Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People is a landmark exhibition examining the history, identity, politics, and visual culture of the Sámi, the indigenous people of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Featuring a selection of contemporary artworks and traditional duodji (handicraft)—including a reindeer milk scoop, shaman’s drum, cradle, and a selection of hats and dolls—Sámi Stories offers visitors an overview of Sámi history and visual culture from the 17th century to the present.
The exhibition’s eight contemporary artists—Rose-Marie Huuva (SE), Iver Jåks (NO), Britta Marakatt-Labba (SE), Arnold Johansen (NO), Aslaug Juliussen (NO), John Savio (NO), Arvid Sveen (NO), and Marja Helander (FI)—are all of Sámi descent, with the exception of Sveen, and work in a variety of media, including sculpture, video, installation, woodcut print, embroidery, and photography.
Installed alongside the historical cultural objects, the contemporary works illustrate the issues, ideas, and narratives that have shaped and continue to shape, the Sámi people and culture.
Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People was organized in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament and the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, which, in 1988, was revised to offer unprecedented formal recognition of the Sámi people, language, and culture.
Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People was curated by Charis Gullickson and Marit Anne Hauan and organized by the Tromsø University Museum, Northern Norway Art Museum, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF).