New ways into the Sami language

Abstract

The Sami language is the carrier of our Sami heritage, and could itself act as a key that opens the door to our wider understanding of it. During the period 2012–14, Ájtte Museum in Jokkmokk, Sweden, worked on the language project Giela muitalusat / Giela giehto. The Sami Language – Three Generations Tell, with the aim of collecting the different generations’ thoughts and ideas about the Sami language. Sami cultural heritage is not only about traditions of the past; it is also contemporary and urban. Many young Sami alternate between joining in with traditional Sami activities and being part of modern society. Ájtte Museum has aimed to set the focus on young Sami people, through various projects, and to try to identify issues that are relevant to the younger generation. The general image of Sami culture and life as reflected in museums today must be extended, so that more people will recognise that they themselves are an integral part of it. In the project, using film and still photography, young people documented and presented their everyday life and thoughts on how the use of the Sami language and Sami culture could be developed in the local community today.

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