Inari Sámi Folklore
Stories from Aanaar
“Frandy has made visible a goldmine of folklore that has been invisible to outsiders, and he introduces it in a deeply informed, nuanced context.”
A rich multivoiced anthology of folktales, legends, joik songs, proverbs, riddles, and other verbal art, this is the most comprehensive collection of Sámi oral tradition available in English to date. Collected by August V. Koskimies and Toivo I. Itkonen in the 1880s from nearly two dozen storytellers from the arctic Aanaar (Inari) region of northeast Finland, the material reveals a complex web of social relations that existed both inside and far beyond the community.
First published in 1918 only in the Aanaar Sámi language and in Finnish, this anthology is now available in a centennial English-language edition for a global readership. Translator Tim Frandy has added biographies of the storytellers, maps and period photos, annotations, and a glossary. In headnotes that contextualize the stories, he explains such underlying themes as Aanaar conflicts with neighboring Sámi and Finnish communities, the collapse of the wild reindeer populations less than a century before, and the pre-Christian past in Aanaar. He introduces us to the bawdy humor of Antti Kitti, the didacticism of Iisakki Mannermaa, and the feminist leanings of Juho Petteri Lusmaniemi, emphasizing that folktales and proverbs are rooted in the experiences of individuals who are links in a living tradition.
“In calling attention to the fullness of Sámi storytelling traditions through the volume’s re-edition and translation into English, Tim Frandy has done an excellent job of handling the material and communicating its lasting importance to a contemporary audience. As a model of narrative repatriation that reasserts a kind of literary sovereignty, the text demonstrates how even texts and monuments taken hundreds of years ago in the name of nationalizing projects can be re-appropriated, re-signified, and ultimately returned to their communities.”
“A rich source not only for academic research but also present-day Sámi consciousness and activism.”
“[A] rich multivoiced anthology of folktales, legends, joik songs, proverbs, riddles, and other verbal art. . . . The most comprehensive collection of Sámi oral tradition available in English to date.”
—New Books Network
“A glimpse of a wide range of oral genres from a little-known Sámi group during the nineteenth century that will fascinate people interested in the folklore of the Sámi, Scandinavian studies, and the study of Indigenous communities.”
—John Lindow, University of California, Berkeley
LC: 2018013082 GR
344 pp. 6 x 9
8 b/w photos, 2 maps