Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology News
Folk Studies Faculty Member Publishes Researched Translation
- Author: Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
Dr. Tim Frandy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology, has completed a new researched translation project of Sámi oral tradition, Inari Sámi Folklore: Stories from Aanaar, which is now available for purchase. Collected in the 1880s from more than two dozen storytellers in the small arctic village of Aanaar, this edition represents the first multi-voiced anthology of traditional Sámi stories ever translated into the English language. In addition to relating hundreds of translated stories, riddles, proverbs, and omens, Frandy also uses these stories to reconstruct aspects of everyday 19th century life.
The Indigenous Aanaar (Inari) Sámi people are a small Sámi population, with speakers of their language numbering between 300-400, who live on the shores of the great inland lake, Aanaarjävri (Lake Inari). The stories collected by A.V. Koskimies and T.I. Itkonen reflect a culture in transition: from fishing and wild reindeer hunting toward agriculture; from traditional religion toward Christianity; from the siida system to Finnish municipal governance. Frandy augments the original text with storyteller biographies, maps, period photos, annotations, and headnotes that contextualize the story in their time and place. The new edition allows us to see the dynamic interrelationships between stories and storyteller: the bawdy humor of Antti Kitti, the didacticism of schoolmaster Iisakki Mannermaa, the feminist leanings of Juho Petteri Lusmaniemi. Collectively, this collection helps illustrate the diversities present within even a small Sámi village.