VOCAL HERITAGE :A SOURCE TOCONTEMPORARYART & KNOWLEDGEGRETE BERGSTRØMTHE SÁMI ARCHIVES The National Archives of Norway
he topic of this conference immediately seems very important to me! In the early nineties I was a teacher giving lessons to Sámi youth from reindeer herding families in Guovdageaidnu. Back then we had heard next to nothing of other reindeer herding peoples, except for the Sámi in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Lack of knowledge was great.ortunately this situation changed during the first World Reindeer Herder Congress held in Tromsø in 1994. A few years later on, knowledge about reindeer herding people all over the Circumpolar World became a subject in the curriculum.till it was very difficult to recognize qualified knowledge about and by arctic peoples. Reliable and easy accessible sources to knowledge were lacking. Therefore the EMA-project is a very welcome and interesting project to us!he Sámi Archives and the National Archives of Norway give our best wishes to this cooperative work aimed to create better electronic accesses to important sources of cultural, educational and scientific interests.
his presentation highlightsthe Sámi Archives’ ongoingaudio projects. urrently weare re-arranging archives ofSámi audio records as digitalarchives. ocal heritage is a source tocontemporary art andknowledge. hese audiorecords are called vocaldocuments.
The SámiArchievesThe Sámi Archievesmay be the smallestdepartment of theNational Archives ofNorway, but we havegreat visions still.This is our webside.
The Sámi ArchievesThe institution is localized on the Sámi tundra in The Sámi Archieves are sited in Diehtosiida, inthe North of Norway, more specificly in the village cooporation with other sámi institutions.named Guovdageaidnu in the Sámi language.
The Sámi Archives have a nationalresponsibility to accept, preserve andmake available archival material fromthe Sàmi community. One of our maingoals is to strengthen the collaborationwith our neighbours as well.
DIEHTOSIIDA´Diehtu´ means knowledge inSámi.The word ´siida´ is also from theSámi language . The term refers toa traditional form of cooporationand fellowship.Therefore Diehtosiida is afellowship of institutions ofknowledge.The Sámi Archieves are sited herealong with other Sámiinstitutions.The Sámi University College is thegreatest of the institutions.
GUOVDAGEAIDNU(Kautokeino)The ancient village and countyname Guovdageaidnu could mean“in the middle of all roads”.But Guovdageaidnu is both faraway from the capital of Norwayand the capitals of the other statesin our neighbourhood.Maybe it would be better to explainthe name of the village as a placein the middle of all electronicroads?.- that leads us to electronicalrecorded and digitalized“memories of the Arctic”. Guovdageaidnu in november - december ... and to the EMA-project andthe present conference.
The Sámi citizen´s situation in concern of both written and vocal archieves:For some Documents of especiallygeographical, cultural and relevance to Sámi citizenseducational reasons, Sámi are stored into nationalrelevant archives of and regional archives ofcultural heritage could be four states, and in privateout of reach for the archives as well.common Sámi citizen.
Ethnic assimilation and archives - a commentResearcher Kaisa Maliniemifound a lot of correspondencebetween local communityadministrators and localinhabitants in some northerncounties in Norway.Strange to think about:This form of communicationin Sámi language was anongoing affair even when thenational governmentalpolitics of ethnic assimilationwas on the top of it’sstrength.
In existing reservoirs of written documents in the archives, Sámi writers’documents especially relevant for Sámi citizens (reindeer herders forexample), and documents in the Sámi language do not seem very present at all.Actually, they may be there: Professor Kirsti Strøm Bull has found a lot ofrelevant documents in favour of supporting land right claims of reindeerherding Sámi.
In Norway, such documents are to be foundin at least three regional national archiveinstitutions in Tromsø, Trondheim – and inBergen presumably, and in the NationalArchives in the capital of Norway.
Examples of documents of especically Sámi relevance stored in archives in the main citiesThe Regional Archives in Trondheim The National Archives in Oslo Sámi pastoralists brought the message across the border to Norway. Pro memoria from the Swedish king, 1814. An official letter where the stamp is both in Norwegian and Sámi, 1908
The Regional Archives of Tromsø Lars J.Hætta is well known from the film The Kautokeino rebellion. Lars Hætta had no education, but wrote to the bishop by himselv in Sámi. This document shows this capacity in arguing and writing very well.
