View Full Version : Saami Shamanism Recognized as a Religion by Norway

08 Jan 2014, 21:21
This article is nearly two years old, but it's the first I've seen of it, and good news for a change...


08 Jan 2014, 22:27
This is great. But...

Unfortunately, this perpetuates the idea that 'Shamanism' is a religion, which is not true.

What the Sami traditionally practice is a religion with key shamanic elements specific to their cultural context. Not 'Shamanism'.

So I'm torn about this. On one hand it's great that the Sami in Norway have been recognised in this way (I don't know whether it's the same in Finland, Sweden and Russia, where there are also Sami people). But on the other hand media coverage like this shows a fundamental lack of understanding about their practices and religion, and perpetuates an inaccuracy that is likely to facilitate even more culturally appropriative pagans and core shamanists who claim that 'Shamanism' is their religion.

08 Jan 2014, 22:54
Yeah, I was thinking along similar lines while reading the article. I rather doubt that the author knows the difference, but I think it just basically meant that the Saami in Norway are 'officially' cleared to practice their indigenous, pre-Christian belief system. People outside the Pagan community (and, frankly, many within it) don't know/care about the various nuances; after all we're all Wiccans, right? ;)

15 Jan 2014, 04:39
I agree with both of you here - none of it's likely to be very accurate, but seeing the Saami being recognised is just NICE in general.

And Merry Meet to you Rick :P