Kiruna Saami museum

There are very good cultural museums in Jokkmokk and Gallivare, but I was unaware of a Saami museum in Kiruna until I visited Kiruna for a day with Adrian last week.  The museum is away from the city centre and is called Samegarden and I promised that I would promote the museum here for anyone visiting Kiruna.  You can learn much about the Saami traditions and clothing

the different designs of clothes for each Saami community

Here is an old Saami man in his winter clothing made from Reindeer skins

This man is depicted using a traditional frame drum

I was pulling a modern pulk to the cabin but here is the traditional one pulled by Reindeer

A view inside a traditional Saami dwelling (so many people lived in such a small space)

and of course there are many examples of traditional crafts such as knives and carvings but also hunting items such as these rolled Birch bark floats for fishing nets

and these bark pouches with a stone inside to weight the nets at the bottom

It costs 20 SEK to visit and is well worth the price and there is information available in English about the displays.

A visit to my cabin – Part 2

I have been suffering with a lung infection for the past couple of weeks and I was finding it hard going after having walked in and been clearing snow.  The temperature was also dropping noticeably as the sun disappeared behind the trees.

With the stove going we had to begin collecting buckets of snow to melt as a source of water.  We also gathered a large pile of wood and stored just outside the door so that we did not have to walk too far in the night to get more wood.

The stove in my cabin has a very small burning chamber and we were having to wait for one piece of wood to burn before we could add another and so it was difficult to raise the temperature inside the cabin.

(Picture taken in 2007)

and as the temperature continued to drop it was getting more difficult to keep warm.

We drank lots of hot drink and cooked a meal of Reindeer meat but by now the temperature was already -30 degrees C

Adrian’s feet had got wet during our walk in and he was finding it difficult to keep them warm.  I lit a fire in the living room fireplace but as always the smoke was not drawing up the chimney so well and the room where we would be sleeping gradually filled with smoke.

By eight o clock we had been unable to raise the temperature in the cabin significantly so we decided to get into our sleeping bags.  Even the wax on this candle was refreezing as the candle burnt down

and at one point having boiled the kettle, made coffee and set the kettle on the work-top I returned shortly after to find that the kettle had frozen to the work-top!!

The next morning we awoke at about seven with ice in the outside of our US Military Sleep Systems but we had had a warm nights sleep.

Shortly after waking Teres called to tell me that when she had gone to work at 6:30 am the temperature in town was -39 degrees

and we later found out that 8km from the cabin it had been -43 degrees!

We made breakfast

and then cleared more snow and did some jobs around the cabin, before going for a wonder to take more pictures

packing up and heading back to the road

where Ingvar would  waiting for us.

The only bird species of note was a pair of Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia) sitting in the Birch tree just outside my cabin.

A visit to my cabin – Part 1

My friend Adrian Boots was over here from England to attend an Arctic Survival Course with Woodlore and after completing the course , was keen to spend a few days with me.

Myself and Ingvar drove to the course location to pick up Adrian and we drove from there to the cabin…..or at least as close as we could get with a car.  From there we had to walk pulling a pulk containing food and other equipment.

and here is Adrian

Ingvar had been to the cabins on his snow scooter a few days before which had compressed the snow and provided us with a trail to walk along.

Stepping off this path meant you were up to your waist or even higher in snow and it was then impossible to walk any great distance.

It was so beautiful and peaceful walking through the forest with the sunlight shining through.

After about one hours walking we could see the cabin across the lake

and soon after we were at the cabin

Adrian dug a path through the snow to the cabin and to the woodshed and toilet.  I then cleared snow from the roof and chimney

After that we got the fire going, melted some snow and made a brew.

A trip to the fjalls (mountains)

As I mentioned previously I traveled into the Swedish mountains with Hasse yesterday to unload a container at a popular fishing site.  We were about one hours travel from Gallivare

We passed through Laponia World Heritage site and through Muddus National Park to Stora Sjofallet National Park.  There is some beautiful old forest in the parks and there are many large Moose or Alg here.  We saw two

As you get higher into the mountains the trees become much much smaller

Eventually you get above the tree line where there are no trees at all

Eventually we arrived at the destination and unloaded the container

where there were some beautiful frozen waterfalls (apparently each waterfall has a name)

This is a fishing caravan which people toe behind a scooter onto the lakes to ice fish in comfort

I’m hoping that next time we go to the fjalls the weather will be better and the pictures rather more dramatic!!

This weekend I go to my cabin.

A day with Hasse

I have been out for a day with my friend Hasse.  He drives a skip lorry, delivering and collecting skips (or containers as they are called here).

Most  are recycled here and we were collecting anything from cardboard to horse shit.  The contents are tipped at holding locations

and are then either processed locally or sent elsewhere in Sweden.

Manure is mixed with chipped wood and wood ash to make fertiliser, metal is processed and re-used and cardboard and paper made into new paper and packaging.

I had note realised how much skill it takes to maneuver both vehicle and skip into some of the locations and situations where they are required.

Next week we are going up to the mountains to collect containers.

Jokkmokk’s Marknard 2010

We drove to Jokkmokk on Saturday morning to visit the marknard.  The market has been taking place for over 400 years and was originally an opportunity to people from the south to trade goods and skins with the Saami people.

The 6th of February is the National Saami Day and so they put on a very good show in the afternoon in an ice arena.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Jokkmokks marknard 2“, posted with vodpod

People talking about the life and history of the Saami, people dressed in traditional clothing

and there was yoiking (the traditional singing of the Saami people) both traditional and moden.  This is Jokkmokk’s rock.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Jokkmokks Marknard“, posted with vodpod

I purchased some Reindeer skins (yours is ready to collect Mr Boots), Reindeer leather to make pouches, Lapp Leather to make traditional knife sheaths and a pair of Skobands for my friend Johan.

I have arrived!!!

I arrived at Arlanda airport in Stockholm at 10:50 on 2nd February.

After a seven hour wait at the airport I boarded my next flight two and a half hours due north to my new home in Lapland.

Gradually are I am getting settled and will post whenever I can.  Firstly we have a couple of pictures that I took while walking where I am living now (about 10km from Gallivare).

The temperature on this day was -20 degrees