Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi
Duodji, the Sami craft, has been produced by hand since ancient times by the Sami people. Familiar hands have taught new eyes through the generations, guiding and showing them every step of the way.
Laponia has unique area-specific duodje that cannot be found elsewhere, as evidenced by the area’s place names. The mountain Sválltjá, above Vájsáluokta, is named after the gábdde (Lsam, kolt) of the Jåhkåmåhkke area tradition, which is made entirely from tanned reindeer skins.
Duodji is created from what is close by, and therefore follows the conditions in which nature has shaped the material. Most often the round recurring shapes are seen in duodjin, as the material grows or forms in nature. A guksi is rounded at the bottom because it follows the grain of the wood in the groove it is carved out of, and the shape is also suitable for placing on uneven ground. This goes in one, hand in hand, the material and the duodji.
Root crafts. Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi