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“Are You What You Wear-Performing Sámi identity in traditional and modern Sámi life through traditional dress.”

January 8, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


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Where many of the folk dress traditions of the Nordic countries underwent classification, standardization, and professionalization in the 19th century, Sámi dress has remained relatively uncategorized. To be sure, there are clear norms about how one is to dress in different regions of Sápmi- the areas of Norway, Finland, and Sweden where Sámi people traditionally reside-and Sámi wear traditional dress for special occasions, whether in Sámpi or wherever else a Sámi family may live. But the actual components of the dress vary and they are often made at home by family members rather than purchased from a professional costume seamstress. This presentation will explore the ways the Sámi use dress to express their identity and the many variations and expressive choices that come into play.

Tom DuBois is the Halls-Bascom Professor of Scandinavian Folklore, Folklore, and Religious Studies in the Department of German, Nordic and Slavic Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He is currently chair of the department. His research focuses on the ways in which people think about and use the idea of tradition in their lives, with particular attention to Finnish, Sámi, and medieval Nordic cultures, as well as Indigenous Wisconsin communities and communities of people descended from Nordic settlers in North America and the British Isles. His various books look at the Finnish national Epic Kalevala, Viking Age religion, medieval saints’ lives, medieval sagas, lyric and narrative song, shamanism, literature, wood carving, sacral landscapes, and  the workings of social media.



January 8, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


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