Episode 5

Just Decide

Everyone's heard of Vikings – their daring North Atlantic voyages, their mysterious runes. But there's another ancient culture in Arctic Scandinavia that's much older, and just as fascinating – the Sámi. While the Vikings have been celebrated, Sámi music, language and traditions were forced underground. Why?


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Sámi Blood was released in 2016 and went on to win major awards at festivals around the world. It tells the story of Elle Marja, a young Sámi reindeer herder coming of age in the 1930s. Exposed to racism at her boarding school and struggling to connect to her family, she fights to find an authentic identity. The LA Times review is here.


Sofia Jannok

Sofia Jannok is one of many Sámi musicians who is reclaiming the tradition of joiking, using it to bring attention to Sámi issues and just to make Sámi people more visible in Sweden. You can hear some of her music here.