This anthology presents Sámi oral and written texts from the last four hundred years – Sámi narratives and poetry relating creation of the world, the inhabitation of Sápmi, and vivid accounts of how the Sámi have fought against colonization and assimilation. Beginning with the two seventeenth-century yoik poems that became renowned in Europe and inspired famous authors like Goethe, and continuing to prose and poetry of recent decades, the anthology highlights an enduring and distinctive Sámi voice in the world of literature.
Provided with an introduction explaining the wealth and richness of the Sámi language as a treasure trove from which to develop modern Sámi prose and poetry, the anthology opens the riches of Sámi literature to readers, introducing a literature that is at once national, Nordic, and international. Like the literature it presents, the anthology transcends the borders that have been established through the Sámi area, and that have never proved substantive barriers to exchange and cooperation between Sámi people.
As the literature of an Indigenous people, Sámi prose and poetry also speaks to other Indigenous literary traditions and contributes to the growing global interest in Indigenous cultures and perspectives.
Harald Gaski is a Professor in Sámi Culture and Literature at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences and at UiT The Arctic University in Norway.
Thomas A. DuBois is a Professor in Folklore and Scandinavian Studies at The University of Wisconsin, Madison.