Anders Fjellner and Saami origin by Lars-Nila Lasko

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Anders Fjellner and Sami origin

Anders Fjellner created, as it must be understodd, the mythological epic “Sun and Moon’s sons and daughters” about Sami origin. Fjellner himself said that it was recorded from an older Saami yoik in Kemi Lapland, Finland/Sweden. (See previous posts on this blog).

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Fjellner himself was convinced that the Saami People were the first people who came to inhabit Scandinavia. According to Fjellner the Saami People had immigrated from the south to Scandinavia from the European continent. It appears from another epic of Anders Fjellner on Sami origin. According to Fjellner this another epic was also recorded in writing from an old Sami legend.

Anders Fjellner
Anders Fjellner

 

Who was Anders Fjellner

Anders Fjellner was born in September 18, 1795, according to church records, at the stone of shereiff at the mountain Rutfjället, near Tänndalen in County of Härjedalen, Sweden, under the name Anders Thomasson. He grew up in a reindeer herding family. His father’s name was Thomas Jonsson and his mother Marta Andersdotter. They moved between summer pastures in Norway and winter pasture at Hede in Sweden annually.

However, at the age of 9 Anders Fjellner lost his father in the year 1804. He was therefore taken care of by close relatives and learning by those to read.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Primary Studies at the Swedish School of assimilation

The year after his father passed away, ie in 1805, Anders Fjellner was sent by relatives to an boarding school in the “big” town of Östersund, County of Jämtland. There he begin his studies at Frösö Trivial school. The studies would change his life from a prospective career as a reindeer herder to the theologian and poet.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Frösö Trivial school (High school in three subjects)

In year 1561 the Swedish church adopted the first approach to public school charter to replace the previously missing Catholic schools from the Middle Ages. 1561 years Church order was followed by regulations in year 1575 that a school should be located in every city. The basic school education was divided into a simpler “Trivial school” with teaching in the “Trivium” (teaching in the three subjects), and a “Gymnasium”. Trivial school was therefore a simple educational institution with tuition in three subjects; grammar, dialectic (logic) and rhetoric. Trivium comes from Latin and means where three roads meet ( “tri” which is three and the “via” a way). Just like it sounds led the Common Schools often to the training of priests. So, would also occur with Anders Fjellner.

to assimilate the Saami in Sweden the training of Saami priests were an additional tool, in addition to primary schools, according to the Swedish government’s colonization policy.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

The Norwegians and Saami would become Swedish through primary school

Frösö Trivial School was a primary school and opened to students for the first time in 1679. The decision to establish the school was already made in 1674 as a political tool to make Norwegians and the Saami people Swedish in the area. The County of Jämtland and Härjedalen had long before been a Norwegian province. That is perhaps why the memorial stone of Frösö Trivial school at Stocke in the Western island of Frösön has the text “Hinc lumens ortum Jemtlandiam illustravit” (From here, shining light over the County of Jämtland). What is left of the school buildings is the so-called Zetterströmska library from 1833 and which is now a museum.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

From Anders Thomasson Anders Fjellner

Meanwhile at Frösö Trivial School Anders Thomasson replacing his name to Anders Fjellner. In some documents appearing named Anders Thomasson Fjellner.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

High school with Lars-Levi Laestadius and long hikes

After Frösö Trivial School in Östersund Anders Fjellner continued his studies at Härnösands gymnasium. The studies were conducted in winter and every summer Anders Fjellner was walking on foot from the City of Härnösand to the County of Härjedalen to visit his mother and helping siblings in reindeer herding.

The years 1816-1818 were also the famoust priest Lars Levi Læstadius a student at Härnösands gymnasium. Lars Levi Læstadius was Saami from Jäckvik, Arjeplog, County of Norrbotten. During this time Fjellner for the first time Læstadius. Læstadius started later on a new Saami Christian religion “Læstadianism”. It is a very orthodox Christian religion.

