Arctic fairytales sound in the land of Pomors

Famous Sámi storyteller shares traditions of northern indigenous folks in Arkhangelsk

Stina Fagertun comes from the fjord part of Arctic Norway and represents coastal Sámi and Kven (Finnish descendant) ancestry. She collects ancient stories, fairytales and legends of the Sámi and Kven tradition, writes them down, publish books and CDs. Thanks to her this layer of the unique Arctic culture will not be lost and forgotten. She was very busy the last ten years travelling all over the world and telling her stories – Norway, Canada, the USA.

Now it was the turn of Arkhangelsk, her first visit to Russia – on 6-9 November Stina performed in colleges, schools and the Northern Arctic Federal University. The project was supported by Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Arkhangelsk Barents Centre and Arkhangelsk charity organization “Rassvet”, so Stina even told her stories and sang the Arctic songs to boys in local juvenile prison. Such an experience was unique for both sides – Stina was grateful for hearty welcome, while boys got a chance to get in touch with such things belonging to the world which is usually closed for them.

Performances of Stina Fagertun continues traditions of long-term cooperation between “Rassvet” organization and Hålogaland Folk Academy. For several years creative teams from Arkhangelsk have been touring Northern Norway under the project “Neighbors in the North” supported by “Rassvet”. By the way, Stina has totally enchanted not only imprisoned boys but all of her listeners wherever she performed – children and adults followed the every move and sound made by Stina. She wore traditional colorful clothes of the coastal Sámi and eagerly talked about it if someone asked her. Stina is going to come to Arkhangelsk again, presumably in January to take part in Christmas Blagovest festival.

Text: Anna Petrova

Photo: Anna Petrova, Andrey Shalyov

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