Joik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A joik or yoik (where the latter spelling in English conforms with the pronunciation; also named luohti, vuolle, vuelie, leu'dd, or juoiggus in the Sámi languages) is a traditional form of song in Sámi music performed by the Sámi people of the Nordic countries and Kola Peninsula of Russia. Originally, joik referred to only one of several Sami singing styles, but in English the word is often used to refer to all types of traditional Sami singing. As an art form, each joik is meant to reflect or evoke a person, animal, or place.[citation needed]

The sound of joik is comparable to the traditional chanting of some Native American cultures.[1] Joik shares some features with the shamanistic cultures of Siberia, which mimic the sounds of nature.[citation needed]

History[edit]

As the Sami culture had no written language in the past, the origins of joik are not documented. According to oral traditions, the fairies and elves of the arctic lands gave joiks to the Sámi People. Just Qvigstad, who recorded the Sami oral tradition, has documented this legend in several works.[2] Music researchers believe joik is one of the oldest continuous musical traditions in Europe.[3]

During the Christianization of the Sami, joiking was condemned as sinful. The assimilation policies (Norwegianization and similar) and the views of churches and ecclesiastical movements on joiking as sin have played important roles in its devaluation. One of the reasons that joiking was controversial may be its association with noaidi (Sámi shamans) and pre-Christian mythology rituals,[4] with joiking said to resemble magic spells.[5] In the 1950s, it was forbidden to use joiking in Sami area schools[clarification needed]. In 2014, a parish council discussed "if they should implement a total ban against music other than [church] hymns in the churches in Kautokeino and Maze. The proposal was shot down, but many still wonder why joiking in church is such a controversial issue".[4]

Despite this suppression, joiking was strongly rooted in the culture and its tradition was maintained. Joiking is still practiced and is used as a source of inspiration. Recently[when?], joiks are sung in two different styles: a traditional style, known as the "mumbling" style; and a modern style sung mostly by young people, and used as an element in contemporary Sami music.[citation needed]

Personal and evocative nature[edit]

The joik is a unique form of cultural expression for the Sami people in Sápmi.[6] This type of song can be deeply personal or spiritual in nature, often dedicated to a human being, an animal, or a landscape as a personal signature.[3] Improvisation is not unusual. Each joik is meant to reflect a person or place. The Sami verb for presenting a joik (e.g. Northern Sami juoigat) is a transitive verb, which is often interpreted as indicating that a joik is not a song about the person or place, but that the joiker is attempting to evoke or depict that person or place through song – one joiks one's friend, not about one's friend (similarly to how one doesn't paint or depict about a flower, but depicts the flower itself).[citation needed]

Musical and lyrical forms[edit]

Traditionally, joiks have short lyrics or no lyrics at all.[citation needed] However, there are other forms of joik (in the expanded sense of the word) that have a more epic type of lyrics. Joik is traditionally chanted a cappella, but in modern times may be accompanied by a drum (though not a Sami drum, which is used for ceremonial purposes only) or other musical instruments. The tonality of joik is mostly pentatonic, but joikers are at liberty to use any tones they please.[7]

In northern Sami areas, most joiks are personal, that is, tied to a specific person. A joik is often made for a person at the time he or she is born. British actress Joanna Lumley experienced several joiks during her travel program Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights, joining a northern Sami elder. Lumley learned that there appeared not to be a joik of the Aurora, and that the Sami do not talk much about them.[8]

Joiking encompasses many different styles:[citation needed]

  • Vuolle is a South Sami joiking with an old-world feel, since its development was halted in the face of Christianity. To avoid being seen as savage or heathen, the South Sami mostly stopped joiking.
  • Luohti is the North Sami variant and currently the most-developed joiking style.
  • Leu'dd is the East Sami variant.

Imitative sounds and shamanism[edit]

Some of the Sami people's traditional Noaidi beliefs and practices shared important features with those of some Siberian cultures.[9] Some of their joiks were sung during shamanistic rites,[10] and this memory is conserved also in a folklore text (a shaman story).[11] As in various cultures of Northern Asia,[12] mimicking sounds from nature can also be present.[citation needed]

Joiking in popular culture[edit]

Even though joiking is a traditional form of singing, it has found its way into modern-day pop culture through adaptation and commercialization by various artists. One notable example is the 1980 Norwegian entry "Sámiid ædnan" for the Eurovision Song Contest, which features a song predominantly sung in Norwegian and interwoven with joiking in its chorus. Subsequently, this song has been occasionally used as a game chant by Norwegian football fans, as well as British fans from the Accrington Stanley F.C.. Furthermore, an uncredited sample of this song was featured in the 2011 science-fiction horror film The Thing.[citation needed] The Norwegian entry in Eurovision 2019, Spirit in the Sky (Keiino song) also included joiking and singing.

