Did you notice that the Sami also wear gorgets?
During the late 1700s and 1800s, the governments of Norway and Sweden did the same thing that the United States did to its indigenous peoples. Government officials and soldiers marched into the lands of the Sami and told them that they did not own their homeland anymore. They could no longer use their own language in a court room or for any official transactions. Henceforth the Sami would be non-citizens, assigned to reservations . . . which could be relocated at the whim of the governments. The Sami were repeatedly driven off their assigned reservations to make way for mining and timber companies. Russia, which then owned Finland, went a step further and made the Sami serfs, with no civil rights whatsoever.
The Sami were not allowed to have tribal governments as was the case in Canada and the United States. In the 20th century reindeer husbandry cooperatives were created, but they are not really governments. The Swedish and Finnish Sami now have parliaments, but the Swedish Sami Parliament has very limited powers. Sweden did not recognize the Sami language as an official minority language until 2000. Neither Norway or Sweden has ever acknowledged that they stole the land of the Sami without compensation. The Sami were treated little better than the wild animals and reindeer that roamed Lapland. At least Canada and the United States usually paid nominal funds for indigenous lands. The Swedish Sami are currently demanding that Lapland be made an autonomous region with its capital in Kiruna.
One of the unique cultural traits of the Uchee and Muskogean Peoples is the wearing of ornately carved, round gorgets. The Arawaks of the islands, closest to the Southeastern United States did have less ornate gorgets, but elsewhere in the Americas, ornate, round gorgets are not significant traditions.
Ornate round gorgets were traditions in Bronze Age Scandinavia, Ireland and Scotland. The tradition continues today among the Sami. In fact, Sami women are now increasingly wearing gorgets as a statement of ethnic pride. The gorgets worn by Sami men are rectangular, but also contain ornate designs.
Until the late 1800s, Sami gorgets were usually carved from walrus tusk ivory, sea shells or wood. Now, they are made by Sami artisans from silver . . . sometimes pewter for men’s gorgets. They have become priceless heirlooms, which are passed down from mothers to daughters.
What Bronze Age Scandinavians, Irish and Scots looked like
Only in the mountainous northern tip of Scandinavia does one find indigenous peoples, who carry most of the genes of their ancestors from 4,000 years ago. They are called the Sjø (Sea) and Berg (Mountain Sami) . . . or collectively, the Northern Sami. True Ciarregh or Dark Irish are much rarer . . . mainly living today in the most remote mountains of southwestern Ireland.
Any explorers or colonists from Sweden around 2,400 BC to 1200 BC would have looked something like Maxida Märak (pronounced Me-rak). However, they would have had more Asiatic features such as pronounced cheek bones and epithelial eye folds.
While backpacking between Kiruna, Sweden and Nordkap, Norway I did encounter some Sami, who looked like full-blooded Indigenous Americans, Siberians or Polynesians. These full-bloods are very reticent and probably rarely seen by Scandinavians or tourists. Both the Sjø and Berg Sami spoke to me first in Sami, assuming that I was one of them. Typically, wherever I worked or traveled in Scandinavia, the locals assumed that I was a Northern Sami. In fact, I beat a traffic ticket from two over-zealous Landskrona cops for speeding in my bicycle on a four lane boulevard, by pretending to be a Northern Sami, who didn’t know Swedish, German or English.
And now for some humor
The police in Landskrona didn’t even carry firearms when I lived there, but they were mighty suspicious of people with nice tans and black hair back then . . . especially on bicycles. They should have been delighted to have a mestizo gringo in their midst. LOL Beginning a decade later the city experienced a major influx of immigrants from Latin America and Indonesia, who have turned out to be a delightful addition to the city’s cultural life. However, THEN the idiots in Stockholm let in a tidal wave of immigrants from the Middle East. The Kurds came first and they have also been a positive addition to Sweden. However, then immigrants from regions with extremist brands of Islam came in much larger numbers. The Landskrona Police turned into a paramilitary organization almost overnight, so now . . . one of the most popular hip-hop songs in Scandinavia is “Hela Landskrona Hatar Polisen” = All Landskrona hates the police.
In the mean time. an amusing cultural change has occurred. Swedish men are getting into playing conga drums and bongos. Swedish women are putting on Latin American costumes and trying to dance like we do in the Americas. Well . . . most of them don’t quite get it. The Swedes are a very intelligent, hard working, moral people . . . but being loose as a spruce goose is generally not one of their qualities. Take a look . . .
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- Soque River Basin Stone Architecture Survey . . . list of project sites - October 17, 2018
- The Coweta Creek Confederacy . . . announcement of enrollment prior to petition for Federal recognition - October 15, 2018
- Where did the Chickasaws originate? - October 15, 2018
- The Mexican wedding fiesta . . . really an ancient Native tradition - October 13, 2018
- Houses will tell us who came from Mexico and when - October 12, 2018