My great great-grandfather Lars P. Tjonk Lasko (1788-1855) took care of reindeers belonging to Lars Levi Læstadius father Carl Læstadius (1746-1832) and his family’s reindeer (Taking care of reindeer per year for money) until Sunday, September 9, 1827. Lars-Levi Læstadius father Carl Læstadius had a total of 105 reindeer at the care of Lars Lasko, ie a relatively large herd of reindeer at the time. The annual fee to Lars Lasko for taking care of Carl Læstadius reindeer was at the time 4 Riksdaler Banco per year. In addition, Lars Lasko received exemptions from both the state tax as municipal tax for this. The annual fee of 4 Riksdaler Banco per year was a fairly small amount. The annual fee for taking care of other peoples reindeer in the forest Sami area in 1827 was normal in 12 Riksdaler Banco per year. (See Peter Laestadius Journal p. 448).

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Higher studies at University of Uppsala

Fjellner started his study at University of Uppsala on April 3, 1818. However, Fjellner interrupted his studies in 1820 and was not becoming a priest until much later.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Missionary in northern Sweden

Anders Fjellner was appointed in 1821 as a temporary missionary in Jukkasjärvi and Karesuando “Lapland district” as it was called.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Saami priest

Fjellner was appointed as a priest on August 23 in 1828 in the City of Härnösand.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

New services in church

Anders Fjellner was appointed to vacancy-preacher in northern Sweden at Jukkasjärvi and to handle church affairs, (Curam gerens).

Fjellner was also a vacancy-preacher in Karesuando in northern Sweden from 1 May 1838 to December 1841. Lars Levi Laestadius was ordinary priest in May 1, 1826 at Karesuando after being vacancy-preacher at the birth of the home parish of Arjeplog and missionary one year among the Saami in Piteå Lappmark . Lars Levi Laestadius had not applied for the vacancy, but the application was filed in with Læstadius name without his knowledge by Bishop Erik Abraham Almquist. Interestingly, Anders Fjellner not seems to have been influenced by Læstadius and never mentions the revival preacher in his works and writings.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Language skills and interpreter in court

Here he learned both Finnish and North Saami languages. Fjellner native language was South Saami language. Anders Fjellner language skills meant that he was hired as a interpreter at court in Northern Saami and Finnish languages from December 1835 to April year 1842.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Marriage

In Karesuando he met Christina Päiviö, (Päivadtj according to church records), whom he married in 1839. Christina Päiviö, (daughter of Peter Persson Peiviö (1777-1857) and Elsa Rasmidotter Kitti (1781-1868), was born on the 18th October in Kongama, Enontekiö municipality, Finland, and died in Sorsele municipality, Sweden, in september 10, 1876. With the marriage Anders Fjellner become a reindeer owner.

 

Lars-Nila Lasko

Homepage: www.lasko.mobi

Guhkkin davvin Dávggáid vuolde sabmá suolggai Sámieanan

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Lars-Nila Lasko

Homepage: www.lasko.mobi

Guhkkin davvin Dávggáid vuolde sabmá suolggai Sámieanan

Saami origin – Saami creation story of the sons and daughters of the Sun and Moon by Lars-Nila Lasko

Anders Fjellner
Anders Fjellner

Saami creation story

about

the sons and daughters of

the Sun and the Moon

 

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

“A legend has said,

A story has has been yoiking:

North from the fixed star (morning star),

West from the sun and moon,

Was in lichen silver and gold,

fireplace-stones, lowering stones for fishing;

Gold glitter, silver shines,

glaciers creating reflecting mirrors;

Suns, moons and stars shining,

Smiling at their mirror images;

The son of the sun preparing his ship for sailing,

taking on board important people.

The wind blows in the sails,

Maritime law drives the boat forward;

The waves escape the wind,

rolling the rudder,

The east wind causes the boat

to past the moon, to past the

shining and round disc of the sun.

Sun and Moon become smaller

than the morning star (The fixed star)

witch becoming greater than the large sun,

flushed with other rays,

dazzling with another shimmer,

Sailing for years,

the ship beat the waves,

Finally, a giant beach is in front,

peeking out of the eye, shines.

Giant’s young daughter, the seamstress

of the old blind man,

with a birch bark on fire at the beach … “

So begins a epic of Saami origin.

The poem is about the sons of the sun and their courtship to the land of the giants. A Saami creation story of the Sami people as children of the sun and the moon.

The Saami flag
The Saami flag

 

Saami poem that appears in all the Saami National Symbols

The poem of South-Saami Anders Fjellner has left deep tracks in the Saami culture.

