Programmes > Par auteur > Callanan Martin

The Southern Sami Drum (Gievrie)- discovery, recovery and recontextualising
Martin Callanan  1@  
1 : Dept of Historical Studies, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology  -  Site web
Dept of Historical Studies, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway. -  Norvège

Sami frame drums, consisting of a wooden frame covered by a decorated membrane are the most common type of ceremonial drum from the Southern Sami region in central Scandinavia. Well-preserved examples have complex decorations and offerings in the form of cords, rings and metal ornaments. Pointers and hammers were used together with the drums during certain ceremonies. Gievrie is Southern Sami language term for these drums.

Around 44 examples of the Southern Sami Gievrie exist today. They allow us valuable glimpses into the materiality of past ceremonies and ritual life. They also have enormous symbolic power. Not least in relation to historical and political negotiations in the recent past, when Southern Sami minorities were subject to christianization and nationalization processes by Church and State. During certain periods, Church officials confiscated Sami drum they were seen as pagan objects. Sometimes, the drums' owners hid their Gievrie in the mountains rather than hand them over to State authorities.

In recent years, a number of Gievrie that remained hidden in the mountains have been discovered and brought into regional museums. Furthermore, in 2017 a famous well-preserved Gievrie from Freavnantjahke that today belongs to a German museum, was loaned out temporarily to form the centerpiece of a museum exhibition during the Tråante 2017 Sami centenary celebrations in Trondheim. This renewed archaeological and historical attention to the Gievrie from Southern Sapmi offers us the opportunity for critical discussions and reflections concerning sacred objects hidden in mountain depositories in the recent past.

In this paper, I will give a brief introduction to the Southern Sami Giervie, presenting both well-preserved museum examples in addition to other recent discoveries. I will also discuss how the renewed focus and process of rediscovering these objects opens for a critical discussion of how we recover and re-contextualize objects from sacred sites. 

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