North/South Encounters at Sámi Sacred Sites in Northern Finland

Anna-Kaisa Salmi, Tiina Äikäs

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the use of Sámi sacrificial places called sieidi (in North Sámi). Their meanings to the Sámi people changed when the indigenous northern tradition collided with the colonial expansion of Christian culture from the south. Sieidi sites have had a long period of use––from the turn of the first millennium A.D. until the 18th century—in some cases up to the present day. During this time, the influence of the church and agrarian society in the north has increased. Consequently, attitudes toward sieidi and their associated meanings vary widely: some people wish to destroy the “pagan” sites or view them as scientific curiosities, while others use them, alongside Christian churches, as places to practice indigenous beliefs. Sámi attitudes toward the sacrificial sites of their ethnic religion have been in constant dialog with colonial and subsequent neocolonial contacts emanating from the south.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-109
Number of pages20
JournalHistorical Archaeology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • Sami Sacred Sites
  • Northern Finland
  • North/ South encounters


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