2022 ‘Sami Culture’, Norsk Folke Museum

The exhibition on the Sami peoples was interesting on a number of levels. Firstly, theirs is a very interesting story. A people spread across four different countries and national boundaries who have nevertheless negotiated rights of movement, hunting etc across those areas. Secondly, their rights movement, with earlier antecedents, also largely began in the 1970s. Thirdly the way the exhibition text shows evidence of changing views. The opening panel is particularly apologetic in tone. There were many labels indicating items which had been returned to the Sami people. It was also interesting that rather than rework the whole exhibition, the museum chose to add a section on ‘modern’ Sami life and politics. Loved the panel on ‘Where do the Sami come from’ which ends: ‘The view of the Sami themselves was best expressed by Johan Turi: The Sami have not come from anywhere.’

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