In My Heart

Sami handicraft or duodji is an important part of Sami culture

Sami handicraft

Sami handicraft, or duodji in the Sami language , is centuries old and dates back to a time when the Sami were far more isolated from the outside world than they are today.

Duodji tools and clothing finery served their purpose by being functional and useful. This does not mean that the Sami handicraft is not artistic. On the contrary Sami doudji artists have the ability to amalgamate function and art in a delicate way to create beautiful pieces of art in their own right.

These functional items include, knives, cases, ladies bags, wooden cups, certain articles of clothing, etc. Duodji items were made and were to be used in everyday work.

Duodji is an important part of the Sami culture. It is also a distinctive feature and an identity marker that the outside world recognizes.

Duodji can de defined as the handicrafts and artistic handicraft made by the Sami. It is based on Sami traditions, Sami design, Sami patterns and colours. The word duodji is also used about the authentic Sami handicraft. Read more about duodji or sami handicraft.

Materials used with duodji

In traditional duodji men used mostly wood and antlers as well as other bones from reindeer when crafting, while women used fabrics, leather and roots. The traditional Sami colours are red, green, blue and yellow. These colours are also in the Sami flag.

The reindeer is an important part of the Sami culture. It is the basis for many of the crafting materials used in everyday objects and food products. Everything from the reindeer is utilized. Skin and horns are the basis for shoes and knives. In duodji, nature’s materials are used.

Traditional objects have kept the old designs. Knives and other artifacts have a nice ornamentation. The ornamentation is an important part of the handicraft, because it aften displays the technical skills of the producer.

Sami Duodji artists

There are many duodji artists in Sapmi (the land of the Sami). Even if there have been changes in the traditional duodji, today these products are considered valuable pieces of art by collectors from all over the world.

By checking at the Sami Artist Center for performers of Sami handicraft you'll find an overview of some doudji artists of Lapland. It is in Norwegian, but you can still see examples of the works of many of the artists.

Read more about the Lapp culture here.

Where the Reindeer Roam