As our methodology we use “Sámi exhibition language”: Sámi culture seen through Sámi eyes, interpreted, narrated, and presented through Sámi philosophy and the core values of Sámi culture, and Sámi cosmology.
The project will be realised through three pilots: The Drum, The Gákti, and the Loss of Language. These three topics will be developed both technologically and content wise, in close collaboration and in a series of workshops between the participants and with the communities. The development of technology in the pilots will focus on enabling highly engaging experiences through multisensory interaction in the exhibitions and in digital environments. The technology will also make it possible to keep the exhibitions updated.
Storytelling (learning by telling & listening to stories) will be the key to a museum visit. We want visitors to meet not only objects, but the makers behind the objects: people and their stories. Objects belong to someone, somebody made them and used them. Here, we will make use of the possibilities provided by technology.
Tradition and modernity in living culture:
Gákti (traditional Sámi clothing) is important in Sámi culture and part of Sámi duodji (Sámi crafts) in which tradition and development meet. Gákti can be defined as a wordless language, which interweaves previous generations and our ancestors’ knowledge together. At the same time, gákti is a tradition that follows fashion and therefore also changes as a sign of a living culture. The Gákti is a sign of belonging and a part of collective heritage, but it is also a way of signalling one’s own personality and identity.
Repatriation and re‐remembrance:
Repatriation of Sámi artefacts from museums and institutions to Sámi museums is highly topical theme in Nordic museum world. In 2021 Sámi museum Siida will receive the whole Sámi Collection of National Museum of Finland back home. In Norway, the Sámi museums are also in the middle of repatriation process, receiving artefacts from the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and Cultural Historical Museum in the University of Oslo.
Since 17th century the drums were confiscated by the Church and in some cases destroyed. Thus, many of them are today in non-Sámi museums or only on loan in Sámi museums though owned by non-Sámi. The drum is an example of a museum object that carries many different connotations. It is a source of mystery for outsiders, but for Sámi it has special meanings. It reflects the Sámi worldview in which human being is a reciprocal partner with nature and all beings; however, it also reminds of the painful and difficult stories of objects being lost and misused, for example, as souvenirs.
Loss of language
The Sámi museums represent the Sámi history. As an indigenous population, the Sámi have been and are under the influence of colonialism and assimilation practised by the nation states. In this pilot we will tell how this silenced part of history has influenced the use of Sámi languages in some areas and families and how the revitalisation programs of Sámi languages have had a positive impact on the communities.