Some examples are the Saami flag, wich has a circle in the middle, of which the red part of the circle representing the Sun and the blue part of the circle represents the Moon, ie the Saami as the children of the Sun and the Moon. The four colors represent the most common Sami colors found in the Saami costumes in Norway, Finland, Russia and Sweden. (In a post-construction it has been interpreted that the four colors representing that Saami lives in four countries and circle that the Saami, nevertheless, are united as one people. In an other after construction the Saami Parliament in Sweden tried to interpret the meaning of the coulors of the Sami flag as coulors of the nature; (Green-Nature for surviving, Blue-Water for elixir of life, Red-Fire for heat/love and Yellow-Sun for long life. The local Community of Lycksele has made a different interpretation of the colors of the Saami flag as they “symbolize the four elements, nature, water, fire and sun… the circle is a symbol of spirituality …”. The local Community of Sorsele mean “the colors also symbolize important survival elements of the Saami”. It is obvious that the Saami flag has become mythical!

The circle in the flag represent that the Saami are united as one people even if the Saami is diveded in several language and spread out in several countries (four coulers).

The Saami famoust multi-artist Nils-Aslak Valkeapää national epic “Beaivi, áhcážan” – “Sun, my father” from year 1988 has in both in the headline as in the text tracks of Fjellner poetry. The Saami Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, who was a Finnish citizen, was honored with a state funeral in Norway.

Likewise, there are traces of Anders Fjellner in the Saami national anthemSámi soga lávlla“;

“Máttarádját mis leat dovle
vuoitán vearredahkkiid badjel.
Vuostálastot, vieljat, miige
sitkatvuođain soardiideamet!
Beaivvi bártniid nana nálli!
Eai du vuoitte vašálaččat,
jos fal gáhttet gollegielat,
muittát máttarmáttuid sáni:
Sámieatnan sámiide!”

“Our ancestors long ago
Trouble makers did defeat.
Let us, brothers, also resist
Staunchly our oppressors.
Oh, tough kin of the sun’s sons,
Never shall you be subdued
If you heed your golden Saami tongue,
Remember the ancestors’ word.
Saamiland for Saami!”

In 1986 was the Saami national anthem appointed as the official Saami national anthem.The text is written in 1906 by Sea-saami Isaac Saba (1875-1921) who was born in Nesseby, northern Norway.Isaac Saba was the first Saami who was elected to the Norwegian Parliament.The melody was composed by Arne Sørlie.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

 

A Saami National poem created

In front of the Kings party in Gillesnuole, Sorsele, Sweden, July 9, 1843 wrote Anders Fjellner down the poem about the “sons of the sun”. The poem was first published in newspapers in northern Sweden in September 2, 1843 and in Germany in 1849 “Sonnensöhne.Ein episches Ge dicht der Lappen”. The poem was published in a number of newspapers both in Sweden and abroad as the St. Petersburger Zeitung and Helsinki Morgonblad, and in several books.

Fjellner in German language
Fjellner in German language

Saami legend

Anders Fjellner himself said that the poem is based on one of his recorded yoik of the old Saami man “Leuhnje” in Torne Lapland, Northern Sweden/Northern Finland. The poem would then be build on a Saami legend. Any documents of Fjellner has not been preserved. This has created difficulties in both the interpretation of the poem as well as several translations are available. However, it is most likely, in my opinion, that Anders Fjellner himself stands as the author of the poem. Anyway, if Anders Fjellner has not been recorded a Saami legend, he has created a Saami legend.

Anders Fjellner
Anders Fjellner

 

Anders Fjellner – Saami national poet

The Saami vicar Bo Lundmark calls Anders Fjellner for Saami Homer in his doctoral thesis, University of Uppsala in 1982, “Baeivi Manno Nástit – Sun and moon cult among the Saami People.” Lundmark has also published a book about the poem “Anders Fjellner – Saami Homer – and the poetry of sons of the Sun” 1979th

Anders Fjellner is without a doubt Saami’s greatest poet and a national poet for the Saami People.

 

Translations of the poem

Anders Fjellner, who was a South Saami and spoke South Saami language, served for a long time in the north of Sweden and learned Northern Saami language. The poem is written in a mix of North and South Saami languages. This has meant that there are several translations and different interpretations of the poem. The above translation is one of the original example, while Saami priest Bo Lundmark has a slightly different translation in his book about Anders Fjellner.

