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Fragments of Lappish Mythology is the detailed documented account of the Sami religious beliefs and mythology during the midth century. It was written between — by Swedish minister Lars Levi Laestadius , but was not published until in Swedish, in Finnish, and in English. The book was originally written for the French -funded La Recherche Expedition of —, but was lost and forgotten for many decades thereafter.
Laestadius describes the state of Sami religious beliefs held during his time, which had already long been passing into history by the Christianization of the Sami during this period. The condition of these stories is described as "fragments", as Laestadius himself admitted that there was a great deal of Sami religious beliefs that he knew little about because of the Sami peoples' secrecy concerning their beliefs.
Laestadius was invited to participate in the La Recherche Expedition — by the French Navy because he was recognized for his knowledge of botany and the Sami languages, both of which the expedition undertook to study. Laestadius was the field guide for the Norwegian Atlantic islands and in the interior of Northern Norway and Sweden, studying and describing both plant life of the high arctic, and the culture of the Sami people at the time of the expedition.
After the expedition, Laestadius was mentioned extensively within the project; however, his Sami chronicle was quickly forgotten as other issues came to the forefront such as Laestadius's personal and moral struggles and his focus on the new Laestadian movement rather than Sami shamanism. Laestadius delayed in sending the complete work of the project rather than piecemealing in single parts, and he personally lacked the money to publish the text himself. The French government also lost interest as there was considerable political instability during the s, ending in the French Revolution of , which finally ended French interest in the whole project and in publication of the Fragments.
The results of the entire expedition, excluding the Fragments , were buried in the National archives of France. But since these noaides through their alleged or real magic skills represented the greatest hindrance for the rapid spread of the faith among the populace, it was natural that they would be hated and persecuted by the priests who saw the noaides as the Devil's instruments.
Because of the delay in the French government's receipt of Laestadius's manuscript, it was not published in the expedition's final publication work. The leader of the expedition, Joseph Paul Gaimard , held Laestadius's work in his private collection until his death in Thereafter, part 1 of the work was sold to a Xavier Marmier of Pontarlier , France , who upon his death in , willed it to the Pontarlier library.
There it stayed in the Marmier's un-catalogued collection until it was discovered in Parts 2—5 of Fragments were sold, as part of Gaimard's estate, to the local antiquarian bookstores, where they ended up in the personal library of French Count Paul Edouard Didier Riantin.
Thereafter, their whereabouts remained unknown until they were discovered in across the Atlantic Ocean in the manuscript archives of Yale University. In , parts 2—5 were microfilmed and added to the university's Swedish library.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Categories : Sami deities Sami mythology Sami goddesses Sami gods Sami publications Books about religion s books non-fiction books.
Fragments of Lappish Mythology
Of partly Sami background himself, he spoke both the Sami and Finnish that were widespread in the area. His pastoral duties required him to travel throughout Swedish Norrland, and he also worked and gained a certain reputation as a botanist. In —40 he joined a French research expedition in northern Scandinavia and agreed to draft a "mythology" of the Sami, to be published in France. The work reviewed here is an English translation of the Swedish original, which was completed in He tracked down a great deal of interesting information in French archives, and this makes up the most diverting part of the "Introduction" not least for the curious French; pp. For example, Anders Fjellner is mentioned in passing as "the author of the Sami epic," with no additional information p. But some readers may just give up on the notes, because they offer what seems to me to be questionable information, not least about Swedish folklore e.