Laplanders: the most mysterious people of Europe
Laplanders - one of the most mysterious peoples of northern Europe. Its more modern name is Saami. The age of this ethnos is at least 5000 years old. Scientists are still arguing about who the Laplanders are and where they came from.
Some people consider this people Mongoloid, others argue that the Lapps are Paleo-Europeans. The Saami language belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages, but the Lapps themselves have ten Sami language dialects that are so different from each other that they can be called independent. It even makes it difficult for some Laplanders to communicate with others.
There are few Laplanders left - about 60 thousand people. Most Saami live in Norway, the least - in Russia.
From time immemorial Saami lived a free semi-nomadic life. Until the XVII century, they hunted and fished, and later engaged in reindeer herding, which became the main occupation for the Sami. Women were famous for the ability to decorate clothes and utensils with beads.
During the nomads, the Laplanders lived in the pointed houses of the Kuvax or Covas, which were covered with reindeer skins. There were also permanent dwellings: a cat or a tower, which was a pointed hexagonal structure made of logs, and a stupid, pyrtu - a house chopped of logs, in which one or two families lived. Sami parking called graveyard.
Over time, the Sami began to live in Scandinavian houses, huts and even in the Nenets plague.
This ancient people is famous for its unhurried life, contemplation and philosophical attitude to life. Time for the Sami flows differently, not like in the bustling cities.
Despite the attempts of Christianization, the Laplanders still remain shamanists, worshiping the cult places of their ancestors - the “set” where spirits live. Seth often become cliffs or bizarre lakes. Ukko Island on Lake Inarinjärvi is considered the most famous cult site of the Saami. Up until the 1950s, sacrifices were made to spirits there. Until now, the Lapps consider this place the kingdom of the gods, they do not go there themselves and do not advise others.
Saami believe that in Lapland there are 5 seasons, not 4: winter, spring, summer, autumn and Kaamos - the mysterious time of the polar night, which lasts from mid-December to late January.At this time the day comes the magical blue twilight, and at night the sky of Lapland lights up with the mysterious northern lights, which can be seen almost every night. The Laplanders themselves believed that snowflakes shine in the sky, which the fairy-tale fox flies up into the air with its magic tail, running about its business far beyond the horizon.
In fact, a country like Lapland never existed. Sometimes this name is associated with the former Swedish province of Lappland or with the Finnish province of Lappi, but usually the territory where the Sámi lived was called Lapland. And this area of 400 square kilometers is located in as many as four countries: in Finland, in Sweden, in Norway and even in Russia.
The Laplanders themselves call their country Sapmi, which in one of the dialects means “Sami Land”. The name of Lapland was once thought up by the Scandinavians and Russians. They called the Saami "Lapps", "Lapanians" or "shovel." From these words the name of the people came - the Laplanders, and the name of the country - Lapland.
The capital of Lapland is considered the city of Rovaniemi, which is located on the line of the Arctic Circle. In addition, Laplanders have their own flag,who have the right to hang out at informal celebrations, and their national anthem, which became the anthem of one of the ancient Sami clans.
Lapland Father Frost
Actually, the Finnish Joulupukki, together with his middle-aged wife Muori, the help dwarfs and the reindeer Rudolf, have little in common with St. Nicholas and Christmas, but nevertheless, it became the symbol of the Christmas holidays for many tourists in the Finnish part of Lapland.
For the sake of the Catholics, he found a red cap, a caftan, and settled in the village of Santa Claus, located near Rovaniemi. Here you can find it all year round. Even Rovaniemi Airport is called in a special way: “The Official Airport of Santa Claus”, which means “Official Santa Claus Airport”.
The Sami themselves call their own Santa Claus Mun Kalls. Apparently, this is a kind of forest spirit that rescued the Sami who got lost in the winter.
Saami in Russia
In ancient times, the Laplanders occupied the entire Kola Peninsula. Their numbers began to decline even before the revolution due to epidemics, alcoholism, poaching, hunting alien migrants for deer, industrial land development and partial assimilation.Since then, their position has not improved. Over the past ten years, the number of Laplanders has fallen by another 11%.
According to the 2010 census, there are 1,771 Laplanders living in Russia. Only 13% of them are engaged in fishing, hunting and reindeer herding.
Russian Laplanders speak three languages: this is Yokang-Sámi, which is spoken by no more than ten people, Kilda Sámi, which is known by almost 500 people, and Koltta-Sámi, which is remembered by 20 Laplandians. Koltta is more common in Finland - 400 Sámi speak there. Before, the Laplanders of Russia also spoke Babinsky-Sámi, but now nobody speaks him.
Most of the Sami live in the village of Lovozero, which is called the capital of Russian Lapland. Recently, the Saami have been trying to organize themselves, to establish a way of life, to cope with unemployment. Establish cultural ties with Finnish Laplanders, trying to preserve culture and languages.
Sami languages are taught in several schools and in a technical school. In the cities of Murmansk, Apatity, Monchegorsk there are Sami language courses, the issue of language teaching at the university in Murmansk is being resolved.The Murmansk State Regional Scientific Library collects linguistic and reference materials on Sami, on May 22, the Sami Word Day is held every year.
At one time, the Saami hoped for the organization of the tourism business, but still this idea remains at the project stage.