 

Meaning of the poem

At first sight, the poem “Sons of the Sun” looks easy to understand. The “Fixed Star” and “Morning star” is undoubtedly the North Star. But what is meant by “People of the Sunny side” and “People of the Moon side” to take a few examples? Could it involve people from a sunnier and more southern area (People of the Sunny side) and another people from a cold and in the winter darker northern area (People of the Moon side)?

Anders Fjellner
Anders Fjellner

 

Other poems of Saami origin

There is one more poem about Saami origin, which caused a big debate when published in its time over 150 years ago. The poem is, according to a source, a recorded Saami legend in a yoik that tells about a Sami trail north to a fate land. The Saami Peoples way north to Saamiland went, according to legend, by Skane (County of Skåne in southernmost Sweden? – The word Skane is a Saami word explained in the legend as a shoulder bone), Vettarjaure (The lake Vättern in in south of Sweden? – The word Vettar is a Saami word explained in the legend as a lake with high shores in Saami), Garraguoika, (Trollhättan in the south of Sweden? – The word Garraguoika is a Saami word explained in the legend as a dangerous waterfall) and Mellijaure (Lake Mälaren in the south of Sweden?) persecuted by the people Svialads (Swedish People or Germanic tribe? ). The legend was subjected to several analysis, publications and debates of his time. A Legend I shall return later in this blog!

 

Blog Question

Have legends or old stories relevance for today’s society?

 

Lars-Nila Lasko

Homepage: www.lasko.mobi
Guhkkin davvin Dávggáid vuolde sabmá suolggai Sámieanan

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Scandinavian racism and Saami origin by Lars-Nila Lasko

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

 

The Saami People

The Saami People are the Indigenous peoples in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia, also known as first people, aboriginal people, native people, or autochthonous people or just Laplanders.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

 

Who came first to Lapland?

In the 1600s came the first scriptures out with theories of Saami origin. Now today in year 2017 is the Saami origin a controversial issue in northern Scandinavia. Mainly the debate about Saami origin has very much to do with international law.

Hanged Saami
Hanged Saami

 

The Saami origin has become a hot issue in the newspapers of northern Sweden

Saami origin has in the 2000s become a hot issue in the newspapers of northern Sweden. Regularly there are letters to the editor questioning if the Saami were the first in Lapland and when they immigrated to “Sweden”. Quite often the debate about the origin of the Saami People in Sweden has a racist content. The debate about Saami origin is based only on assumptions and speculations without facts.

Road sign in Sweden in Swedish and Saami languages
Road sign in Sweden in Swedish and Saami languages

 

The Saami as an indigenous people

Now it should be mentioned that the term “indigenous peoples” in international law has nothing to do with where an indigenous peoples came from, their origin or who came first! However, the new concept of “indigenous people” in international law has started a hot discussion of Saami origin.

“Indigenous” is a legal concept in international law and essentially means that a people existed in a nation-state before the national boundaries of the state were drawn up. Those who wish to challenge the Saami as an indigenous people must therefore question whether there was Saami before Sweden’s oldest land border in 1752. Believe it or not? However, there are those who do it! Just open the pages of letters to the editor in newspapers in northern Sweden and you are surprised regularly. Question is if the education system and schools failed in the education of who the Saami is? The information about the Saami is very limited in Swedish schools?

An official definition of “indigenous” has not been adopted by the UN system due to the diversity of the world’s indigenous peoples. Instead, a modern and inclusive understanding of “indigenous” has been developed and includes peoples who:

  • Identify themselves and are recognized and accepted by their community as indigenous.
  • Demonstrate historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies.
  • Have strong links to territories and surrounding natural resources.
  • Have distinct social, economic or political systems.
  • Maintain distinct languages, cultures and beliefs.
  • Form non-dominant groups of society.
  • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities.

Now it should be mentioned that the UN rapporteur on indigenous peoples, José Martínez Cobo, in his final reports to the United Nations in 1981 ( 30 July 1981E / CN.4 / Sub.2 / 476 ), 1982 ( 10 August 1982E / CN.4 / Sub.2 / 1982/2 ) and 1983 ( 5 August 1983E / CN.4 / Sub.2 / 1983/21 ) uses several definitions of indigenous people.

