WHAT MAKES A STONE A SIEIDI, OR HOW TO RECOGNIZE A HOLY PLACE?

Authors

  • M.A. Tiina Äikäs

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.55877/cc.vol5.213

Abstract

A sieidi is an offering site of the Sámi that usually consisted of a wooden object or a stone unmodified by human hand. Because of their natural form they are hard to recognize in the landscape. Usually just one indicator might not be enough to distinguish a sieidi from just another stone. Written sources and oral tradition have preserved memories of the use of sieidi, but not all sieidi sites are still remembered. Sometimes just a place-name has survived. Bones or meat were a common form of offering at a sieidi, and there were rules re- stricting the handling of the bones. Some sources mention that offered bones were not to be broken. Nevertheless, there have been differences in these prac- tices. Also, other finds, including coins, metal objects, and glass, can be recov- ered at various sites. Phosphate analysis is one way to recognize a sieidi when no visual signs of the offerings are left. One or more indicators may survive, telling us about the use of a sieidi.

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Published

14.11.2022