Ájtte Museum is the main museum for Sámi culture in Sweden and a special museum for the nature and culture of the mountain range. It is situated in Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk, just north of the Arctic Circle and was opened to the public in June 1989. The name Ájtte is the Lule Sámi word for a storehouse. In a storehouse you keep your valuables and thus Ájtte is meant to be a place where Sámi valuables are maintained to serve as sources for research on and the development and education of the Sámi culture. According to statutes, the purpose is to conduct main museum activities in Sweden for Sámi culture, to conduct special museum activities for the mountain region of Sweden, and to run an information centre for tourism in the fell area.
Through documentation and research, as well as through exhibitions and publications, the museum tells about the Sámi culture and the Sámi cultural landscape, about life and survival in a demanding climate and environment and about nature and culture in an ecological holistic perspective. The museum has exhibitions on Sámi handicraft and traditional clothing, on Sámi religion and mythology, on the nomadic life and self-subsistence with reindeer up to modern times, and on the World Heritage area Laponia.
Outside the museum, in the museum park, we show Sámi buildings. The museum also includes an alpine garden, which is open during the growing season. The garden shows various natural environments that host the flora of the region.
The museum documents and collects cultural and natural objects, photographs and archival materials associated with Sámi life. The museum has approximately 10,000 cultural-historical objects, 100,000 photographs and 50,000 natural objects in its collections.
Elisabeth Pirak-Kuoljok, Museum Director
Sunna Kuoljok, Project Participant