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Based on a large pool of oral material as well as multiple Sámi museum collections, this book examines the connection between Sámi identities, duodji, sovereignty and Sámi heritage objects in museums.


Traditionally, duodji has been defined as Sámi “craft”, but in her work Finbog demonstrates how this definition is the result of a historical devaluation caused by multiple colonial strategies. She goes on to redefine the practice of duodji as an important Sámi epistemology of aesthetics and muitalusat [stories] centered within a system of relations that are expressed as bonds of kinship.


Drawing on the concepts, paradigms and analytical tools created from this system of knowledge, Finbog engages with multiple processes and expressions of Sámi Indigenous identity and sovereignty within the context of museums and cultural heritage institutions. Using the practices, materials, and relations of Sámi duodji as a lens, she thus provides new insights into the role of Sámi museums as Indigenous institutions, and furthermore how such institutions have come to provide an important component of Sámi epistemologies.


By way of multiple conversations as well as museum visits with duojárat, or practitioners of duodji, Finbog also investigates the relation between museums, duodji, and Sámi source communities, showing how the formation of these relations have a massive impact on both Sámi identities and perceptions of sovereignty. As such, the book provides a far more complex picture and understanding of museum collections, Sámi museums as cultural heritage institutions, and the multiple and diverse processes that are initiated in the negotiation of Sámi identities and expressions of sovereignty, than has been historically assumed.

It Speaks to you

  • Dr. Liisa-Rávná Finbog (she/her) is a Sámi archaeologist and museologist from Oslo/Vaapste/Skánit on the Norwegian side of the border, now living on the Finnish side, where she works at Tampere University as a post doc.


    A long-time practitioner of duodji [duojár), she combines her practice with her scholarly work, connecting a Sámi epistemology with Western academia.

  • It Speaks to You

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