Trapperprodukter - Eagle Bracelet Black
Hand Made Sami Bracelet
A skillfully and beautifully made Sami bracelet from the northernmost part of Sweden. Today many Sami craftsmen are trying to renew and revitalise the tradition and are transferring their skills from older to younger generations. The bracelet is made from reindeer hide and tin wire.
You can choose from several different sizes, but beforehand its a good idea to take a measurement - simply measure around your wrist and add 1cm for comfort.
Style: Sami handicraft
You've seen the city life, Stockholm clubs and Gothenburg streetcars - but there's another side of Sweden, wild and raw. We spoke with Peter Siikavuopio of Trapperprodukter, a Swedish trapper living in the far north, about his craft.
Karesuando. It may sound like an obscure martial art - and you'd be right about the obscure part, at any rate. With a population of just 300 at last count, Karesuando is the northernmost settlement in Kiruna - the northernmost municipality in Sweden.
“It’s just about as far north as you can get,” Peter Siikavuopio tells us, in a lilting accent reminiscent of Finnish.
Indeed, Karesuando is located right on the border of Finland - literally. One side of the icy river is Sweden, but cross the bridge in the middle of town and you’ll be in Finland. The village is traditionally Finnish-speaking, although this side of it has been part of Sweden for 200 years.
When we caught up with Siikavuopio he had just returned from a walk in the woods – never mind that it’s -7 degrees and snowing. For him it’s just an ordinary day. ”I’ve been out looking for materials,” Siikavuopio explains. “Pretty much everything comes from the forest. The reindeer are always dropping horns.”
Siikavuopio, a trapper by trade, is descended from the Sami, the indigenous Finno-Ugric people of the Arctic. And the Swede is an active producer of traditional Sami handicraft – slöjd.
"I’ve always been interested in the craft. It’s just what you do up here. And when you live this far out into the wilderness, there’s not much to choose from,” he jokes.
Siikavuopio owns and runs Trapperprodukter, which sells everything from Sami knives and axes to reindeer-skin backpacks. And of course a few tamer items, such as butter knives, hip flasks, and traditional Sami jewellery.
Although many of his products are made according to traditional Sami handicraft, Siikavuopio said he doesn’t identify himself as Sami.
"It's a sensitive issue up here, and some people want to be called Sami, and others Kvän," Siikavuopio explains, referring to an ethnic minority descended from Finnish peasants centuries ago.
He adds that those who herd reindeer call themselves Sami, and those who reside permanently in the area, living off fishing and hunting, generally call themselves Kväner.
"But I'm a northern craftsman and a trapper, nothing else," he says.