Elsa Laula – Icon of the sami people

Today, on the 6th of February, it is the national day of the sami people, the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of Russia. Today there is also the first show of a new theater play about Elsa Laula, the first female, sami activist. On the 6th of February in 1917 she gathered sami from all over Norway and from different countries to meet together for the first time, to fight for their rights and also discuss problems with the authorities. This happened in the norwegian city of Trondheim, and that is also were this play has  its premiere.

Elsa Laula (1877 – 1931) was one of the first sami women of her generation to get an education, but she had to fulfill her political struggle and at the same time work full time as a reindeer herder together with her husband, and she was also a mother of six, two of them died in sicknes at an early age.

Elsa Laula is played by Cecilia Persson, an actor, singer and author, who like Elsa is of the south-sami people. And who also like her is living in a reindeer herding family when not on stage.

The play about Elsa Laula is staged by the company Åarjelhsaemien Teatere/Sydsamisk Teater in cooperation with Nord-Trøndelag Teater, and they will tour the norwegian districts of Trøndelag and southern Nordland this spring, and northern Nordland in the autumn, with participating at festivals during summer. I visited the theater at their rehearsals at Stiklestad in Verdal were these photos are taken.

The sami flag in the middle, between the swedish to the left, and the norwegian flag. The Sami flag was inaugurated during the Sami Conference in Åre, Sweden, in 1986. The resolution for celebrating on 6 February was passed in 1992 at the 15th Sami congress in Helsinki. Since 1993, Norway, Sweden and Finland have recognized February 6 as Sami National Day.

“Sámi soga lávlla” (Song of the Sami People) is written by Isak Saba in 1906. In1986, it became the national anthemof the sami, approved by the 15th Sami Conference in Helsinki, Finland in 1992.

There are more photos fram the play in my web gallery, were I also have a collection of different galleries from reindeer herding and sami life of today.

10 thoughts on “Elsa Laula – Icon of the sami people

  1. I was very interesting by your topic on Sami people. I do not know the northland civilization and people, living in French “Normandie”. I like the fight of Elsa Laula. Thank you very much for your very beautiful photos.


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