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by the fire

By the Fire: Sami Folktales from Sweden

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Although versions of tales about wizards and magical reindeer from northern Scandinavia are commonly found in European folk and fairytale collections, stories told by the indigenous Nordic Sami themselves are rare in English translation. Yet the stories in By the Fire, collected by Danish artist and ethnographer Emilie Demant Hatt (1873–1958) during her travels among the nomadic Sami in Swedish Sápmi in the early twentieth century, are the exception – and a matchless pleasure, granting entry to a fascinating world of wonder and peril, of nature imbued with spirits and strangers to be outwitted with gumption and craft. With Demant Hatt’s field notes and commentary and translator Barbara Sjoholm’s Afterword (accompanied by photographs), this first English publication of By the Fire is at once a significant contribution to the canon of world literature, a unique glimpse into Sami culture, and a testament to the enduring art of storytelling. Sjoholm will be sharing the history of Sami folktales, Demant Hatt’s time traveling and living with these nomadic herders, and sharing a few of the folktales themselves.

By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends (UofM Press) will be available for purchase in the AS Museum Store.

Included in museum admission.

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