Sámi people and magic


Hey, I thought this could be a good place to ask the question even though it might be hard as you don’t have any sámi mods as far as I know (could of course be wrong!). But I’m writing a magic realism story in Sweden (I’m finnishswede) and some of my characters are sámi. However I was unsure if I should include them in the sense that they use magic as I know there is a lot of mixup between the actual beliefs that the sámi people have and a lot of made up stuff by non-sámi people. The magic is also based around swedish oknytt, which isn’t always included or thought of in the same way for sámi people. And I don’t want to erase sámi people’s religion for them to just be forced to partake in magic that erase their culture and religion. 

Going to publish this for Sámi followers to comment (only if you’re Sámi, please), but also, as an Indigenous person:

Magic practices cross cultures, but you have to be careful to balance the original culture with the cultural interpretation.

Indigenous witches exist, but our practices usually pull from our backgrounds and worldview instead of the culturally Christian interpretations of the dominant witch society. I’m sure sámi people who practice overreaching Swedish magical practices exist, but you’ve got to ask yourself how they’ve modified it.

So in your research, try to focus on both. What parts of Swedish magic practice/ belief just plain old don’t show up in sámi culture? Are there any core beliefs around how life works in the sámi that would bring in as the fuel to their magic practice?

Questions like that help you look at the culture more broadly and help avoid missteps. Each culture has a set of values to it, and these values reflect in the magic/religion, and cross-pulling is alright so long as you make sure to respect the core cultural belief of the Indigenous group.

~ Mod Lesya

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