The English words “Indigenous People” in ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration of Indigenous People has by the Swedish Foreign Ministry initially translated with the word “Urbefolkning” (Indigenous Population) and then later to “Urfolk” (Indigenous People). Something that increased the confusion. (The word “Ur” or “Ursprunglig) in Swedish is related to the English word “Orginal” or “first”). So, the problem is also a translation problem.

Road sign in Swedin in Saami languages
Road sign in Sweden in Saami languages

 

The Saami as a national minority

The Convention of Council of Europe on National Minorities has nothing of minority origin to do. National minorities in Sweden, according to the parliamentary decision, are the ethnic groups that existed in Sweden before World War II. Those who wish to challenge Saami as a national minority have therefore to prove whether it was Saami in Sweden before World War II, ie before 1940, or not!

Road sign in Sweden in Swedish and Saami languages
Road sign in Sweden in Swedish and Saami languages

 

Blog Question – Can racism be met with knowledge?

In this blog I will try to address ignorance about the Saami history with knowledge. Or maybe it is not possible to face the ignorance with knowledge when we talk about racism?

Lars-Nila Lasko

Homepage: www.lasko.mobi

Blog in English: saamihistoryblog.wordpress.com

Blog in Swedish: www.samiskhistorieblogg.wordpress.com

Guhkkin davvin Dávggáid vuolde sabmá suolggai Sámieanan

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Growing Swedish nationalism and Saami origin by Lars-Nila Lasko

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Origin of Saami People?

Saami origin has interested scientists since since the time of John Schefferus in the 1600s. However, still several hundred years after Schefferus time remains Saami origin a controversial issue.

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Saami origin has become a hot issue

Saami origin has also become a hot issue in the growing Swedish nationalism. On nationalist forums and sites on internet questions are raised if Saami People can be Swedish citizens, late immigrants from Mongolia, if Saami People should be deported to Asia and much more. The debate about Saami origin is based only on assumptions and speculations without facts.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Nationalist on internet and Saami origin

On the Swedish nationalist places for debate like www.nordfront.se it is possible to read “The Saami would be Sweden’s indigenous people is propaganda that our enemies use and which, unfortunately, is strongly rooted among many Swedes. Sweden has only been populated from south of the Germanic tribes” … and on www.nordisk.nuLapps came later than the Germanic tribes proved by archaeological research”. Similar comments can be found at www.patriot.nu and other nationalist internet sites.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Saami origin and confusion

Indigenous” is a new concept in international law and established in the new international instruments such as ILO Convention 169, (adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1989), and the UN Declaration on indigenous people, (adopted by the United Nations in 2007). The concept of indigenous people is a legal concept and does not mean the same thing as a people’s origin.

The concept of indigenous peoples, however, has been interpreted in nationalist forums like who came first and started a heated debate about the Saami origin.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

Nationalism

Nationalism itself can have positive, pleasant and harmless forms of expression for example in sports contexts when people cheering on their own team or nation.

However, nationalism can also take other forms of expression with fatal consequences or lead to conflicts between ethnic groups.

Nationalism is a system of thought based on the idea of a special community within the nation’s borders. Nowadays, we talk about different types of nationalism. The various nationalisms are based on different basic assumptions about national community and therefore can manifest itself in different ways.

Today, researchers Benedict Anderson and other researchers has questioned the nationalism as real communities and instead use the term imagined communities”. Depending on the conception of the nationality grounds and nations will the function of nationalism also take different forms.

Some Swedish nationalists have notion of the Swedish nation historically belong to, or contains only a certain race or a certain ethnic group. In such instances, the argumentation that Saami may not have a historical basis in the territory forming the nation Sweden. Swedish nationalists argue that the Saami came later to the country Sweden than Swedes themselves and should therefore no legal rights in Sweden In this blog I will show with facts that the nationalists’ argument is based only on fantasies!

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog

 Blog Question?

In this blog I will try to address ignorance about the Saami history with knowledge. Is it possible to face the ignorance with knowledge?

 

Lars-Nila Lasko

Homepage: www.lasko.mobi

 

Guhkkin davvin Dávggáid vuolde sabmá suolggai Sámieanan

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