Samiland is an exhibition that is part of the UNESCO Observatory Cultural Village programme. Its indoor exhibition covers 500 m2 and outdoor exhibition 10,000 m2. Samiland opened in December 2011. All exhibition texts are available in Finnish, English and Russian, and the indoor exhibition’s texts have also been translated into German and French.
The exhibition on Sami mythology opened in December 2013. It was created in cooperation with Goranus Oy. The Sami people’s thousands of years of history have shaped their world view, folklore, ancient religion and mythical characters into a colourful whole that offers a great deal to marvel at. Our mythology exhibition introduces the theme in a modern and interesting way.
More information: www.goranus.com
Outdoor exhibition and traditional buildings
The Sami building tradition was formed on the basis of various needs, natural conditions and the availability of construction materials. In our indoor exhibition, we display images of residential and storage buildings built by the Sami across Scandinavia.
Our outdoor exhibition comprises an approximately 300-metre long set of stairs that passes by some of these traditional buildings. Their purpose of use is described on the accompanying signboards. The path also passes by a paddock for reindeer that is used during the winter, from November to April.
The Sami people would not exist without reindeer. Sami accessories are made of reindeer skin, while everyday objects are made of reindeer bones and antlers. Reindeer were milked to obtain milk for small children. The animal has provided its meat as a source of livelihood. It also served as a pack animal, carrying luggage in summer and pulling a sleigh in winter. The largest part of our indoor exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the past and present of reindeer herding.
The Skolt Sami
The Skolt Sami are an eastern ethnic group of Sami, who originally lived in the borderland area between present-day Finland, Norway and Russia. Our exhibition explores the history of the Skolt Sami with regard to their traditional clothing, annual cycle, evacuation during the Second World War and many other things.
Like the Skolt Sami, Inari Sami are another small group that has its own language. Only a few hundred people speak the Inari Sami language. Their culture is uniquely bound to the waters of Lake Inari. The people’s history may even date back to a time when the great Lake Inari was still part of the Arctic Ocean.
The Mountain Sami
Out of all the Sami languages, Northern Sami has the most speakers. The language is spoken by tens of thousands of people across Finland, Sweden and Norway. Northern Sami is divided into eastern and western dialect areas. The Mountain Sami made their livelihood by herding reindeer and fishing, among other things. Our exhibition includes a Sami hut furnished in the traditional style as well as traditional clothing worn by Mountain Sami.
Winter in Samiland
Samiland’s winter season starts when the first reindeer arrive in the paddock that is part of the outdoor exhibition. This takes place in November, after the first snow has fallen. As the snow cover grows thicker, the Samiland outdoor exhibition completely transforms. The traditional buildings are covered in a layer of snow and the trees are encrusted by crown snow-load. We have invested in multi-coloured lighting, which makes our outdoor exhibition an unforgettable experience during the period of winter darkness.
Summer in Samiland
The Samiland outdoor exhibition is very interesting in the summer, as the facades of the traditional buildings are in full view. The greenery of the outdoor exhibition also contributes to the exhibition experience. In the summer, Samiland’s opening hours are the same as those of Hotel Levi Panorama. When the hotel is closed, we arrange guided tours by appointment.