Saami Heritage

My work is strongly influenced by both my Finnish mother and my Saami father. I like to use the textile traditions, colours and styles of both Finland and the Saami in my work.

My father – Salomon Halonen was a Saami, born in 1906 in Petsamo. (Pechenga)

My Saami Father
My Saami Father
Maria Dahl
Maria Dahl – my Saami Grandmother

My grandmother was Maria Halonen (Dahl) born in 1873 near Vadso, Sor Varanger, Norway. She lived in Petsamo (now Pechanga, Russia). She was a weaver and made Sámi duodji crafts during the dark winter months. In the summer she would cross the sea in a small boat to sell her handmade items to other Sámi families.

Petsamo Life
Excerpts from audio tapes about growing up in Petsamo.


My mother was from Viipuri, Karjala, (Vyborg, Karelia) and she was a weaver. During the war, she kept our family alive and fed, by weaving and sewing for her living. Once she immigrated to Canada, she no longer had a loom, but continued to love the fibre crafts. At an early age, I learned to knit, crochet and sew, from her example.
Tablet woven belts and bands are one of the textile traditions of Karelia. I have recently been studying the tablet weaving techniques of Finland and you may see some of my work on these pages.