Through its inclusion in other popular films, the Sami culture and joiking in particular has managed to achieve national acclaim. Of particular note is Disney’s Frozen, which is heavily inspired by Scandinavian and Sami culture. This is evident in its use of typical elements of the Sami people, including reindeer herding and outfit styles. Furthermore, South Sami musician and joiker Frode Fjellheim composed the opening track of Frozen, titled “Vuelie”, which is an adaptation of his original track "Eatnemen Vuelie (Song of the Earth)". This growing adaptation of Sami elements, in particular joiking, points towards a gradual revitalization of the culture.[citation needed]

Joiking is also an important element of the Sami Grand Prix, an annual music competition modeled after the Eurovision Song Contest. This competition draws contestants from Norway, Sweden and Finland, with strong representation from minorities belonging to the Sami community. The traditional art form is significant in both the joik and song competition of the Grand Prix. In the joik component, contestants, usually dressed in traditional Sami clothing, perform joiks that are specifically prepared for the competition, without any accompanying instruments. The succeeding song component features participants who often incorporate elements of joiking into their pop entries,[13] which suggests a revival and growing appeal of infusing traditional Sami musical practices with modern-day music.[citation needed]

In addition, the 1970s proved to be a fruitful period for the Sami people and joik music in particular, with what academics have coined the "joik renaissance". Specifically, the emergence of Sami-owned record company, Jårgalæddji, in Norway, that resulted from a collaboration between Sami musicians. As a result, it became easier for Sami artistes and producers to gain funding for their projects, with over 40 albums and cassettes of Sami and joik music released in that period.[14] Sources of funding included not only private investors, but also the Norwegian and Swedish culture boards.[15] This led to an unprecedented commercialization of Sami music, as well as the performance of joiking, which was a crucial focus of the Jårgalæddji. While the bankruptcy of this record company in the mid-1980s led to a slowdown in production of Sami and joik albums, such growth led to a resurgence of interest in traditional Sami culture and music.[citation needed]

Other artists who are famous for their interpretations of joik include Mari Boine, Jon Henrik Fjällgren and the band Korpiklaani, who have combined joiks with various other styles such as jazz, metal and rock. In particular, Fjallgren won the Swedish Talang 2014 competition, a reality talent show, through his moving rendition of traditional joik songs. He subsequently released a debut studio album in 2014, Goeksegh, which features multiple joik tracks such as “Daniel’s Joik”, “The Reindeer Herder’s Joik”, and “Nejla’s Joik”.[citation needed]

Notable artists[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wimme Saari Shamanistic chant meets modern electronics Archived 14 December 2004 at Archive.today
  2. ^ Qvigstad, Just (1 January 1929). Lappiske eventyr og sagn: Lappiske eventyr og sagn fra Lyngen II 09 fra Nordland (in Norwegian). H. Aschehoug & Company [W. Nygaard].
  3. ^ a b Tradisjonell klassisk joik - Traditional Classical Sami Yoik - Arbevirolas Luohti Archived 29 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b "Derfor tillates ikke joik i kirka - NRK Troms - Lokale nyheter, TV og radio". Nrk.no. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  5. ^ Szomjas-Schiffert 1996: 64
  6. ^ Yoik of the Wind Shamanistic chant meets modern electronics Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Same etnam". Boreale.konto.itv.se. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Arts and Entertainment". Entertainment.timesonline.vo.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2015. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Voigt 1966: 296
  10. ^ Szomjas-Schiffert 1996: 56, 76
  11. ^ Voigt 1966: 145
  12. ^ "Vikingatidens och medeltidens musik". Fotevikensmuseum.se. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  13. ^ Holt, Fabian; Kärjä, Antti-Ville (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Popular Music in the Nordic Countries.
  14. ^ Jones-Bamman, Richard (3 August 2010). "From 'I'm a Lapp' to 'I am Saami': Popular music and changing images of indigenous ethnicity in Scandinavia". Journal of Intercultural Studies. 22 (2): 189–210. doi:10.1080/07256860120069602.
  15. ^ Jones-Bamman, Richard W. (1993). As long as we continue to joik, we'll remember who we are: negotiating identity and the performance of culture: the Saami joik (PhD). University of Washington. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  16. ^ [1]Archived 26 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "LINE | LINE_SEG02". Lineimprint.com. Retrieved 25 November 2015.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]