Rare Sami Music CD

This is very interesting – ” Sámi singer releases CD in waning language”- from Helsingin Sanomat. Here are some excerpts, but do read the whole fascinating article.

Palgah, a new CD by Inari Sámi singer Aune Kuuva, contains what is perhaps the rarest music in the world. She has composed the songs and written the lyrics in the language of the Inari Sámi people in the eastern part of Finnish Lapland. It is apparently the only recording in a language that is teetering on the brink of extinction. The musical traditions of the Sámi (Lapp) people in the Inari region are also in danger of disappearing.

Aune is an Inari Sámi, one of the fewer than 1,000 who are left. They are a minority among the Sámi minority, and they live along the shores of Lake Inari and in Nellim, near the Russian border. With local people leaving their villages and getting dispersed around the world, the number of people speaking the Inari variant of the Sámi language has declined to about 300.

Kuuva’s CD does not have any of the traditional Sámi “joiks”. “We are not joik people”. Kuuva says that the Inari Sámi are natural singers and storytellers. The melody is important for them. The recording was sponsored, and it is being sold by the Association for the Inari Sámi language.

I emailed Helsingin Sanomat and they have provided me with the email address of a contact person, from whom one can order the CD. Email me if you are interested.

More about the Sámi in this earlier post, in Wikipedia, and about”joiks”.

Update Oct.30.04: Just came across this interesting page on the Sami of Norway, via Torill Mortensen

Update Dec.27.04: I ordered this CD for ourselves as a Christmas gift and I’m pleased to write that we enjoy it very much!

October 28, 2004 in Ethnicity, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music by Marja-Leena