Marja-Leena Rathje
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Land of the Saame

Photo by Pekka Antikainen, in "Land of the Saame"

As my dear readers know, I'm fascinated by the northern indigenous cultures, in particular the Saami people of northern Europe who are a branch of the Finno-Ugric family. Some time ago I came across a Finnish photography website that includes a book by Pekka Antikainen: Saamenmaa or Land of the Saame. It is viewable as a PDF (7.9 MB). It's full of gorgeous yet honest photographs and stories of the land and the people, with text in both Finnish and English. He writes,

"It was in 1982, as an enthusiastic student of photography,
that I made my first photographical expedition to Lapland.
The imposing scenery of Enontekiö made a great impression
on me, but it was in the village of Raittijärvi that I realised
something that eventually led me to produce this book on
the Land of the Saame, although I could not have imagined
then that it would take me a whole twenty years to complete."

I highly recommend a read and look for an understanding and appreciation for this unique part of the world through the eyes of this empathetic observer.

(Oh, and it is available to purchase for 34 Euro, just click on the lower image and an email window opens. No, I have nothing to do with it, but just noticed that this page has no English for non-Finnish buyers.)


What elemental photographs - land - animals - people. That cloudbank sitting above the mountains. I'd never find these on my own, thanks for pointing to them.

I'm so glad I got to see this book and the scenes and people in it - how beautiful, raw and majestic! It would be hard to pick a favorite photograph - I liked the salmon fisherman, the three old people drinking at the table, the three young women in their flowered shawls...and so many of the landscapes. And thought htat the photo on page 70 looked just like a rock painting. (The book is beautifully designed too.) Thanks so much.

Thank you both, Jonz & Beth, for sharing in my appreciation for these photos. I have always wanted to go up to this part of Finland, but have never left enough time from family visits in the South to make the rather long drive north. One day we will make it and it will be for Midsummer's to watch the sun never set, or for Christmas to visit Santa who lives there!

Very interesting, I would like to find more information on the history of our people, before their coming to Findland and Estonia. I know there are pockets of the same language accros Asia and Europe.

Welcome Veli! That history fascinates me too. Have you seen the articles in Virtual Finland?

You might also be interested in BAIKI. But you probably know far more than I do!