My mother and I went on a trip to Lapland this weekend to visit the Jokkmokk Market. This 400-year-old winter market is one of the main events of the Sámi calendar and an important weekend also for non-Sámis living in the north of Sweden. Held over three days in February each year, the Jokkmokk Market is a great time to meet friends from all over Sápmi and to enjoy Sámi handicrafts, music, food and design. If you are planning a visit to northern Sweden next winter, don’t miss out on this fun and colourful event!
A pretty Sámi girl wearing traditional clothing and nuvttagat.
The reindeer is central to Sámi society and was the theme for this year’s market.
Among many things, I fell in love with these pretty shoes from Karin Vasara. It’s my birthday tomorrow, *hint hint* ;-)
Three young Sámi men visiting the food market.
Wool shoe liners/socks for cold winter days.
The Jokkmokk Market is a dangerous place to visit if you have a sweet tooth!
This year’s market was not only about trading and having fun, it was also a platform for protests against the British company Beowulf Mining plc that is carrying out test mining activities in Gállok near Jokkmokk – an area that is environmentally sensitive and located just outside Laponia, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gállok is an important part of Sámi reindeer winter pasture and situated near one of our absolute favourite areas for dog sledding. It would be a tragedy not only for the Sámi people if the nature in this area was exploited. As always, the wealth created by mining companies (if any) is ephemeral, while the damages they cause are often irreversible.
This interesting Al Jazeera documentary explains how mining activities in Gállok and Lapland are threatening to permanently change the world as we know it. Watch it if you have 25 minutes to spare.