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Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Partner site of Ravenlore Bushcraft and Wilderness Skills and Waylandscape. Arctic Exploration, Travel and Photography.
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Ice Raven is a partner site of Ravenlore Bushcraft and Wilderness Skills Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure

Saami Handcrafts. {Duodji}

I have been inspired by many cultures that I have come into contact with, either through their people or their artefacts. Here is a small selection of the beautiful Saami artefacts I have seen in various museums and collections. Some were photographed under difficult conditions and through glass but I hope you will still enjoy them.

I should mention that any mistakes in classification or naming of these objects is entirely my own. The Saami speak a number of different languages and labelling of these items is often quite confusing.

Even the word Saami itself can also be spelt Sami or Sámi.  Here I have mainly used Saami because it best reflects the way I have heard the word used.

Where I have come across a Saami word for an item I have included it in brackets but please do not assume that these are correct in all cases. I have drawn from other sources that could be just as confused as I am.                Languages are not one of my strong points.

Saami lariat slide - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

For reindeer herders like the Saami a lasso {Sudhpan or Suohpan} is an essential tool. On the left we have two lasso  slides {Coarvegiella or Kiella} made from reindeer horn or antler.

Below are a selection of knives and scabbards.

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Saami Puuko - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami sheath detail - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami knife and sheath - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

The Saami often carry two knives, the smaller puukko {buiku or unna niibaš} and the larger leuko {stuorra niibi}.

A distinctive feature of these knives is the reindeer horn sheath which leads to them often being called horn or antler knives.  (Half horn in these cases.)

Here we also have three drinking cups {Gukse} and a salt bottle.

Saami knife and sheath - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved. Saami sheath detail - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved. Saami knife and sheath - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami  Kuksa - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami cup - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami cup - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved. Saami salt bottle  - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

Antler and horn spoons {Coarvebaste}.

Saami spoons - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami bone working equipment - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

And a selection of the tools used to work with antler and in particular I think the making of  loom heddles like the one shown in use below.

Saami weaving - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami woven belt - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

A woven belt detail

A woven belt and equipment.

 - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.Saami belt and equipment
Saami belt buckle - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

An antler belt buckle.

This is a contemporary pouch made by a Saami craftsperson.

Saami purse - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami backpack - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

a very poor picture of a reindeer skin backpack.

Saami needle case - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

A selection of hanging needle cases. {Nallo Goahti}

Saami needle case - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami needle cases - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved. Saami needle case and ear spoon - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

A board game of some kind.

I only wish I could tell you what the rules are.

Saami game - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami pendant - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

Pendants, the one on the left is based on the design of the Shamanic bowl drum.

Saami drum - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami pendant - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

It is perhaps not too surprising that some of the finest craftsmanship is displayed in items of a spiritual nature.

Amongst the Saami, the shamanic drum {Kobday or Gievrie or Rumbu} holds a very special significance and here we have a selection of drums and beaters.

Saami shamanic bowl drum and beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
 Saami drum beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami bowl drum - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami drum beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved. Viking age drum beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami drum beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami drum beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami drum beater - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

A selection of snares for birds and small animals.

Saami snares - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami snares - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

Hunting spears.

Saami-spears - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
Saami-brooch - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.

And in case you were under the impression that such items were all from a culture that was not still living and vibrant, here are a couple of contemporary items made by Saami craftspeople.

If you have enjoyed this page I think you might find this Digital Museum site interesting too.

Saami-necklace - Ice Raven - Sub Zero Adventure - Copyright Gary Waidson, All rights reserved.
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Unless noted otherwise, all photography, artwork and content on this site is copyrighted. © Gary Waidson 2014 All rights reserved.

The Ice Raven Project promotes sustainable and low impact bushcraft and wilderness skills in Arctic and winter conditions. This includes the use of  tents, tarps  and snow shelters where possible. Fires are only used where safe and where use and collection of firewood will not damage the natural environment. We often travel to locations by public transport and then use snowshoes, sleds, toboggans and pulks to transport our equipment into the wilderness.

Ice Raven is a partner site of Ravenlore Bushcraft and Wilderness Skills