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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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