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Music . . . Sami Reindeer Call and Love Songs

Music . . .  Sami Reindeer Call and Love Songs


Representatives of the Sami Tribes have been attending indigenous cultural events in Canada and the USA for about a decade.  They have been fully accepted into the family of Indigenous Americans. The Sami even sent a delegation to the demonstrations at Standing Rock last year.  However, very few Sami or Native Americans peoples are aware that the Uchee are substantially descended from Sami and Ciarreigh (Pre-Gaelic Irish/Scottish) ancestors.   Sami, Scandinavian and Finnish DNA is showing up in Uchee and Eastern Creeks.  Based on recent DNA tests, the Coweta Creek Confederacy will be accepting Sami and Taino (Arawak) descendants as full members.  Many Sami, particularly their professional singers, are now wearing the Uchee-Creek Sacred Fire symbol on necklaces and broaches as an expression of their ancient heritage and cultural kinship with the indigenous peoples of the Southeastern United States.

Thought you would enjoy an example of Sami songs from two Southern Sami flicker (lassies) and a Faeroe Islands flicka.   Northern Sami look much more like Indigenous Americans.  However, the more Scandinavian-looking Southern Sami are equally proud of their unique heritage.

Right now all Sami are about to go on the warpath.  For two decades they have been trying to stop the destruction of their environment by international corporations.  The profits from these mining, drilling and tree-cutting activities on a mega-scale flow back to major cities in Europe and North America.  However, an event last week may be the last straw.  The idiots of the current governing clique in Stockholm have named a Pakistani immigrant, with absolutely no credentials in archaeology, ethnology, architecture or history as Director of the Swedish Cultural Heritage Commission.  This is the equivalent of putting a Martian as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  This agency has never been led by a Sami, even though indigenous cultural preservation is a major responsibility of the agency.  As you can see, many countries have problems with their politicians these days.  The Sami’s first response to this latest travesty has been to reach out to Native American and First Nations leaders for support in their struggle to maintain their cultural traditions and identity.


Agnetha before ABBA

Sofia Jannok is the best known Sami singer.  She is also a political activist.  She continues to do a “up yours” to the “one culture only” bureaucrats in Stockholm by only singing in Sami . . . even when singing contemporary rock music.   Her latest tactic is singing the hit songs of ABBA in Sami.    Soffia is such a highly respected singer in Europe now that the bureaucrats are even forced to invite her to sing IN SAMI for concerts before the king and queen on national holidays.  

Actually,  I am fairly certain that Agnetha Fältskog (ABBA) is Southern Sami.  Typical of Southern Sami, at 21, she had blond hair, but Asiatic facial features.  Her nose was shaped differently then.





And now for the glamorous version of Sofia Jannok . . . singing the ABBA song, “Waterloo” in Sami!




Talking about doing an “up yours” . . . on the Swedish equivalent of the Fourth of July,  Sofia sang the beloved American folk song,  “This Land Is Your Land, This Land is My Land”  iin Swedish AND in SAMI . . . right in front of the King and Queen of Sweden . . . who probably did not know what she was saying in Sami.  It was on national television.   Note that several Sami wore their traditional clothing to the concert in Stockholm.


This song is a Norwegian Sami song.  The singer Eivor is from the Faeroe Islands and of mixed Scandinavian-Sami heritage.


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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Wonderful singing. There is something really haunting about the cadence of the songs, particularly the herd call, that reminds me so much of American Indian singers I have heard.

    Of all the anthropological materials that are used to try to connect cultures, these tend to concentrate on material items like spear points and pottery designs. Language is often used for this purpose, but this also is a technology that, like material culture, is subject to radical change over time and can diverse rapidly among cultures that started from the same point.

    Music however is something that touches the soul. I would postulate that this has a much higher change of preservation over time.

    Great work Richard!


    I really enjoyed the videos Mr. Richard. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the cultures from other places that intertwine with ours. This helps everyone to understand the similarities between us. The drums the ladies were using same similar to Irish Bodran. I watched several more videos by Jonna Jinton. Very cool watching her call the swans and the cows. I will be sharing these choice bits of culture with friends and family.


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