[WORLDKINGS] Traditional clothing from around the world – P22 - Gákti : Explore the culture of Sámi through the traditional costume


(WorldKings.org) Gákti is a piece of traditional clothing worn by the Sámi in northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The gákti is worn both in ceremonial contexts and while working, particularly when herding reindeer.

The Sámi people are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula within the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, but these terms are regarded as offensive by some Sámi people, who prefer the area's name in their own language, "Sápmi". Sámi ancestral lands are in the Volga region, in present-day Russia, like other Uralic peoples. Their traditional languages are the Sámi languages, which are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.



People of Sámi descent have started embracing their Sámi heritage and taking back the culture that once was crushed. Especially the youth have started learning the Sámi language and wearing the traditional gákti as a symbol of cultural pride. Especially during big events like the Norwegian constitution day (May 17th) and the Sámi national day (February 6th), the streets are filled with people of Sámi heritage representing their culture in a beautiful and colourful way.



The gákti’s design bears a lot of symbolism, and every little design feature has a meaning to it. The Gákti is a colourful dress, reflecting the diversity of Sámi people. Although you could use almost every colour imaginable, the most common main colour for the Loppa gákti is navy blue. The navy-blue symbols the use of and life at the sea. Fishing was one of the main sources of food for the Sámis living in the southwestern parts of Finnmark, thus making this a key element in the design. The green represents the lushness of the lands, the forests and the agricultural part of the Sámi life. Red is the colour of strength indicating the strength and willpower of the Sámi people.



Traditionally the gákti was made from reindeer skin, but in modern times, wool, cotton or silk are more common. The gákti can be worn with a belt (pleated, quilted or with silver buttons), silver jewellery, traditional leather footwear and a silk scarf. Traditionally, if the buttons on the belt are square, it shows the wearer is married. If they are round, the person is unmarried. If a married couple divorce and the ex-husband still continues to use the Sami costume made by his ex-wife, he states by this that he wants her back.

In modern times, Sami people typically only wear furs while herding in winter. Some choose to wear traditional outfits as day-to-day wear, while others keep gakti for special occasions.

According to en.wikipedia; nuetaquavit.com

Bee (Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

Tags: Gákti sami


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