Text: Elina Nygård
Jokkmokk, just north of the Arctic Circle, has always been an obvious meeting place for trade, gatherings, festivals and meetings between friends. This is the site of Ájtte, Swedish Mountain and Sami Museum, a gateway to the high mountains, to Laponia world heritage area and to the Sami culture. We tell the story of Sápmi, the land and the people, of life and survival in a demanding climate and environment. It is a story set in the wetlands, forests and mountains.
Sápmi, the land of the Sami – extends without bounds across the territory of four nations. Here, we have hunted and fished for thousands of years, we have wandered endless paths and given names to mountaintops and streams. We have raised our children, sung praises of the land and appeased the gods for good hunting. We have followed the reindeer, driven our herds to better grazing and watched over the new-borns.
The museum opened in 1989 and this summer we celebrate our 30 year anniversary. During these years thousands of people have visited us; last year we had almost 50 000 visitors. We are happy to tell our history and our visitors enjoy becoming a part of it. People want to learn and try to figure out how to behave when leaving the museum and heading out in the nature surrounding us. Our culture is built upon the nature, and we want to save it for the following generations. That is why we find the Arctisen project so important.