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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Mann­da­len – 01st Novem­ber 2015

Mann­da­len – 01st Novem­ber 2015

Ins­tead of sai­ling sou­thwest, towards Lofo­ten, we hea­ded nor­the­ast, try­ing to escape from the wea­ther. Who needs for­ce 9 winds? So off into the fjords, behind the moun­tains, away from the coast. Deep in Kåfjord, the­re is Mann­da­len in the area that was tra­di­tio­nal­ly inha­bi­ted by the Sea Sami peop­le. As we learnt in the cul­tu­re and han­di­c­raft cent­re, the­re is not much left from the tra­di­tio­nal Sami cul­tu­re due to for­ced Nor­we­gia­ni­sa­ti­on in the ear­lier 20th cen­tu­ry. Few peop­le speak the Sami lan­guage still today, but even young peop­le are inte­res­ted in lear­ning the lan­guage of their grand­par­ents in cour­ses that are offe­red by the cent­re. Han­di­c­rafts are also enjoy­ing incre­a­sing popu­la­ri­ty.

A litt­le trail leads along pla­ces of Sami oppo­si­ti­on against sup­pres­si­on from out­side. Incredi­ble what the peop­le here had to endu­re. Not just that they could not speak their own lan­guage in public. Tho­se who could not pay their debts were depri­ved from their last belon­gings which were to be auc­tion­ed away then. No sur­pri­se that at some sta­ge the locals gave the Nor­we­gi­an lens­mann a good bea­ting with fence poles and cha­sed him away. At the end of the war, the Ger­man army burnt the place down as the last one in north Nor­way – as men­tio­ned befo­re, the­se peop­le had to endu­re all hardships of a mino­ri­ty in the 20th cen­tu­ry.

The­re is still a small hut. Its owner was sup­po­sed to pay dues on the buil­ding mate­ri­als after rebuil­ding it after the war, as was com­mon. He refu­sed this with a let­ter which can be sum­ma­ri­zed brief­ly, but cor­rect­ly, with the words „go to hell“. He was left in peace after that.

We were also not saved from some hardships when tho­se who were still with us on the 8 km trail in rain and darkness found that the last part of the small road had given way to a steep, slip­pe­ry, mud­dy slo­pe at a road con­struc­tion site. But the moti­va­ti­on to find a way after more than 6 km is con­si­derable, in con­trast to the wil­ling­ness to turn around and go the same way back.

Gal­le­ry – Mann­da­len – 01st Novem­ber 2015

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

The­re was not much to see for the rest of the day, just rain and darkness. No chan­ce for the nort­hern lights that ever­y­bo­dy came for, which is espe­cial­ly tough as the sun acti­vi­ty is cur­r­ent­ly said to be con­si­derable. Without coulds, we would pro­bab­ly see nort­hern lights all over the sky!

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last modification: 2016-09-21 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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