Silvermuseet – The key to the rich cultural history of the mountains
Ten thousand years of human habitation that has shaped Arjeplog’s story.
How can we share our history in a way that allows you to get to know us?
The Sámi people’s silver gleams inside the Silver Hall’s blue vault. Wealth and prosperity are seen in the costume’s ornaments. Silver collars and silver belts once worn by proud owners. Family chronicles of silver passed from generation to generation over centuries.
Daily life is seen in Mujttalus, which means ‘memory’. Softly-shaped bowls of wood, náhpe, worn smooth by the reindeer milkmaid’s cupped hands. Elaborate works of horn and wood, carved while waiting for the rain to cease, the fish to be caught in the nets, or the reindeer to be driven into the enclosure. Costumes that protect against cold and snow. They tell the story of families and kindred and of a strong identity. People from a bygone age with their fixed gazes reminding you that they are still here.
The small farmer’s kitchen offers warmth and rest from heavy labour. After milking, fishing, sowing, harvesting or haymaking, the man and woman can conclude their day together. A quite moment before the dusk falls. The scent of newly-brewed coffee fills the air.
A slate knife lay on the shore, still sharp and keen. It had been there for 5,000 years before it was picked up and examined by a boy from Stensund. Now, the knife lies in its case as part of the Traces exhibition – an artefact of stone like a silent message transmitted through time.
How many people have walked this shore? What was their future to be – ten, five, or two thousand years ago?
We live in a landscape filled with memories of lives lived in the past and with lives being lived today. We can see the milking pastures on the edge of the birch forest towards the mountain and the fireplace that was left behind when the kåta (tent) was moved. All these marshes were drained in the hope of creating a better livelihood and a better future for the children.
Heavy labour, hopes, happiness – all encapsulated in an overgrown field.
Gods and goddesses have helped these people through life. Mountains and lakes bear their names.
Silvermuseet is Arjeplog’s collective memory.
Would you like to get to know us?