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Duodji is a traditional Sami handicraft, dating back to a time when the Sami were far more isolated from the outside world than they are today. Duodji tools, clothing and accessories are functional and useful, and may also incorporate artistic elements. Sami duodji artists are able to bring function and art together in a delicate way so as to create beautiful works of art in their own right.

These functional items include knives, cases, ladies' bags, wooden cups, certain articles of clothing, etc. Duodji items were made and meant to be used in an everyday work environment.

Drinking cup (guksi) also used for Bushcraft
A small Sámi knife (decorative picture not traditional)

Materials used[edit]

Traditionally Sami handicraft was divided into two sub-groups, men's and women's handicraft. Men used mostly wood and antlers as well as other bones from reindeer when crafting, while women used leather and roots. The traditional Sami colours are red, green, blue and yellow.

Well known artists[edit]

Duodji artists are still active in Sapmi and still carry on the traditions of the Duodji. Although there have been slight changes in the traditional Duodji, today they are considered valuable pieces of art by collectors from all over the world. Some of the Duodji artists today are Olov Svonni, Martin Kuorak, Anders Sunna, Lars Pirak and Per Olof Utsi.


The traditional costume, the gákti, is of great cultural importance and is mainly used for weddings, funerals, confirmations and other cultural events. The gákti's appearance differs from place to place and it tends to be longer in southern Sápmi than in the north. Traditionally leather, sinews, and wool was used to make the gákti, today however both velvet and silk can be used.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]