If you didn’t already know it the Sami people who live in Lapland in the very far north of Sweden, are the original Swedes. They can trace their roots here back to the Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago.
Sami handicraft, made from traditional, natural materials is exquisite and unique and makes a wonderful present.
What it is
Sami slöjd, or handicraft, falls into two categories – hard handicraft and soft handicraft. The first is by tradition made for men and mainly consists of knives and cups with elaborately engraved reindeer horn. Soft handicraft, meanwhile, is traditionally for women, consisting of clothing, intricately woven tin wire bracelets and other jewellery, bags and baskets woven from birch roots, known as root handicraft.
Where to buy it
You can buy Sami arts and crafts in the towns and villages of Swedish Lapland and in other parts of northern Sweden. If you’re visiting Kiruna, the largest town in Lapland, head for the Carl Wennberg shop at Bergmästaregatan 2, who has been selling Sami arts and crafts here since 1907. Another great place to buy Sami handicraft is at the Jokkmokk winter market at the end of January/beginning of February each year. The market has been held here for 400 years and there is probably no better place to experience Sami culture – and to buy Sami handicraft direct from a Sami artisan.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the iconic ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi then pay a visit to the ICEHOTEL shop for Sami arts and crafts. Otherwise, if you’re in Stockholm pay a visit to retailers Svensk Slöjd at Nybrogatan 23 or Svensk Hemslöjd at Norrlandsgatan 20 who sell Sami handicraft.