National

Hokkaido museum holds rare exhibition on Sami culture

Kyodo

A museum in Hokkaido is holding a rare exhibition on the culture of the Sami, an indigenous people of northern Europe and Russia, displaying some 140 items including their craftworks through Oct. 14.

Such an exhibition focused on their culture is very rare, according to an official at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples. The museum in the city of Abashiri specializes in the study of history and culture of people living in northern areas around the world, including the Ainu people in Hokkaido.

Over the past 30 years the museum has been collecting items related to the Sami, such as traditional tents made of reindeer skin, felt dresses, colorful wool mittens and cups made of white birch. The items will be on display together for the first time.

In September, during the special exhibition, titled “Life and Craftworks of Sami in Sapmi,” researchers versed in the ethnic group’s culture are scheduled to give lectures, according to the museum.

Sapmi is the region across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia traditionally inhabited by the Sami, who have made their living by reindeer herding, hunting and fishing.

The exhibition, which began on July 13, also introduces the Sami rights movement and efforts to promote and preserve their languages.

At the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2016, the film “Sami Blood,” by Sweden-born director Amanda Kernell, who has Sami roots, won the special jury award as well as the best actress award.

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