These hand felted art pictures are based on some of the ancient rock art of my ancestors, the Saami people. Some of these carvings date back almost 5000 years. The northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia were inhabited by the Sami people. The images depict scenes from their daily life: tents and villages, boats, fish, birds, bears, reindeer as well as totemistic and shamanistic rituals.
To the Saami, reindeer herding was more than a profession but a way of life. Before the 17th Century the Sami relied on reindeer as their main food source as well as their clothing and shelter. The Sami needs were simple and they only took what they needed from nature. They completed their diet with hunting birds and fish and gathering berries. They were a nomadic people and moved their villages with the seasons and as the food sources for the reindeer diminished.
Poro Reindeer Felt Art on Etsy
The Noaidi or Sami Shaman were traditionally the healers and protectors of the Sami people. They had the role of mediator between the human and spiritual world. Using a drum, the Noaidi invoked assistance from benevolent spirits.
Noaidi Shaman Felt Art on Etsy
In Sapmi, the Land of the Midnight Sun, where the Sun doesn’t reach the horizon in the winter months, the Sun is appreciated and plays a major role in Sami culture.
At winter solstice, a reindeer was sacrificed to ensure that the sun returned to the world and put an end to the long winter season. At the time of the year when the Sun was returning, butter (which melts in the sunshine) was smeared on the doorposts, so that she could gain strength and go higher and higher in the sky. At summer solstice, people made sun rings out of leaves and pinned them up in her honour.
Beaivi Sun Felt Art on Etsy
The Sami are a nomadic people and traditionally their home is the laavu, a portable tent that is the “house” for the family. The Sami lived in the laavu for most of the year. and moved their villages with the seasons as the food sources for feeding their reindeer diminished.
Laavu Village Felted Art on Etsy