1st Edition

Indigenous Religion(s) in Sápmi Reclaiming Sacred Grounds

By Siv Ellen Kraft Copyright 2022
    214 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Indigenous religion(s) are afterlives of a particular sort, shaped by globalising discourses on what counts as an indigenous religion on the one hand and the continued presence of local traditions on the other. Focusing on the Norwegian side of Sápmi since the 1970s, this book explores the reclaiming of ancestral pasts and notions of a specifically Sámi religion. It connects religion, identity and nation-building, and takes seriously the indigenous turn as well as geographical and generational distinctions. Focal themes include protective activism and case studies from the art and culture domain, both of which are considered vital to the making of indigenous afterlives in indigenous formats. This volume will be of great interest to scholars of Global Indigenous studies, Sámi cultural studies and politics, Ethnicity and emergence of new identities, Anthropology, Studies in religion, and folklore studies.


    1 Afterlives in the making: Sámi religion—indigenous formats

    2 Let the river livewater is life: indigenous activism from Alta to Standing Rock

    3 Sacred mountains—spiritual activism

    4 Mari Boine—vocal resistance, sonic sovereignty

    5 Drum-time revisited: the heritagization of shamanism

    Conclusion: Changing topographies of indigenous religion(s)


    Siv Ellen Kraft is a Professor in the Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies, and Theology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

    "Indigenous Religion(s) in Sápmi is a book that situates itself in an ever-evolving debate concerning what it means to be “indigenous” and to practice “indigenous religion” in contemporary society. Moreover, in an increasingly globalized society, Kraft’s method of scales highlights the need to explore articulations of “indigeneity” that are both local and global, and the ways in which indigenous populations relate to one another today."

    Jing-Yi Magraw, Utrecht University, Netherlands.

    "Indigenous Religion(s) in Sápmi is a well-written, nuanced, and thoroughly researched study that will be important not only for students of contemporary Sámi culture and religion, but also for those interested in the international indigenous movement and in new religious movements more generally."

    Olle Sundström, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, vol. 17 (August 2023), pp. 1–3, https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.25173, Umeå University, Sweden.