Norsk Tidsskrift for Misjonsvitenskap (Mar 2016)

«Som faar uden hyrde». Norsk Finnemisjon i et sørsamisk område primo 1900-tallet

  • Jostein Lorås

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 70, no. 1
pp. 48 – 60


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This article discusses the Finnemission’s, “Lapp mission,” operations in the South Sami area between Majavatn and Bindal in Nordland county. In the 1800s, this area was still without significant agrarian settlements and the Sami maintained traditional reindeer herding as their main livelihood. In early 1900, the Finnemission established a boarding school, arranged outdoor meetings, built a missionary house, gathered census data about the Sami, held Christian gatherings and removed Sami artifacts from the area. A Sami drum of great symbolic importance to the mission was reluctantly delivered to the Norwegian Ethnographic Museum’s assistant, Paul Egede Nissen. The Finnemission’s presence led to an extensive pressure on the southern Sami culture in this area to assimilate to the dominant Norwegian culture (Norwegianisation). This was, however, not always an intended effect of the mission’s work.