In this situation the value of As an answer to the presentthe archives may be reduced situation, The Sámi Archivesas sources to contemporary have created projects ofart and knowledge for the digitalizing and re-arrangingcommon Sámi Citizen. existing audio archives. THE SÁMI AUDIO ARCHIVES
Digitalizing the recordings Digital re-arrangements Re-indexing the recordingsTHE SÁMI AUDIO ARCHIVES
THE CULTURAL THE SÁMI AUDIO DOCUMENTATION COLLECTION OF PROJECT RUONG, FRETTE & JERNSLETTEN The County of Guovdageaidnu 1998 INTERWIEVS AND STORIES THE SÁMI HUNGER STRIKE BY THE ELDERS OFInterwievs with the actionists by GUOVDAGEAIDNU Magnar Mikkelsen 1979 An audio collection of true stories YOIKSONGS FROM THE THOR FRETTE ARCHIVES Recorded yoiks
Oral tradition as vocal documentsParts of the Sámi cultural heritagehave mostly been traded throughoral tradition, as is true for manyother indigenous peoples. In Sámi societies, there has been a well-knownBy certain forms of oral tradition calledperformances, oral tradition could juoigan; the art ofstrengthen the continuity and thecontent of knowledge in oral composing and vocallytradition. performing musical pieces called yoikIt could be conceived as (juoigan).contemporary memories held by twoor three generations, and traded bycertain social and cultural forms ondifferent levels in a society.
Juoigan Archives of yoik songs could be reservoirs of cultural stuff, vocals, language, lyrics, socialThe tradition is understood as both an relations, agreements andindividual and collective art and is disagreements, and so on.characterized as an art of remembering - Nowadays some of them areboth certain reindeer herding dogs, pastoral published in CDs.territories, home places, extraordinaryancestors, friends, loved ones and others. Another aspect of the situation is that the common Sámi access to theThe task of a yoiker is to present the object archives is low.through both melody and lyrics. Thecreation process of the yoik is said to be an On one hand you should nearly be aindirect collaboration between the researcher or a sibling to thecomposer and the object which is inspiring yoiker/the one being yoiked to getthe yoik. reach of them. On the other hand, these recordings historicallyYoiks were a popular object for collectors for have been more available to persons who are settled in the cities wheredifferent purposes. Recordings are therefore the archives are localized.stored in archives, libraries, museums andin private collections all over Europe. As a consequence, the vocal heritage is less available a source to contemporary art and knowledge. The archives are localized far away from most of the Sámi communities.
An answer to the present situation… The Sámi Archives have created a project called The establishment of an Archive of yoiksongs. The project has received financial funding from The Norwegian Council of Culture, and from the Sámi Parliament of Norway.
Both the performer and theone who is performed by ayoik-singer should getattention on the digital tablewhen a file is played.It is very important to be awareof the persons’ dignity and thepresent situation at the time ofthe joiksong-recordings.We have experienced differentopinions about the question ofopen accesses to yoikrecordings.The Sámi youth may look uponopen access – solutions as arather simple affair.
The establishing ofan Archive ofJoiksongsIt began with the task todigitalize and rearrange theaudio collection of ThorFrette as a digital archive. .Now we want to extend theexisting archive with newrecordings of contemporaryyoik.The audience has thepossibility to record theiryoiksongs by performingthem at the Sámi Archives. Illustrations by JOHAN TURI, 1910
Examples of yoiksongs fromthe Thor Frette collection: Thor Frette Per H. Hætta: Nils Larsen Hætta Illustrations by JOHAN Per H. Hætta TURI, 1910
New yoiksongs arecomposed today… Sámi YoikThe main goal is to create a Contest 2011creative platform anddigital meeting roombetween tradition /heritage and the currentperformers and creators ofyoik,;both grownups and Foto Sergey Gavrilovupcoming artists. The next generation… Yoikperformances at the official Eastern festival opening in Guovdageaidnu 2011.