University of Oulu

Äikäs, T. (2020) Religion of the past or living heritage? : dissemination of knowledge on Sámi religion in museums in Northern Finland. Nordisk museologi 3, pp. 152‒168,

Religion of the past or living heritage? : dissemination of knowledge on Sámi religion in museums in Northern Finland

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Author: Äikäs, Tiina1
Organizations: 1Archaeology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 1000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: University of Oslo Library, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-15


In recent years we have witnessed a growing contemporary use of Sámi offering places by various actors, for example tourists, the local population and contemporary pagans. Hence, sites that the heritage authorities and researchers have seen as belonging to the past have gained new relevance. Nevertheless, Sámi religion is often presented in museums in relation to history and prehistory. Sámi culture has been presented in museums and exhibitions since the nineteenth century. In pointing out that this long history of museum displays affects how Sámi culture is presented in contemporary museums, Nika Potinkara (2015:41) suggests that we can renew, comment on or question the old presentations. This article explores the representations of Sámi religion in four museums and exhibitions in Northern Finland, and will answer the following research question: How is Sámi religion presented and what kind of themes are present? Here museums are studied as arenas for the dissemination of results of knowledge production. What kind of image of Sámi religion do they share?

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Series: Nordisk museologi
ISSN: 1103-8152
ISSN-E: 2002-0503
ISSN-L: 1103-8152
Volume: 3
Pages: 152 - 168
DOI: 10.5617/nm.7739
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
616 Other humanities
Copyright information: Authors(s) retains copyright to the article and give Nordic Museology right to first publication while the article is licensed under the Creative Commons Lens CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This license allows sharing the article for non-commercial purposes, as long as the author and first publishing place (The Journal Nordic Museology) is credited. The license does not allow others to publish processed versions of the article without the author's permission.