Reindeer Herder’s Day in Krasnoshelye, Lovozero District

Next Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, a small village of Krasnoshelye (population under 500), as close to the middle of nowhere as it gets, deep in the tundra 130km east of Lovozero, will be teeming with activity. It is the yearly Reindeer Herder’s Day, and it will include 3200 meter and 1600 meter sled racing, skier towing behind a reindeer, jumping over sleds, loop-throwing, and a fighting competition.

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“Russian Lapland” tourist cluster in the Lovozero District

mu_lovozero_2The Ministry of Development of Industry and Entrepreneurship of the Murmansk Region and the Administration of the Lovozero District have signed a memorandum to set up and develop a recreational cluster “Russian Lapland”, with specialization in ethnographic and rural tourism, with the involvement of the indigenous peoples of Kola Peninsula. Same old stuff will be offered: snowmobile safari, deer sleighs, trips to deer keepers’ camps in the tundra. Events to be promoted include the International Saami Day, North Celebration, Deer Keepers’ Day, Days of Komi-Izhma Culture and others. Formation of the cluster is supposed to make the local tourist industry more efficient and effective. Those interested in joining the group are invited to contact the organizers by calling (8152) 41-07-95 or e-mailing to

Contact me at about a trip from Kandalaksha to Lovozero.

The International Saami Day

saamiToday, Feb. 6, is the International Saami Day. On this day in 1917 the first Saami assembly was held in Trondheim, Norway. In the local Saami capital of Lovozero this weekend is full of activity. An exhibition of the mythology of Saami is on in the Monchegorsk History Museum Feb. 6-27. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate our Saami friends on this occasion.

The Saami site upgraded and is now available in a bunch of languages

saamiHere is the new upgraded Saami Council site in English, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian. And, of course, Saami.

See posts tagged “Saami” for related materials. Also check under the Lovozero category for the Saami related materials.

Sign up for a trip to Lovozero with me as your driver and interpreter. The cost of an overnight trip from Kandalaksha for a group of 3-4 is about $500.

The Barents Region: A Transnational History of Subarctic Northern Europe. Book presentation in Lovozero tomorrow.

Barents-RegionThere will be a book presentation in the Lovozero library tomorrow, Dec. 1.

The book speaks of the story of the Barents region, an area that includes the northern-most parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, treated as one common entity, from year 800 to 2010. It is written by 27 historians from 13 geographic areas.

The book will be of interest to anybody who wants to study the trans-national history of the northern region.

Lars EleniusGeneral editor of the book is Lars Elenius, Professor in history and education specialising in the history of indigenous peopole and national minorities within the context of northern Europe. He has done research and worked out education about ethnic groups, minority politics, historical culture, nationalism and education in this northern context. Elenius is the leader of a network of scholars who write a history book and encyclopedia about the Barents Region.

For more info proceed here >>


Art gallery “Sapmi” opening in Lovozero on August 9 2015

Some time ago we wrote of the plans to open the Saami art gallery in Lovozero. Now it is a reality! The opening ceremony starts at 3pm at ulitsa Shkolnaya 4, in the left wing of the boarding school, 3rd floor, entry from the back. The admission is free!

In addition to over 50 works of Saami artists, the event will feature workshops on bracelet weaving from wool (by Valentina Sovkina) and embroidery with beads (by M.N. Kalmykova), the work of children’s center “Umka”, and sampling of drinks from northern berries.

Exhibition participants:


from N.E. Afanasyeva’s collection

Nadezhda Lyashenko (Nadia Fenina), a painter, a writer, and a practicing shaman. Nadezhda was born to the family of repressed reindeer breeders from the Zapadnaya Litsa bay area. Her works are on display in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Ukraine.





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Sami Art Gallery – an announcement on behalf of the Lovozero Sami community

The Sami Art Gallery is looking for a home and sponsors interested in promoting the Saami culture to help it happen!

Painter N.G Lyashenko (Nadia Fenina)

Painter N.G Lyashenko (Nadia Fenina)

Valentina Sovkina – the chairperson of the Sami parliament of the Kola Peninsula would like to announce the creation of art gallery “Sapmi” and is looking for people interested in implementing and supporting the idea.

In the plans: 
– A permanent exhibition of Sami painters and craftsmen
– A migrating exhibition
– Design solutions, installations, and interesting ideas
– Sales, presents, charity

Organizers: The Fund of Sami Inheritance and Development, Kola Sami Radio, and Kuellnegi Neark Sam Sobbar (Sami Parliament of the Kola Peninsula), and Chepes Sam (organization of Sami craftsmen and artists – more >>).

The organizers are ready to meet and discuss your proposals and ideas during the Summer Sami Games in Lovozero on June 13 2015.

Or write to Valentina Sovkina to (and you are welcomed to send a copy to me to for an on-the-fly translation).

The Sami art gallery starts with paintings by Sami artists and artists who like the Sami culture and traditions. These are presented in the gallery Sami Art Gallery on Valentina Sovkina’s Facebook page. Valentina is buying painting by Sami artists in hope that these pieces will soon find a permanent home where they could be seen by all.

Below are several paintings from the future gallery from Valentina’s collection:

"Shaman's Dance" by Nadezhda Lyashenko, the village of Shonguy

“Shaman’s Dance” by Nadezhda Lyashenko, the village of Shonguy

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30th anniversary Summer Saami Games, June 13, Lovozero

The celebration will be held by the Popovskoye lake of the Lovozero village, 220km from Kandalaksha.

In the program: folk groups, national sports competition: throwing the loop over horns, arbalet shooting, running with a stick, rowing, and Saami women’s football.


Saami women’s football. Photo by Oleg Filonok

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