In association with Sámi Week, Perspektivet Museum is showing the travelling exhibition, Duodji.
Duodji, which is produced by Varanger Sámi Museum, is the result of a competition held by the museum in 2000. The exhibition consists of 65 works of very high quality, created by Sámi craftsmen from the entire Sámi region in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Duodji shows many different types of objects, with great variation in choice of materials. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
The concept “duodji” has gradually received recognition as a total concept for Sámi handicrafts, articles of home industry, woodwork and light industry, and builds on knowledge and skills that have been handed down from generation to generation. Scarcely anything characterises “the Sámi” more than precisely duodji. In this exhibition, the craftsmanlike and artistic execution is in focus, but in the old society, the utility value was the most important. In addition to covering one’s own needs, products from Sámi home industry and handicrafts were means of payment in exchange for other necessities and as payment of taxes.
The most common raw materials, bones/antlers, reindeer skins, fibres and wooden materials, are found in the nearby natural surroundings. But the Sámi have also had good access to imported materials of textiles, beads and metals. Traditional decorations on antler and bone products have shaped the models for silver copies, which today are known as Sámi jewellery art. Colour, shape, use of materials, ornamentation and practical design reveal variations amongst districts and across borders, and are an indication of contact and mutual influence. This fascinating wealth in choice of materials, techniques and decoration is very evident in the exhibition.
Duodji is being done in many Sámi homes today. But duodji is also an industry in growth that contributes to activity, well-being and workplaces for women in the districts. As a strong expression for “the Sámi”, duodji is also important for the dissemination and preservation of Sámi culture. And that is precisely a goal of this beautiful exhibition from Varanger Sámi Museum.