Sami drum

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Copper carving (1767) by O.H. von Lode showing a Sami shaman with his rune drum (meavrresgárri)
Saami drum (goavddis) with the Beaivi Sun symbol that resembles a sun cross.
Copy of the rune drum belonging to the 100 year old Sami Anders Paulsen. Cultural Department of the Museum in Oslo, Norway. The rune drum was confiscated by the authorities of Vadsø in 1691. In 1694 it was transferred to the Royal Art Cabinet in Copenhagen, Since 1979, it has been kept in the Saami Museum in Karasjok, county of Finnmark, Norway.

A Sami drum (northern sami goavddis, gobdis or meavrresgárri, southern sami gievrie, Norwegian: runebomme,[1] also known as "rune drum", "sami shamanic drum" or "magic drum", ) is a membrane-covered oval or circular drum used as shamanistic ceremonial drum by the Sami people.


The ritual use of drums by Sami shamans has been attested as early as approximately 1190, when such use was described in the Historia Norvegiae.[2]

A missionary[who?] gave this picture of usage[citation needed]:

A ring or some other accoutrement, probably symbolizing a frog, was during rituals moved around on the drum membrane, which contained some hundreds of runes (elks, sun, thunder, etc.). From its spontaneous selection of a given rune, predictions and conclusions were made from the matched rune itself and the path that the ring would take in selecting it.[this quote needs a citation]


Only about 70 drums have been preserved until today,[citation needed] and most of those date back only to the 17th or 18th century.[2] Probably the best-known is the Linné drum – a drum that was given to Carolus Linnaeus during his visits in the northern Sweden. He later gave it to a museum in France, and recently it was brought back to the Swedish National Museum.[3] Three Sami drums are in the collections of the British Museum, including one bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane, founder of the museum.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ selskab, Kongelige Norske videnskabers (1904). Det Kgl. Norske videnskabers selskabs skrifter. I Kommisjon Hos F. Bruns Bokhandel. p. 65. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Dean, Matt (2011). The Drum: A History. Scarecrow. p. 57. ISBN 9780810881709. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Ahlbäck, Tore; Bergman, Jan (1991). The Saami Shaman Drum: based on papers read at the Symposium on the Saami Shaman Drum held at Åbo, Finland, on the 19th-20th of August 1988. Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History. p. 108. ISBN 9789516498594. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  4. ^ British Museum Collection [1]

External links[edit]

Logo för Nordisk familjeboks uggleupplaga.png This article contains content from the Owl Edition of Nordisk familjebok, a Swedish encyclopedia published between 1904 and 1926, now in the public domain.