Sami Beaivi Akka Bag


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Sami / Saami are a people living in the Sapmi, the northern region of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Originally a nomadic people, the Sami have a great capacity for flexibility in living. They moved further north, following herds as the glaciers receded, then were locked into the most northern areas and forced to remain there by the invading Indo-Europeans. They have been treated, in much of Northern Europe, as Native Americans have been in the United States. Outsiders generally refer to them as Laplanders. Lapp is a word that means patch and was used as a derogatory term for the Sami because of their clothing. The Saamic language is a non-Indo-European language in the Uralic family.

The Sami people have a close relationship with nature as part of their culture and spirituality. There is no distinction between people and nature, they do not try to dominate it, but be one with it. This is sacred to the Sami. From the earth comes life and all life sustains other life. They seek harmony, to be in balance with nature, that is to be themselves.

Runebomme / Sami drums are not just for music, but are part of their spirituality and their literature. The Noaidi (noajdde, naejttie, nojjd) / shamans, wise people and healers (women and men) that use the drums are bridging the gap between the physical world and the spiritual side of nature. The hide of the drum is from the reindeer that they herd. The symbols on the drums are a map of sorts, which help them to communicate with nature. The Christian Lutheranism that spread through much of Scandinavia tried to force conversion on the Sami. Thousands of these Runebommes were confiscated and burned. If caught with one, the owner could be fined, imprisoned or killed. Witch hunts in Scandinavia were primarily against the Sami.

The Sami do not believe in gods exactly. They believe in certain characters who are intermediaries to the natural spiritual realm. Beaivi (Biejje, Beiwe, Beivve) great mother of the sun and humankind. She is the spring mother of fertility and the earth mother of roots, showing the plant sprouts from the north of the cross and the roots from the south. Understanding the balance between the darker season of the year being necessary for root growth and the lighter season of the year for the branch growth. The lunar pattern of the month is much the same way with the waning moon to dark moon affecting the root crops more and the waxing and full moon affecting the upper plant growth more. Both aspects are necessary, as are both halves of the year.

Mattarahkka ( Mattarakka, Maderakka, Maadteraahka, Maadteraajja) is their tribal mother, ancestral mother. Genetically, the Sami people are predominately maternal lineage. She is the next generation manifestation from Beaivi. You still see the plant portions on the head and upraised arms, and the roots at the feet. She is also depicted with the common female orientation of a triangle showing motherhood by another triangle nested inside.

Following Mattarahkka, the next generation manifestations are her 3 daughters: Sarakka, Juksakka, Uksakka.

Sarakka – the cleaving woman, fertility, menstruation, love, sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth.

Uksakka –the door woman, former of the fetus and gives humans their gender.

Juksakka – the bow woman, protector and guardian of children the woman with the arrow.