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Black Fox
A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer

Life among Sami nomads of Scandinavia

In 1904 a young Danish woman met a Sami wolf hunter on a train in Sweden. This chance encounter transformed the lives of artist Emilie Demant and the hunter, Johan Turi. In 1907–8 Demant went to live with Sami families in their tents and on migrations, later writing a lively account of her experiences. She collaborated with Turi on his book about his people. On her own and later with her husband Gudmund Hatt, she roamed on foot through Sami regions as an ethnographer and folklorist. As an artist, she created many striking paintings with Sami motifs. Her exceptional life and relationships come alive in this first English-language biography.

In recounting Demant Hatt's fascinating life, Barbara Sjoholm investigates the boundaries and influences between ethnographers and sources, the nature of authorship and visual representation, and the state of anthropology, racial biology, and politics in Scandinavia during the first half of the twentieth century.


Barbara SjoholmBarbara Sjoholm is the editor and translator of Demant Hatt's narrative With the Lapps in the High Mountains. Her many books include novels about Demant Hatt's youthful romance with Danish composer Carl Nielsen: Fossil Island and The Former World.

Author’s website: http://www.barbarasjoholm.com/





“A fascinating story of a talented woman's unconventional career at the outset of the twentieth century. Through Sjoholm's meticulous archival investigation, Emilie Demant Hatt emerges as a woman of tremendous energy, insight, and vision, unafraid to cross the various academic, artistic, and cultural barriers of her time.”
—Thomas A. DuBois, translator of Johan Turi's An Account of the Sámi

“Emilie Demant Hatt's contributions to Sami ethnography deserve wide recognition, and this biography provides an absorbing account of her achievements as an ethnographer as well as an artist.”
—Trude Fonneland, author of Contemporary Shamanisms in Norway

“Sjoholm is everything one could wish for in a biographer: a sympathetic and dedicated researcher, a vivid prose stylist, and a natural storyteller.”
—Christina Thompson, author of Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All


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Of Related Interest


With the Lapps in the High Mountains
A Woman among the Sami, 1907–1908
Emilie Demant Hatt


Romaine Brooks
A Life
Cassandra Langer

Black Fox
Larger images

October 2017
LC: 2017010434 GN
344 pp. 6.125 x 9.25
14 b/w photos, 12 b/w drawings

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Cloth $34.95 a
ISBN 978-0-299-31550-4
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