are also dealt with as important background factors. Cultural words and concepts that are characteristic of Saami culture are defined, and there are etymological articles about many Saami words. The work is illustrated with numerous photographs and maps.

Particular emphasis has been given to information about minority groups within the Saami people, such as the Saamis of the Kola Peninsula and the Inari and Skolt Saamis, who have hitherto been largely ignored by mainstream Saami Studies, and it has been the committee's concern to ensure that the voices of the different Saami groups themselves are heard.

SKS, 2005

paperback, 498 pages, 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches


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